Online Master's Program Applicants: Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in Purdue's Mechanical Engineering Online Master's Program. Look over the requirements below, and then complete your application online.

  1. Can I apply if my undergrad major is not Mechanical Engineering? We accept students who have an engineering or science bachelor’s degree. Students from majors like Aerospace Engineering, Materials Science Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Math, Physics, etc. are welcome to apply. You should have completed Calculus 1, 2, 3, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Physics 1 and 2. We don’t accept technology or non-science bachelor’s degree applicants.
  2. Is GRE required for application? No. Online program applicants are not required to submit GRE, but on-campus applicants do.
  3. Who is eligible for a TOEFL waiver? If you received your BS degree within the past 36 months from a school where English is the primary instruction language in one of the recognized English-speaking countries, your TOEFL can be waived. Please check the ETS website for recognized English-speaking countries. Please contact Xiaomin Qian after submitted application so she can grant waiver to you. 
  4. Do I have to choose a campus on the application? Yes, please choose Purdue West Lafayette as your program campus. Although you are applying for the online program, courses and degree are offered by West Lafayette campus.
  5. How can I submit recommendation letters? You will be asked to provide your recommenders’ contact information while filling out your online application. The system will send emails asking your recommenders to upload letters for you. You can’t upload letters by yourself. Your application is incomplete until all materials have been received, including recommendation letters.
  6. Where can I get official transcripts? Official transcripts shall come from your university registrar’s office. Please upload a copy of official transcripts from all universities you have attended to the application. Once you have been admitted, you will need to send final official transcripts to the grad school, Grad Admissions, Young Hall, Room 170, 155 S. Grant Street, West Lafayette, IN, 47907-2114. Domestic students can send e-transcripts to .
  7. Do I have to submit a diversity essay? No.
  8. Are there length limitations on resume and statement of purpose? There is no hard limitation on length, but it’s better to keep them within two pages.
  9. Are there research opportunities provided to online MS students? No. Online MS program students are in the non-thesis track.
  10. Do I have to select faculty advisor on the application? No. You can leave it blank. Our grad program associate head will be your faculty advisor by default.
  11. Can I switch to on-campus program later? Switching from online to on-campus is not easy; on-campus graduate programs have specific curriculum requirements, and you will also need to find a professor willing to serve as your thesis advisor. It's possible, but not recommended.
  12. Do I have to take online courses full-time? No. Most of our online program students have a full-time job, and take the courses in their spare time. 1-2 courses each semester is the appropriate course load for them.
  13. Do I have to take courses in summer? No. It’s your decision; though there are very limited grad level engineering courses offered in summer. You can take math/statistics courses in summer if you like.
  14. When am I expected to complete the degree? According to the grad school regulations, you need to complete the MS degree within 5 years.
  15. Can I take courses that can’t be counted in the plan of study? It depends. Please send course name(s) and title to the ME grad office for approval first.
  16. Are there scholarships/assistantships available for online students? No. Funding is only available for on-campus students. Domestic students may apply for financial aid from Purdue Division of Financial Aid.
  17. Can I edit or add new documents to my application after submission? Once you submitted your application, you will not be able to edit it. But you can upload new materials as miscellaneous supporting documents. Please be aware if your application has been reviewed, we will not review it again even if new documents have been added.
  18. Do you do rolling admissions? No, we only review completed applications for the term they are applying for. We will not hold incomplete applications to the future term to review. Please make sure you submitted all required documents for your application.
  19. How long should I wait to get an admission decision? Time frame may vary depending on the application volume. You can login to your application account to check status. Consistent email inquiries will not speed up the decision!
  20. My application has been denied. Can I find out the reasons my application was turned down? Reasons for denial include a number of factors, such as academic qualifications and enrollment limitations. Each application is reviewed and considered based on these factors. Due to the large volume of applications, we are unable to individually respond as to what weakness your application may have had. Admission decisions are final.
  21. What is the deadline to accept online MS program admission? Please accept your admission within 2 weeks after being admitted.
  22. How can I defer my admission? For domestic students, you are allowed not to register courses for two semesters without deferring your admission. For example, you’ve been admitted for Fall 2020, you can wait till Summer 2021 to register. Any term longer than two semesters requires a deferral. For international students, you need to defer admission if cannot enroll in admitted term. Deferral request can be sent to Xiaomin Qian. Each student can only defer admission once. (Please note:  if you request to defer admission, please don’t register for any courses in your originally admitted semester.  Once you register, you are considered an active student in that semester and cannot defer.)
  23. Can I access the same resources as on-campus students? Yes; you can access the same remote resources as on-campus students, including memberships, software downloads, organizations, etc.  However, you would not have access to on-campus benefits like sports facilities or healthcare, since you do not pay the appropriate student fees to access them.
  24. Can I visit the Purdue campus? Ordinarily, yes!  But currently with COVID, the Purdue campus is closed to visitors. Students who are on campus must complete the Protect Purdue Pledge and other requirements to be cleared to be on campus, including a negative COVID test, getting a flu shot, having vaccinations up to date, etc.  You can check the Protect Purdue website, for campus status, student requirements, etc.
  25. Can I tour Purdue research labs? Currently the campus and labs are closed to visitors, and under strict operating protocols. You can contact the administrative assistant at the lab you’re interested in touring, or reach out to faculty members of that lab, to see if tours are available. Most labs have a virtual tour you can take; check out their website. But even in non-COVID times, you should never just show up and expect to walk through someone's lab without a prior appointment being made!

Click here to begin your application!


Contact: Please email all application/admission questions to ME Senior Graduate Program Manager, Xiaomin Qian

ME Graduate Office
585 Purdue Mall (Room 1003)
West Lafayette, IN 47907
(765) 494-5730