5.1 Master of Science Degree Requirements (Plan II)

This Plan is the common master’s degree plan in our department; very rarely do students choose to complete Plan I.  The primary differences between Plan II and Plan I is Plan II requires 24 units (see below for details) and an Oral Presentation and Report, while Plan I requires 20 units and a Thesis (see Section 5.2 for details).


Normative Time


1.5 years or 3 semesters


Minimum Number of Units To Complete Degree


24 Semester Units

Course Restriction: Must be either in 200 series or 100 elective upper division series.  At most, one third of the total units of course work may be taken S/U


Minimum Number of Mechanical Engineering Units


12 Semester Units
Course Restriction:  Must be in 200 series and letter-graded with the exception of the optional 4 units of ME 299 that can be included in the 12


Minimum Units To Be Registered Each Semester


Students must enroll in 15 units each semester.


Maximum Amount of Independent Study Units (298, 299, 300 And Above)


The maximum units in which you can enroll per semester are listed below.

  • 298s: 8 units
  • 299s: 12 units
  • 300s: 6 units

Please note that only 4 units of 299 can be counted towards the 24 unit total requirement. 


Minimum Required Number of Units in Major Field Area (ex.  Bioeng, Controls, Etc.)


12 Semester units
Course Restriction:  Must be in 200 or 100
elective upper division series


Residency, Minimum GPA, and P/NP & S/U


To be eligible to receive the Master’s degree, the student must complete at least two semesters in residency and undertake the total coursework units defined for the program, earning a CGPA of at least 3.0.  Only courses with a C- or better can count towards graduate requirements.


Please note that only 1/3 of your unit total at the time of graduation may be pass/not pass or satisfactory/unsatisfactory.  Please note that to earn a “pass” or a “satisfactory” grade in a graduate course you need a grade of B- or better.


Maximum Number of Units You Can Transfer Towards Your Master’s Degree


A master's student may transfer up to 4 semester units or 6 quarter units of course work completed as a graduate student at another institution.  The units must be equivalent to courses in the student's graduate program at Berkeley, and the student must have received at least a B in the course(s) and have a grade-point average of at least 3.3 at both Berkeley and the other institution.  However, students cannot use units from another institution to satisfy the minimum unit requirement in 200 series courses or the minimum academic residence requirement.  In addition, they may not present course work previously used to satisfy requirements for another degree program at Berkeley or at another institution. 


Berkeley undergraduates who take graduate course work during their last undergraduate semester may petition to backdate graduate standing in order to receive graduate credit for that course work.  Graduate standing may be backdated from the last semester, and students may petition for credit only for the course work that was not required for the undergraduate degree. 


All petitions to have units transferred must be first approved by the Vice-Chair for Graduate Study, then forwarded to Graduate Division.  Detailed restrictions can be found in Graduate Division's Guide to Graduate Policy.


Advancement to Candidacy


Before you can receive a Master's degree, you must first be Advanced to Candidacy.  The opportunity for this occurs during the first four (4) weeks of each semester.  By Academic Senate regulation, a minimum period of study of one term must intervene between formal advancement to candidacy and the conferring of the master's degree. 


Please complete the Application for Candidacy for Master's Degree Form and bring it to 6189 Etcheverry Hall for processing. 


Filing Your Master's Report (Plan II)


After you have written your report, formatted it correctly, assembled the pages into the correct organization, and obtained your signatures, you are ready to file your report (Plan II).  The steps are as follows:


  1. Convert your report to a standard PDF file. 
  2. Complete, sign, and convert the Library Permission Form to a standard PDF file.  Each student filing a master's report must also submit a completed library permission form, stating whether or not the student is willing to allow the University Library to supply copies of the report to any interested persons immediately, or if permission to do so should be withheld (for up to two years) while the student applies to obtain copyright.
  3. Log on your account on the College of Engineering Student Progress Summary Database webpage.
  4. Under "Document Type", select "Library Permission".
  5. Under "Upload File", click on "Choose file" to browse and navigate through your computer to locate and select your signed library permission form.  You should see your file name displayed near the menu "Choose File".
  6. Click on "submit" at the bottom of your summary page.  Once your file is successfully uploaded, you will see it on the page.
  7. Repeat the same procedure to upload your Master's Report.


Note: DO NOT SUBMIT A DRAFT.  Once your report has been submitted, you will not be allowed to make changes.  Be sure that it is in its final form and the cover-page is signed by the committee members!


Please note that all documents should be submitted together (e.g.  signed Report and the signed Library Permission Form).  The Graduate Student Services Office will not accept lone signature pages.  You must submit your electronic report before 4:00 P.M.  on the indicated deadline date listed on the Graduate Division's website.


Oral Presentation and Final Report (Plan II)


An oral presentation and a written report are required.  2 Faculty are required to be present.  At least one needs to be from the MS Committee.  All committee members are required to be members of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate.


Degree Committee Members


Two committee members are needed for the report:


  • -Your Research Advisor
  • -ME Professor or Professor outside the ME department


  • -At least one committee members must be from ME
  • -Both members must also be members of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate