Thermal Fluid Science (Certificate)

Thermal Fluid Science (Certificate)

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The Certificate in Thermal Fluid Science 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 6341: Modeling of Physical Systems 3
MECE 6362: Finite Element Analysis 3
MECE 6372: Viscous Flow I 3
MECE 6373: Viscous Flow II 3
MECE 6375: Engineering Acoustics 3
MECE 6379: Gas Dynamics 3
MECE 6380: Combustion Engineering 3
MECE 6384: HVAC System Design 3
MECE 6385: Thermal Systems 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 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 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 6372: Viscous Flow I              [3‐0]

Course is aimed towards familiarizing the student with the properties of a fluid, viscous flow phenomena and the fundamental equations of compressible viscous flow, such as the conservation of mass and momentum equations and the energy equation. Solutions to some of the most common Newtonian viscous flow equations, such as the Couette and Poiseuille flows and some unsteady duct flows will also be explored. Laminar boundary layers will be studied in detail.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6373: Viscous Flow II              [3‐0]

This course is a continuation of MECE 6372 Viscous Flow I. Coverage begins with a detailed study of laminar boundary layers, a select few boundary‐layer solutions and two finite‐ difference approaches will be presented. Stability theory and the latest engineering predictions of laminar to turbulent transition will be examined. Incompressible turbulent mean flow and turbulence modeling will be explored.

Prerequisites: MECE 6372 or equivalent and graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6375: Engineering Acoustics              [3‐0]

Course is designed to develop an understanding of the fundamentals of acoustics, such as traveling waves in one‐ and two‐dimensions, the derivation and nature of the fundamental fluid acoustic equations, the phenomena associated with reflection, transmission, radiation, reception, absorption and attenuation of sound, and the phenomena associated with cavities and waveguides, including sound propagation in pipes, resonators and filters.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6379: Gas Dynamics              [3‐0]

This course is designed to provide a fundamental understanding and a cohesive picture of compressible flow from a modern perspective which is supportive mixture of classical analysis along with computational techniques. This course covers the basics of one‐dimensional compressible flow, integral forms of conservation equations for inviscid flow, shocks and expansion waves, unsteady wave motion and linearized flow.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6380: Combustion Engineering              [3‐0]

The topics covered in this course include: role of combustion in energy, environment and fire problems, thermodynamics of combustion (thermochemistry), fuels (gas, liquid, solid), chemical kinetics, combustion of gaseous and vaporized fuels (flames), combustion of liquid fuels, combustion of solid fuels, pollutant emissions, and modern measurements.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6384: HVAC System Design              [3‐0]

Heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration is a specific application of the principles of thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid mechanics to the design and analysis of systems that maintain the environmental conditions of controlled space. An emphasis is placed on the practical application of principles to design and analysis of HVAC systems in building and the use of HVAC software.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in engineering.

MECE 6385: Thermal Systems              [3‐0]

Modeling and simulating the steady‐state and dynamic thermal behavior of components and systems; advanced modeling of properties; and optimization applied to the design of thermal systems.

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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