Master of Science in Engineering

College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences


Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science


Engineering Building

NAU, PO Box 15600, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5600

928-523-5251 (fax 928-523-2300)  

Graduate Information

The 30-credit Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) is a post-baccalaureate, master’s level graduate degree program which builds upon the commitment of the faculty in NAU’s College of Engineering and Natural Sciences to “integrating research and disciplinary practice fully into opportunities,” while “advancing both individual and collaborative research and scholarship.


The MSE is a degree program built upon the overarching theme of sustainability and engineering design, has a core of common course work, and permits specialization through selection of technical electives and thesis topic. The program allows students to achieve depth in a single discipline or breadth across multiple disciplines. The two emphases of the program are:


The curriculum is designed to facilitate interdisciplinary study on some of the most important issues of our time – sustainability and innovation. The technical rigor and depth of the program will prepare a graduate for continued research, a doctoral program, or for entry into the engineering profession, similar to a graduate from a traditional Masters of Science in an engineering discipline or computer science. The unique aspect of this program is that a graduate will understand the application of their profession in the context of sustainability and/or advanced engineering design. At the heart of the MSE program are faculty and students actively engaged in research and its creative application.


The Sustainable Systems theme focuses on sustaining environmental and built systems with topics related to energy, the natural and built environments, policy and management, and informatics.  Water, air, and energy are the most important aspects of research and applications, and in which there will be an emphasis. Consideration will be given to natural resources, their transformation, transportation, utilization, application, and return to nature.  

The Advanced Engineering Design theme taps into the creative potential of our students and faculty to devise innovative solutions and improve upon existing solutions through technology and talent collaboration. Innovation (e.g., creating new ideas, designing new products, integrating processes, advancing applications, delivering sophisticated services, and introducing new strategies) is of primary importance in determining America’s success through the twenty-first century.  This theme of design and innovation accommodates the many diverse research areas in the engineering and professional programs that are directed towards meeting demand in rapidly-developing interdisciplinary technologies of the 21st century.  


The sustainability and advanced engineering design themes, however, naturally intersect – the methods of design and innovation are a necessary element to the successful development or support of sustainable systems.  Likewise, the principles of sustainability can foster innovation and economic development.  


The MSE curriculum requires 30-credits as described below.  

Except for the core courses, the selection of the elective and math/statistic courses is left to the student in consultation with and acceptable to the student’s graduate committee chair and committee. A maximum of two courses, up to 8-credits, may be at the 400-level. Since the MSE program emphasizes interdisciplinary topics, students may wish to take courses outside of their primary disciplinary focus.  Some of these courses may require prior completion of pre-requisite courses.


The common core represents a unifying vision of guiding future research and engineering applications by the principles of sustainability and methods of advanced engineering design.  The core consists of two courses – one offered each semester – taught by faculty from across the engineering and professional programs in the CENS.  The 3-credit Topics in Sustainable Systems course will provide an introduction to sustainability in the natural environment, energy, and the built environment, and their relationship to engineering, plus ecoinformatics. The 3-credit Topics in Advanced Engineering Design course will examine research methods and techniques for advancing creativity, the role of intellectual property, and emerging design approaches and modeling concepts in engineering such as biomimicry.


Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science or equivalent. Applicants must select one primary disciplinary focus in any of Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science.   The primary disciplinary focus is normally the department (i) where the student intends to take the majority of his/her coursework and (ii) of his/her academic advisor.  If the applicant does not have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in that area, then he/she will be required to complete a pre-MSE course of study in the primary disciplinary focus to achieve equivalency.


For more information about the program, visit the site


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