Materials (Certificate)

Materials (Certificate)

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The Certificate in Materials program is a professional-oriented program designed for individuals who possess at least one degree in engineering or closely-related field and desire additional specialized training in an area of mechanical engineering. The certificate program makes available to working professionals valuable advanced training and professional development. The program is structured so that current employees can enhance skills relevant to employers’ needs without leaving for training.
This is a twelve hour program consisting of four graduate courses. Most of the graduate courses are offered during the evening, which is convenient for working professionals. The number of courses offered may vary per semester. Students receive a certificate upon completion of four graduate courses in a chosen area from the mechanical engineering graduate courses’ list with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Admission Requirements

Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at There is no application fee.

Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to or mailed to:

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
The Graduate College
Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
1201 W. University Drive
Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

*Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB/TSC, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

Review and submit all Program Requirements:

  • Bachelor's  degree  in  Mechanical  Engineering  from  a  regionally accredited institution in the United States or a recognized international equivalent in a similar or related field.
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).
  • Three  letters  of  recommendation  from  professional  or  academic sources attesting to the applicant’s academic potential and capability for performing graduate-level work in mechanical engineering.
  • Letter of Intent detailing professional goals and reasons for pursing this degree.
  • Resume.

Students whose native  language is not English  or  who studied at a University outside the U.S.:

  • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
  • Certified English translation of educational records.


  • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.

Program Contact

Program Coordinator: Dr. Horacio Vasquez

Phone: (956) 665-7419

Office: Edinburg Campus, ENGR 3260




Applications will be accepted year round and prospective students are encouraged to apply at least 2 months before classes start to ensure a timely application review.  Applying early will also give prospective students the best opportunity to be considered for scholarships and other possible funding opportunities.


  • This program only admits applicants during Fall and Spring semesters.
  • Students admitted only to a Certificate Program are not eligible to obtain a Student Visa from UTRGV.

Tuition Estimate

Residency Per 3-Credit Hour Course Semester (9-Credit Hours) Total Estimated Cost
Texas Resident $1,481.39 $3,894.17 $5,925.56
Non-Resident/International $2,708.39 $7,575.17 $10,833.56

*We estimate that tuition and fees will closely approximate the rates shown above; however, rates are subject to change. Please note that the rates above are estimated for on-campus students and those enrolled in 16-week online programs. The rate is different for Accelerated Online Programs (AOP). Visit the tuition and fees page for detailed information.

Course Requirements

Required Courses 12
Chosen from the following:
MECE 6310: Intermediate Engineering Analysis 3
MECE 6316: Advanced Materials Engineering 3
MECE 6317: Corrosion Engineering 3
MECE 6319: Thin Films Surface Engineering 3
MECE 6320: Fracture Mechanics 3
MECE 6321: Intermediate Composite Material Design 3
MECE 6322: Ceramic Materials Engineering 3
MECE 6323: Polymer Processing 3
MECE 6324: Viscoelasticity Theory 3
MECE 6325: Composite Structures Engineering 3
MECE 6326: Polymer Engineering 3
MECE 6327: Intermediate Nanotechnology 3
MECE 6328: Spectroscopic Techniques 3
MECE 6362: Finite Element Analysis 3
MECE 6399: Topics in Mechanical Engineering 3
Total graduate hours for certificate: 12

Course Descriptions

MECE 6310: Intermediate Engineering Analysis               [3‐0]

Topics include vector algebra, coordinate systems, vector differential calculus, vector integral calculus, tensor analysis and applications, calculus of variations, and variational analysis.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6316: Advanced Materials Engineering              [3‐0]

Course provides an overview, at the graduate level, of the broad area of materials engineering. Major topics include analytical and spectroscopic techniques of use to the engineer and kinetics of nucleation and growth as applied to polymers, metals, and ceramics. The physics and applications of electronic, thermal, and optical properties of materials are explored and tools and techniques for phase diagrams of binary, ternary, and quaternary systems are covered.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

MECE 6317: Corrosion Engineering              [3‐0]

