Jun 19, 2024  
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Mechatronic Systems Engineering

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
446 Engineering Center  (map)
(248) 370-2177 • Fax (248) 370-4633

Brian Dean
446A Engineering Center
(248) 370-2822


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Graduate Catalog Addendum  

Program Description

The Master of Science in mechatronic systems engineering degree program is designed to prepare students for a multi-disciplinary engineering specialty needed in its ever-growing applications in consumer products, manufacturing, transportation systems, security systems, defense systems, aerospace, sports engineering, biomedical systems, and automotive systems. 

It is designed for students with a baccalaureate degree in electrical engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, or robotics who want to strive for a balance of theory and hardware of the electrical and mechanical engineering aspects of robotics systems. A degree in other fields may be acceptable but remedial coursework may be required to overcome deficiencies. It is offered by the ECE and ME departments.

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Oakland University Graduate School by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

  • February 15 (early) April 15 (regular) and July 15 (late) for fall semester
  • October 1 (early) and November 15 (regular) for winter semester
  • March 1 (regular) for summer semester
  • International applicants  

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

  2. Additional department application requirements
  • Requirements for recommendations:
  • Two recommendation forms must be from faculty members of the undergraduate major department or professionals in the field who can evaluate the scholarly achievement and potential of the applicant. These recommendations form an important part of the admission credentials.
  • Applicants must submit official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) if they graduated from an institution not accredited by a regional accrediting agency of the USA. The department may choose to waive the GRE requirement if at least one of the following special circumstances is met:
    • Applicant’s last degree is from a U.S. institution accredited by a regional accrediting agency.
    • Applicant’s overall GPA from last degree is at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    • Applicant has worked in the USA for at least two years in the engineering profession.
    • To request a waiver, applicants must submit a   form to the Graduate School as part of the application packet. The request for waiver is subject to the approval of the Graduate Admissions Committee
  • Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, systems engineering, or an equivalent degree. Or Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Computer Science, or an equivalent degree, and some experience working in a Mechatronic engineering field.
  • Admission to master’s program is selective; applicants should have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or better for regular admission.
  • If the applicant’s undergraduate GPA is between 2.7 and 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, admission with limited standing may be offered. For applicants graduated from an institution not accredited by a regional accrediting agency of the USA, a 70% or better percentile score of the GRE Quantitative Reasoning section is required.
  • Applicants from institutions with which Oakland University has an articulation agreement containing alternative admission criteria will be admitted according to the criteria in that agreement.

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate school at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department. 

Related links

Degree requirements

To fulfill the requirements for a Master of Science degree in mechatronic systems engineering, a student must:

  • Complete at least 32 credits of graduate-level work, of which at least 24 credits must be in approved courses offered by the School of Engineering and Computer Science.
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in courses applied toward the degree.
  • Complete the requirements specified for the program.
  • Satisfy all requirements concerning academic progress.

The degree requirements may be satisfied by taking only coursework. However, a graduate engineering project (ECE/ME 6996) or master’s thesis research (ECE/ME 6998) provides a unique and valuable learning experience in which an individual student works with a faculty member in an area of mutual interest. Therefore, students are encouraged to include such an experience as their program permits.

Students must fulfill the following program requirements to be awarded the Master of Science in mechatronics systems engineering:

Course requirements

a. Core requirements (16 credits)

b. Topical courses (at least 12 credits without thesis option, or at least 8 credits with thesis option)

Students not electing a thesis option are required to choose at least three disciplines from the four listed below, and take at least 4 credits from each. Students electing a thesis option are required to choose at least two disciplines from the four listed below, and take at least 4 credits from each.

Select 4 credits from electrical engineering discipline:

Select 4 credits from the mechanical engineering discipline:

c. Optional elective/independent study/project (4 credits)

Students not electing a thesis option may choose either an elective course or an independent study or a graduate engineering project from the following list.

d. Thesis course (8 credits)

Students electing a thesis option need to select a thesis supervisor and take 8 credits of either ECE 6998 or ME 6998. Successful completion and defense of a thesis is a prerequisite for earning thesis credits. All theses must conform to university standards (see Thesis and Dissertation ).

