The 5th Year Masters Program is open only to UC Berkeley undergraduates who have majored in Mechanical Engineering, the Mechanical Engineering/Nuclear Engineering Joint Program, or the Mechanical Engineering/Materials Science & Engineering Joint Program. Graduates earn a Master of Science degree.
The program allows students to broaden their educational experiences at Berkeley by allowing them to expand their knowledge of the major and also take a portion of their courses outside of their major. Specifically, the latter can come from the following categories:
- Department of Mathematics
- Department of Statistics
- Biological Sciences
- Physical Sciences
- School of Information
- School of Business
- School of Public Policy
A strong priority is given to courses that are technical in nature. Other courses can be petitioned to the Vice Chair through the MechE Student Services Office.
In contrast to a more traditional engineering masters degree, its requirements are solely coursework and an oral comprehensive exam; it does not have a research component, and it is a two-semester degree (traditional masters are usually 3-4 semesters). Extensions on normative time (i.e. two semesters) will not be given on the basis of research or outside work/internships for this program. This two-semester program is not intended for applicants that desire to continue to the PhD; such individuals are advised to apply directly to the MS/PhD or PhD program. However, graduates of this program are free to apply to PhD programs elsewhere as it is the exact same degree as a traditional master’s.