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Master of Science in Applied Mechanics




What will I learn?

The degree of Master of Science in applied mechanics is only awarded to students who do not already have an M.S. degree in applied mechanics. The degree will be awarded upon request by students who have fulfilled the requirements. Only in exceptional cases is there admission to the M.S. program as the final degree objective.

A minimum of 138 units of courses numbered 100 or above, that meet the required master's program listed below, must be passed with a grade of at least C for completion of the master's degree in applied mechanics. All units must be taken for grades, except for courses offered only on a pass/fail basis. The M.S. degree in applied mechanics is typically completed within the first two years of residency at Caltech.

Each student's program must be approved by the advisor and option representative in mechanical and civil engineering before registering for the course.

Aim and Scope

Applied Mechanics (AM) research and study are offered through the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering (MCE). The degrees of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master of Science (M.S.) are offered. The M.S. degree is normally only awarded to students who expect to pursue the Ph.D. degree in applied mechanics and who do not already have an M.S. degree in applied mechanics. In general, students who intend to work full-time toward the Ph.D. degree as a final degree objective are admitted to the applied mechanics graduate program.

The aim of the graduate program in applied mechanics at Caltech is to prepare students for research and professional practice in an era of rapidly advancing interdisciplinary technology. The program combines individual depth of experience and competence in a particular chosen major specialty, with a strong background in the basic and engineering sciences. It strives to develop professional independence, creativity, leadership, and the capacity for continuing professional and intellectual growth.


  • Graduate applied mechanics core (45 units). These units should provide a solid base for the student's engineering interest. The courses should be selected from the core subjects list Areas 1-3 of the applied mechanics Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Description and Requirements section.
  • Mathematics, engineering, and research electives (63 units). Students who have not taken the equivalent of ACM 100 abc are required to take ACM 100 abc for 36 units. Research up to a maximum of 27 units.
  • Free electives (27 units). These units may be selected from any course with a number of 100 or greater, except that research units may not be included.
  • Graduate Engineering Seminar, AM/CE/ME 150 abc (3 units).

Which department am I in?

Division of Engineering and Applied Science

Study options

Full Time (A minimum of 138 units of courses numbered 100 or above)

Tuition fees
US$56,364.00 per year
Under current Internal Revenue Code stipends are subject to income tax, but the tuition portion of an award is not taxable. This fee is for 2021-2022 and it may subject to change for the coming year.
Start date

Expected September 2023


Division of Engineering and Applied Science

1200 East California Blvd,



91125, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree or the equivalent before beginning graduate study.

For international students

Applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree or the equivalent before beginning graduate study.

Applicants whose native language is not English and those who have had no formal instruction in English will be required to take a test to evaluate English proficiency. Please refer to "Required Tests" for a list of the GRE reporting requirements and the English proficiency exams currently accepted. The admissions committee may also consider research papers, publications and other original work.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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