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Graduate Student Orientation

Welcome to the Virginia Tech Department of Mechanical Engineering graduate program.

Our department wants all graduate students to succeed in their time at Virginia Tech. Please refer to the various presentations below to assist you in your transition to graduate school. Please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Cathy HillDr. Corina Sandu, or the Graduate School with any questions or concerns.

Please visit the Graduate School's website for more information on visiting campus.


The graduate programs in the ME Department at Virginia Tech provide quality mechanical engineering education through innovative research, faculty expertise, and practices that further expand and enhance students’ abilities in communication and problem solving, service and leadership within their profession, industry, and higher education.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers advanced study and research opportunities leading to PhD, MS, and MENG degrees. Each student, in cooperation with his or her advisory committee, develops a plan of study including research and course selection appropriate to the student’s individual interests and research needs. Courses include (but are not limited to) topics on: fuel cell systems, nuclear engineering, biomedical topics, acoustics, active materials/smart structures, propulsion, thermodynamics, nanotechnology, automatic controls, rotor dynamics, turbomachinery, fluid dynamics, combustion, heat transfer, finite elements in machine design, and vibrations. Students often take courses from outside the department in mathematics, statistics, and many other disciplines.

The Mechanical Engineering Department also has international collaborations with the Technische Universität Darmstadt for a dual Master of Science degree as well as the 3+2 program with Shandong University in China.  VT undergraduates with high GPAs can also apply for the Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate degree program.  A Nuclear Engineering Graduate Certificate is available for students to pursue, in conjunction with their graduate degree program.

How to Choose An Advisor

Choosing a Graduate Advisor is a personal decision. Each graduate student must confer with the members of the faculty and obtain the agreement of one to serve as the student’s advisor. Students are expected to take the initiative in selecting their advisor. Advisors are not assigned to students; rather, they are determined by mutual agreement between individual students and professors. When a student works as a GRA, the faculty providing the research funding normally serves as the advisor.


To facilitate research, the department has specialized laboratories such as an anechoic chamber, a reverberation room, a gas turbine test cell, a fuel cells systems laboratory, a mechatronics laboratory, a rapid prototyping laboratory, a thermal radiation laboratory, a computer-aided design laboratory, a combustion laboratory, impact biomechanics laboratory, and a laser dynamics imaging laboratory among others. Many of these laboratories support one or more of the eight research centers and the more than 25 laboratory groups within the department.  A list of centers and research groups are listed below, including links to the web sites if available.