The corrosion phenomena are complex due to the coexistence of electrochemical, metallurgical, biological and environmental parameters which can act at the surfaces. The Corrosion Engineering course will provide an understanding of the mechanisms of corrosion, characterization of the process, protection by coatings and lifetime prediction. The fundamentals of thermodynamics and kinetic concepts will be used to describe destructive chemical interactions of materials with their environment. Particular emphasis will be placed on the identification and solution of practical corrosion problems in real engineering situations.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6319: Thin Films Surface Engineering              [3‐0]

Techniques and processes of thin film deposition and surface treatment; Vacuum science and technology; Fundamental processes occurring during thin film deposition (adsorption, surface diffusion, nucleation, and microstructure development); major thin film deposition processes: evaporation, sputtering, chemical and the coating systems; Testing, characterization and applications of novel thin films (precision mechanical engineering, electronic devices, aerospace industries).

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6320: Fracture Mechanics              [3‐0]

Development of the tools of linear and nonlinear fracture mechanics with coverage of theoretical considerations. The primary focus of the course is applications of tools to solution of practical problems in fracture prediction and failure analysis. Significant attention is paid to the phenomenology of fracture in metals, polymers, ceramics and composites.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6321: Intermediate Composite Material Design              [3‐0]

An introduction to the theory of mechanics of solids for elastic and viscoelastic composite materials. Emphasis on analysis and design of structural laminate composite including failure mechanism, e.g., fatigue, delamination and dynamics of composites including effective moduli and material damping.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6322: Ceramic Materials Engineering              [3‐0]

A survey of the fundamental properties of ceramic and glass materials which are utilized in electronic, electro‐optic, thermal and mechanical systems. Includes an introduction to the manufacturing processes specific to ceramics with an emphasis on their interaction with the design process. Probabilistic design schemes for mechanical components are covered and students perform a detailed component or process design. Several laboratory demonstrations and assignments are included.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6323: Polymer Processing              [3‐0]

Course designed to provide fundamental understanding of polymer processing techniques. The course presents information that relates the thermo‐physical, mechanical and rheological properties of polymeric materials with particular processing techniques. Manufacturing polymer processes such as mixing, extrusion, injection molding, calendering, fiber spinning and processes related to nanoreinforced polymer fabrication are studied. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6324: Viscoelasticity Theory              [3‐0]

Introduction to the mathematical theory of linear viscoelasticity with a focus on solution of real problems. Coverage of transform techniques, numerical models, design of viscoelastic components and experimental determination of viscoelastic constitutive relations.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6325: Composite Structures Engineering              [3‐0]

The course is devoted to the theory and/or analysis of composite materials (i.e. composite laminates) and structures in particular. The principles and method for the analysis and design of structural components, from micromechanics through macromechanics to structural analysis, are presented along with the discussion of how these theories may be used in practical design problems.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6326: Polymer Engineering              [3‐0]

Introductory course designed to provide a polymer materials science background to engineering students that will enable them to design polymer components.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6327: Intermediate Nanotechnology              [3‐0]

Course designed to introduce fundamental nanotechnology and nanoscience aspects as well as to study a variety of technologies and potential applications that fall under the nanotech umbrella. The nanotechnology revolution provides an opportunity for the students to foster creative thinking given the vast potential in the area. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6328: Spectroscopic Techniques              [3‐0]

Course designed to introduce students to spectroscopic techniques used in the identification of organic compounds. Techniques such as mass spectrometry, infrared, wave dispersive spectrometry, x‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy and elemental dispersive spectroscopy will be studied. Students will have an opportunity to get practical experience in operating some of the studied techniques.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

MECE 6362: Finite Element Analysis              [3‐0]

An introduction to the theory of finite element methods, with application to stress analysis, natural frequency extraction and heat transfer. Strategies for meshing and applying boundary conditions are also examined. Existing codes are used for determining finite element solutions.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6399: Topics in Mechanical Engineering              [3‐0]

In‐depth study of specific areas in mechanical engineering. Subject matter varies from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit when subject matter changes. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

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