Courses with asterisk (*)

*     These courses are cross-listed as advanced undergraduate and graduate courses. If completed as a
       4000-level course or equivalent as part of baccalaureate degree, the course may be used to offset
       graduate program requirements. However, credit will not then be awarded and must be earned by
       completion of an approved substitute course.

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Department requirements:

The minimum satisfactory grade for graduate work is B. Credit for completion of a course in the Master of Science program will be given for grades of B- or above but no more than two grades may be B-. Graduate credit will not be awarded for grades below B-. To repeat a course, a student must have the permission of the graduate committee of the school.

All grades received as a graduate student are used in computing the GPA except that, if a course has been repeated, the most recent grade is used in the calculation of the GPA. A graduate student is placed on academic probation if the student’s overall GPA drops below 3.0 or if the student receives more than one grade below B, including the original grade(s) of any repeated course(s). A graduate student receiving a grade less than B while on probation is subject to dismissal. A graduate student receiving more than two grades below B is subject to dismissal whether or not the student was put on probation previously.

In all programs the minimum grade point requirement is an average of at least 3.0. If a student’s GPA is less than 3.0 after having attempted 16 credits, the student will be recommended for dismissal from the program.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Oakland University Graduate School.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility  section of this catalog.)

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.

Course approval

Approval by the master’s degree adviser and the department chair is required for independent study, engineering projects, master’s thesis or special topics courses that are used toward the degree. In addition, approval of the faculty administering the independent study, advising the thesis or project or teaching the special topics course must be obtained before registering for these credits. 

Course credit

Normally, graduate credit is awarded only for courses numbered 5000 or higher. However, up to 4 credits of Oakland University senior-level (4000-4999) courses in the major can be approved for graduate credit by the student’s adviser. With the added approval of the graduate committee of the school, an additional 4 credits of senior-level courses can also be counted toward the required 32 credits. Course credit will not be awarded for work applied toward another degree. Students who have received credit for the 4000-level version of a cross-listed senior/graduate course cannot receive credit toward a graduate degree for the 5000-level version of that course.

No more than 8 thesis or project credits may be used toward the degree requirements. 

Transfer credit

Students transferring from other institutions are allowed to transfer a maximum of 9 credits of graduate coursework with the approval of the department.

Workload and scheduling

Full-time students must register for 8 to 12 credits per semester. Graduate assistants must be full-time students and commit 20 hours per week toward their research or teaching assistantship assignment. Graduate assistants normally register for only 8 credits per semester; however, a 12-credit load can be taken with the approval of the chair of their department.

For the convenience of part-time students employed in industry, courses are arranged in late afternoon and early evening. However, these students should be aware of the very real demands of graduate studies and should keep outside work commitments and their academic load in balance. 

Master’s adviser

The progress of each regular student toward the Master of Science degree is directed by the student’s adviser, a faculty member of the School of Engineering and Computer Science who is assigned at the time of admission. Incoming students seeking the degree are urged to discuss their proposed concentration area with their adviser or other faculty members in that area. Students who wish to change their adviser can do so with the approval of the chair of their department. 

Master’s project or thesis

Although the master’s degree requirements may be satisfied by taking only coursework, either a graduate engineering project (ECE/ME 6996) or a directed master’s thesis research (ECE/ME 6998) may be included as part of the program.

Students electing a thesis option must accumulate a minimum of 8 credits of (ECE/ME 6998). Successful completion and defense of a thesis is a prerequisite for earning thesis credits. Students choosing the thesis option must select an advisory committee, which is composed of at least three faculty members from the School of Engineering and Computer Science. The selection of the committee and the Plan of Study must be approved by the department chair. The chair (major professor) of the advisory committee will direct and guide the research. The student must propose a research topic to the committee for approval; however, a formal presentation of the proposal is not necessary. The completed thesis must conform to university standards (see Thesis and Dissertation ). At the completion of the research and its documentation, the content of the thesis must be publicly presented and defended. Successful defense of the thesis is a prerequisite for earning the research credits.