Students work in a materials lab at Duke University

Master of Science (MS)

Ideal preparation for industry, a research career or doctoral study

The Duke Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science provides a unique combination of opportunities that only Duke can offer:

  • World-class research integrated with project-based learning
  • Flexible, individualized curriculum combined with a research project or thesis
  • Three-semester study plans which allow you to focus on your defense
  • Excellent career placement in PhD programs and industry
Meghan Booze

"Duke allowed me to choose from dozens of classes to create a curriculum specific to my thesis and interests."

Meghan Booze, MS '20
United States Air Force Pilot

More about Career Outcomes »

Mentorship From Top Researchers

Our Master of Science students are mentored by our world-class faculty researchers:

  • Duke MEMS faculty are consistently ranked in the Top 15 in research productivity
  • Their research is translated into our Master of Science courses and research projects

Investigate our research and meet our faculty »

Innovative Concentrations and Hands-On Learning

  • Cutting-edge concentrations that access our faculty's current research—
    • Autonomous, Intelligent Machines and Systems
    • Energy, Propulsion, and Structures for Land and Space
    • Multi-scale, Advanced, and Bio-Inspired Materials
    • Optimal Design of Physical and Virtual Systems
  • Master's Capstone Course which provides unparalleled—
    • Experiential, project-based design work
    • Training to develop a digital portfolio
    • Development of oral and written technical communication skills

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3 Semesters + 1

Our flexible study plans cover two years of study and research, but:

  • Take courses and pay tuition for just three semesters—about 1 1/2 years
  • In your fourth semester focus on defending your research—without paying full tuition

See a typical Master of Science study plan »

Excellent Career Outcomes

  • Nearly half of our master’s students go on to PhD programs, often at Duke
  • Recent graduates who obtained industry jobs had an average starting salary over $78,000

Browse our outcomes data »

More Details

Typical Study Plan
  • 10 Courses
    • 5 Core courses (4 ME courses and 1 qualifying MATH/STAT course)—all 500-level or above
    • 5 Elective courses—which may include up to 6 credits of independent study
  • And, a research project or thesis
 Research WorkConcentration CoursesElective Courses
Semester 1Identify MS ProjectMath CourseElective
Core Course
Semester 2Independent Study or ElectiveCore CourseElective
Core Course
Semester 3Independent Study or ElectiveCore CourseElective
Semester 4Defend Research (Only 1 credit "continuation" tuition charged)
Admissions Profile

Averages of recently admitted applicants:

  • GRE Quantitative: 167
  • GRE Verbal: 154
  • UGPA: 3.5
Cost of Attendance

Master's students are required to enroll in and pay tuition for at least three semesters of full-time study. After that, students are charged per credit. Subject to change each year. Tuition typically increases by no more than 4 percent per academic year.

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