Frequently asked questions




Graduating Students

Non-Matriculated Study

Where are the Department's offices?

The Mechanical Engineering Department's main office is housed in the Innovative Technology Complex (ITC) in the Engineering and Science Building on 85 Murray Hill Road, Vestal, NY in the 1300s suite.

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How do I apply to the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Program?

The University's application process for undergraduate students is fairly straightforward. The University's application forms are available online. Forms can be printed and submitted via mail or application can be made online.

Undergraduate Admissions Office
Binghamton University
PO Box 6001
Binghamton, NY 13902-6001

If you have questions, feel free to contact the Watson School Student Services Office at 607-777-6203.

Application Codes - When completing the University's application forms, the following codes are used to represent the Watson undergraduate programs.

  • 0268 Mechanical Engineering

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Can I transfer into the Undergraduate Program?

Yes - The University's application process for transfer undergraduate students is fairly straightforward. Application forms are available online. Forms can be printed and submitted via mail or applications can be made online.

Undergraduate Admissions Office
Binghamton University
PO Box 6001
Binghamton, NY 13902-6001

If you have questions, feel free to contact the Watson School Student Services Offices (Phone  607-777-6203 ).

Application Codes - In completing the University's application forms, the following codes are used to represent the Watson undergraduate programs.

  • 0268 Mechanical Engineering

After a transfer student is approved for admission into the Watson School, the content of courses that he or she has taken is evaluated and converted into the appropriate Watson School major. This process takes place before the student arrives for orientation. A two-year Associate of Science in Engineering science degree, or equivalent work, will transfer in as 60 credit package and junior-level status.

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Where do I learn about degree requirements?

Degree requirements are outlined in the University Bulletin. More general information can be found on this web site for both undergraduate and graduate programs.

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What if I want to visit the Watson School?

You're encouraged to visit the campus if you are interested in attending the Watson School. You are welcome to join group information sessions and student-guided tours of the campus held on most weekdays and selected Saturdays during the academic year. These sessions cover general information about admissions, academic and campus life, housing and the surrounding community. We encourage you to phone 607-777-2171 at least one week in advance of to be sure that a session will be scheduled for the day that you choose to visit.

Each fall the Admissions Office and individual Binghamton University schools host an open house for all interested potential applicants and their families.  Each spring open houses are offered for all admitted freshmen and their families. These events provide general campus information as well as focused sessions on the Watson School, with the opportunity to meet faculty and staff representing your intended major. Check out the visiting campus section of the University's website for more information about visiting our campus.

Students interested in master's or doctoral studies at the Watson School should view our video on what makes a graduate education at Binghamton University so outstanding.

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How do I apply for undergraduate studies?

For everything that you ever wanted to know about undergraduate admission, visit our Undergraduate Admissions website.

What is the total number of credits that can be used toward the matriculated status?

If a non-matriculated student seeks admission to a degree or certificate program with the intention of applying some of the student's non-matriculated course credits to the degree or certificate, then it is the student's responsibility to apply to the degree or certificate program in a timely way. At most, 12 non-matriculated credits will be applied to the degree program and 8 credits to the certificate program.

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How do I apply for graduate school?

For more information on how to apply for graduate studies, visit the Graduate School's website, and you are encouraged to check the special FAQ - Graduate section below.

FAQ for Prospective Graduate Students

How do I apply to the Mechanical Engineering Graduate program?

We accept applications to our graduate program on a rolling basis. Suggested submission deadlines are February 1 for fall; November 1 for spring and March 1 for summer admission. International applicants should submit materials at least two weeks earlier.

A complete application packet includes:

  • application and application fee
  • official transcripts
  • two letters of recommendation
  • personal statement
  • official Graduate Record Examination (GRE test scores)
  • additional requirements for international students: Certification of sufficient funds and
    TOEFL score for all international students whose native language is not English

Non-matriculated Students - It is possible to take graduate courses without applying to a graduate degree program. An application is required, and there is a $25 fee. Proof of baccalaureate degree in the form of a final, official transcript is required by the Graduate School. The attached file (.pdf,53)kb (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader - get free download) must be completed and submitted to the Graduate School. Applications are accepted during the registration periods for the semester of course offering (see academic calendar for registration dates).

Distance Delivery: Even if you are unable to come to the University for classes, you might consider taking graduate courses through the Watson School's EngiNet distance learning program.

To request an application or apply online, visit the Binghamton University Graduate School website. A non-refundable fee of $60 for electronic and $75 for paper applications should accompany your application.

For more information about graduate admissions to Binghamton University, contact:

Graduate Admissions Office
Binghamton University
P.O. Box 6000
Binghamton, New York 13902-6000
Phone:  (607) 777-2234

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Is graduate admission ultimately decided by the Graduate School or by the department? And do I need to send one package of application materials to the grad school and another to the department separately when I apply?

The department decides. You should send only one package directly to the Graduate School, which will organize the application materials and send them to us.

What are the exam requirements for international students? What is an acceptable TOEFL or IELTS score?

Exam requirements and acceptable scores for international students can be found on the Graduate School website.

I'm an international student, but I will be receiving an undergraduate degree from a U.S. school. Am I required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores?

The TOEFL/IELTS score is not required if you have received a degree from a U.S. institution or if you have received a degree from an institution in a country whose native language is English.

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What proportion of the TOEFL and GRE scores do you take into consideration during the admission process. Are they decisive?

All factors are taken into consideration, including TOEFL and GRE scores. Strength in other areas can compensate for low test scores. There are minimum required TOEFL scores. Although there is no firm minimum required score on the GRE, successful applicants typically have a score of 700 or higher on the Quantitative part of the GRE. Slightly lower scores may be accepted if the applicant is strong in other aspects (e.g., good course grades and/or strong research experience).

Is GPA a decisive factor? Will you even consider an applicant whose GPA is below your requirement?

All factors are taken into consideration, including GPA. Strength in other areas can compensate for low GPA. We pay particular attention to your academic performance in the key courses in Mechanical Engineering; grades in junior-level and senior-level courses tend to be weighted most heavily.

Do you consider the reputation of applicant's undergraduate university? Is it important?

Yes, it is important and we consider the reputation of an applicant's undergraduate university

What kind of applicant background is competitive? High test scores, research experiences or something else?

It is difficult to isolate a single factor; they are all important.

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What percentage of your students are international students?

Roughly 60 percent are international students.

What about the financial aid for master's students? As far as I know, few master's students can get financial support.

Some master's students can receive financial support, usually as a teaching assistant (TA), and sometimes as a research project assistant (RPA). Exceptional academic performance, high test scores and research experience can increase your chances of receiving support.

What about the job opportunities after graduation?

Job opportunities depend heavily on many external factors (e.g., the economy, the particular area of specialization, the student's job search skills, etc.) so it is hard to give precise information on this. Graduates from our master's and PhD programs have been successful getting job offers from both large and small employers throughout the U.S. For additional information, consider conducting an Internet search or contacting the Mechanical Engineering Program's Director of Graduate Studies Junghyun Cho.

Can I take a graduate course while I am an undergraduate student?

Undergraduate students who are within eight credits of graduation may register up to two graduate-level courses and receive graduate credit, provided the graduate courses are not used to meet the undergraduate degree requirements. When graduate courses are not taken with the intent of fulfilling undergraduate requirements, such graduate hours do not count toward full-time status for financial aid purposes.

To receive graduate credit for such courses, the undergraduate student must complete the Petition to Receive Graduate Credits as an Undergraduate form (available from the Registrar or the Graduate School). This form is then filed with the Registrar and the Student Accounts Office before registration.

While graduate courses taken by undergraduates (and not used to meet undergraduate degree requirements) will appear on the undergraduate transcript, these courses are not counted toward the undergraduate degree or used in the calculation of the final GPA. The credits may be counted toward the graduate degree.

An exception to these policies is made for undergraduate students admitted to combined bachelors/masters degree programs.

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When do I use the yellow "Independent Study Registration" form?

Use this form to register for independent study courses, including:

  • Undergraduate Research (499)
  • Internship (594)
  • Project (595, 598)
  • Thesis (599)
  • Pre-dissertation and dissertation (698, 699)
  • Other independent study (497, 597, 697)
  • Continuous registration (700)
  • Assistantship credit (701), for TA, GA, and RPA only

Independent Study can be registered any time, beginning with the pre-registration period, and running through the sixth week of classes. Note that the registration deadlines (e.g. the "Add / Drop" deadline for course registration) do not apply to independent study, which can be freely added, dropped or changed, up until (approximately) the sixth week of classes.

To register for Independent Study, you must submit a completed Independent Study Registration Form (a "yellow form"), signed by you faculty adviser. This form is submitted to your department office, where it will be processed.

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I am a BU student, do I need to submit GRE & TOEFL scores?

GRE and TOEFL scores are waived for current and former BU students. After you apply and pay your application fee, contact the department so a notation can be added to your application decision screen showing scores are to be waived.

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When does the fall application process start?

We begin looking at fall applications in November of the previous year. Deadline for funding consideration would be in January.

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Last Updated: 3/11/16