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Questions about funding for ME grad schools

  1. Apr 24, 2010 #1
    I don't know about the past, but these days it's very hard for MSME students to get funding, according to what the professors at my school say. However, I have heard that some MS students start off unfunded and then get funding after a semester or two. I was just wondering if anyone here can attest to that? Is that still true these days? Also, if I do my MSME even though I got my BS in physics, and thus, I have to start the MS program by taking some undergrad ME classes before I can take the grad-level courses, am I just as likely to eventually get funding as those who did their undergrad in ME?

    Also, I was wondering how important it is to choose a research area you really like for your thesis, or whether I should just choose to do research for any prof that's willing to fund me or not. How will this affect what kind of job you can find after you complete your MSME? For example, if you do your MS thesis in CFD or aerodynamics, can you still find an R&D job in heat transfer?

    At the school I got admitted to for my MSME, they offer a thesis and non-thesis option. For the non-thesis option, they offer a few options such as completing a project with a professor, and funding may be available for that depending on the prof
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2010 #2


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    I decided to do an MSME after finishing my bachelor's; I rolled the dice with a random professor doing something called MEMS - for me, a totally new field. A couple years later, I used my microfabrication experience to start working with a medical implant startup, which then led to medical device testing and further graduate work in materials science.

    Funding arrangements are different at every school, so you really need to talk to the department administrators and students to find out the real deal. In general, though, you should expect to get a salary and a full tuition stipend in a research MSME program. Try to find a (funded) position that appeals to you, since your career will probably be influenced somewhat by your project selection. (After all, when you graduate, your best job options will be in the field you just a couple years immersed in.) Even if you're not in love with a particular project at first sight, though, a funded research position beats self-funding graduate school by far. So don't be too anxious about choosing the perfect program, since it's only for a year or two (I wouldn't give the same advice to incoming PhD students, who have to stay motivated about their work for >4 years).
  4. Apr 24, 2010 #3
    I've mostly talked to the professors and student affairs officers, and they said that its not uncommon for MSME students to get funding after a semester or two. I've talked to maybe 2 MSME grad students, and they said that they know mostly phD students and not MS students, but guess that most MSME grad students don't get funded. Should I talk to more MSME grad students about this?

    There's a few professors that seem to do interesting research, but they don't have any research openings at the moment or in the near future. One professor was able to fund me, but it was primarily an experimental position whereas I want to do primarily numerical/computational work. Not to mention the research topic wasn't interesting either
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