Mechanics and Design (Certificate)

Mechanics and Design (Certificate)

Apply Now Print Page

The Certificate in Mechanics and Design 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 pursuing 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 6331: Intermediate Dynamics of Mechanical Systems 3
MECE 6332: Intermediate Mechanical Vibrations 3
MECE 6333: Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos 3
MECE 6334: Modeling MEMS and NEMS 3
MECE 6335: Orthopedic Biomechanics 3
MECE 6341: Modeling of Physical Systems 3
MECE 6342: Modern Control Systems 3
MECE 6343: Digital Control Systems 3
MECE 6344: Nonlinear Control Systems 3
MECE 6360: Advanced Mechanics of Materials 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 6331: Intermediate Dynamics of Mechanical Systems              [3‐0]

Intermediate dynamics, including Newton‐ Euler, Lagrange, and Hamilton’s principles; gyroscopic effects in mechanical systems; analysis of stability of systems; numerical simulation.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6332: Intermediate Mechanical Vibrations              [3‐0]

An examination of linear, multi‐degree of freedom and continuous vibratory systems, both conservative and non‐conservative. Free and forced vibration problems using generalized coordinates are also examined.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6333: Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos              [3‐0]

This course covers the essentials of nonlinear dynamics and chaos in mechanical engineering. Topics include: Principles of dynamics, principle of virtual work, Hamilton principle, Lagrange equations, continuous systems applications. Nonlinear models and nonlinear phenomena. One‐degree‐of‐freedom systems, qualitative analysis, equilibrium, stability, limit cycles, bifurcation, chaos, strange attractors and fractals; quantitative analysis, approximate asymptotic techniques; conservative systems, nonconservative systems, forced systems, subharmonic and superharmonic resonances, parametrically excited systems. Finite‐degree‐ of‐freedom systems, free oscillations of gyroscopic systems, forced oscillations of quadratic or cubic nonlinear systems, parametrically excited systems. Nonlinear continuous systems, beams, strings, plates. Experimental nonlinear dynamics and chaotic vibrations. Utilization of MATLAB in mechanical engineering applications related to nonlinear dynamics and chaos.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6334: Modeling MEMS and NEMS              [3‐0]

This course covers modeling and analysis of microelectromechanical and nanoelectromechanical systems. Topics include: introduction; continuum mechanics: hear conduction, elasticity, linear thermo elasticity, fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, numerical methods; scaling; thermally driven systems; modeling elastic structures; beans, membranes, plates; modeling coupled thermal‐elastic systems; modeling electrostatic‐elastic systems: membranes, beams, plates; modeling magnetically actuated systems: micro fluidics; and nonlinear dynamics of MEMS and NEMS.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6335: Orthopedic Biomechanics              [3‐0]

This course covers the following topics: loads and motion in the musculoskeletal system; tissue mechanics; structural analysis; bone‐ implant systems; total hip replacements; total knee replacements; articulating surfaces; introduction to and utilization of computational packages in orthopedic biomechanics;computer aided design of implants; and finite element analysis.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6341: Modeling of Physical Systems              [3‐0]

This course reviews principles that govern the behavior of dynamic systems and introduces lumped‐parameter methods for building mathematical models and simulations of engineering systems. An energetic approach based on bond graph techniques, invented in 1959 by Henry M. Paytner, is introduced and used to model, simulate and analyze mechanical, electrical, magnetic electromechanical, hydraulic and thermal systems. Advanced topics include nonlinear mechanics, Lagrange’s Equations and distributed‐parameter systems.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6342: Modern Control Systems              [3‐0]

This course is an introduction to state variable methods for design and analysis of control systems. Concepts including controllability, observability, calculus of variations, linear quadratic regulator, optimal control, Lyapunov stability criteria and Pontryagin’s Minimum Principle are covered for discrete‐ and continuous‐time systems.

Prerequisites: MECE 6341 or equivalent and graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6343: Digital Control Systems              [3‐0]

This course presents the theory of digital control systems required to design, simulate and implement a control strategy using computers and discrete data manipulation. The development of microprocessors, microcontrollers and digital signal processors allow taking sampled data measurements of the system output and compute a feedback control signal to make decisions and generate a desired system performance. Digital control systems are highly flexible, can implement complex control strategies and are easily reprogrammable. Analysis and design tools will be studied for the design of digital controllers. MATLAB/Simulink will be used to design and simulate the digital controllers.

Prerequisites: MECE 6341 or equivalent and graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6344: Nonlinear Control Systems              [3‐0]

This course is meant to be an introduction to advanced nonlinear control methods including variable structure systems, feedback linearization and sliding mode control. It covers methods of stability analysis and controller design of nonlinear controls. The course will review such topics as phase‐plane analysis and Lyapunov Stability Criteria and advanced topics including adaptive control methods.

Prerequisites: MECE 6341 or equivalent and graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6360: Advanced Mechanics of Materials              [3‐0]

The topics covered in this course include: theory of elasticity, principles of stress and strain, inelastic material behavior, applications of energy methods, bending and torsion of general cross‐sections, curved beams, elastic and inelastic stability of columns and flat plates.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

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.

program page footer