Graduate Certificate in Composite Material and Structures

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Program Description   |   Curriculum   |   Course Descriptions
Admission Requirements   |   Graduate Degrees

Program Description:

The composite materials and structures graduate certificate program is intended for engineers working in areas related to design, manufacture and development of composite material structures. The program enables working professionals to enhance their knowledge and keep current with technological changes in the area of composites. Earning a graduate certificate in composite materials and structures not only provide students the opportunity to strengthen their academic background, but also offer the possibility of pursuing an MS degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering at Missouri S&T.

Top of Page

Admission Requirements:

The graduate certificate program is open to all individuals holding a BS degree in an appropriate engineering discipline and who have a minimum of two years of professional experience, or are currently accepted into a graduate degree program in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

The certificate program consists of four courses. In order to receive a graduate certificate, the student must have an average graduate cumulative grade point of 3.0 or better in the certificate courses taken.

Students admitted to the certificate program will have non-degree graduate status but will earn graduate credit for the courses they complete. If the four-course sequence approved by the graduate adviser is completed with a grade of B or better in each of the courses taken, the student will be admitted to the MS degree program in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering, if they apply. The certificate courses taken by students admitted to the program will count toward their master's degrees.

Once admitted to the program, a student will be given three years to complete the program as long as a B average is maintained in the courses taken.

Top of Page


Students enrolled in the graduate certificate program will take the following four courses offered by the mechanical and aerospace engineering graduate degree programs. Alternative courses may be substituted with department approval dependent on the availability of the courses listed below.


  • MECH ENG/AERO ENG 5236: Fracture Mechanics
  • MECH ENG/AERO ENG 5282: Introduction to Composite Materials and Structures
  • MECH ENG/AERO ENG 6284: Mechanics of Laminated Composite Structures

Choose one of the following three courses:

  • MECH ENG/AERO ENG 5212: Introduction to Finite Element Analysis 
  • MECH ENG/AERO ENG 6222: Applied Linear Elasticity
  • MECH ENG 6230: Theory of Plates

Top of Page

Course Descriptions:

MECH ENG 5212: Introduction to Finite Element Analysis 
Variational formulation of the governing equations. Finite element model, interpolation functions, numerical integration, assembly of elements and solution procedures. Applications to solid mechanics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer problems. Two-dimensional problems. Computer implementation and use of commercial finite element codes. Prerequisite: MECH ENG 3708 or AERO ENG 4253 or consent of instructor for majors that do not require either of these courses, or graduate standing. (Co-listed with AERO ENG 5212).

MECH ENG 6222: Applied Linear Elasticity
Formulation and study of boundary-value problems in 2-D linear elastostatics: Equilibrium and compatibility. Stress function formulations in Cartesian and polar coordinates. Curved beam, wedge and plane contact problems. Dislocations and cracks. Thermoelasticity. Prerequisites: CIV ENG 2210, MATH 5325 (Co-listed with AERO ENG 6222).

MECH ENG 6230 Theory Of Plates 
General coverage of various approaches to plate problems and the application of these methods to practical problems. Special topics include applications to elastic foundations, buckling and energy methods in plate theory. Prerequisite: MATH 5325.

MECH ENG 5236: Fracture Mechanics
Linear elastic and plastic mathematical models for stresses around cracks; concepts of stress intensity; strain energy release rates; correlation of models with experiment; determination of plane stress and plane strain parameters; application to design. Prerequisite: CIV ENG 2210. (Co-listed with AERO ENG 5236).

MECH ENG 5282: Introduction to Composite Materials & Structures
Introduction to fiber-reinforced composite materials and structures with emphasis on analysis and design. Composite micromechanics, lamination theory and failure criteria. Design procedures for structures made of composite materials. An overview of fabrication and experimental characterization. Prerequisite: CIV ENG 2210. (Co-listed with AERO ENG 5282).

MECH ENG 6284: Analysis of Laminated Composite Structures
An overview of isotropic beams, plates, and shells. Bending, vibration, and buckling of laminated composite beams and plates: exact and approximate solutions. Development of composite shell theory and simplified solutions. Analysis of composite structures including transverse shear deformation and thermal effects. Prerequisite: MECH ENG 5282 or AERO ENG 5282. (Co-listed with AERO ENG 6284).

Top of Page

Graduate Degrees

Graduate certificates were designed as a gateway to a master’s degree. If a student earns a B or better in each certificate course they may continue for the graduate degree (in the corresponding department), without needing to submit GRE/GMAT scores, or letters of recommendation. A student does not need to continue on for the graduate degree, however most do. Graduate certificates were designed for working professionals who have real life work experience and may not have time to take the GRE/GMAT. Admission requirements for the graduate certificate program are also more relaxed than the graduate degree. This graduate certificate may act as a gateway to the following master’s programs:

Aerospace Engineering (MS) 
Mechanical Engineering (MS)

(Applicants must indicate which program they wish to use the certificate as a gateway for when initially applying for the certificate).

 Top of Page

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure

Effective July 1, 2011, the Department of Education requires that all certificate programs must disclose particular Gainful Employment information to current and prospective students. The information that is provided in the disclosure includes the estimated cost of the certificate program as well as on-time graduation and job placement rates for this particular certificate program. The disclosure information is based on data from the 2017-18 school year(defined as the period between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018)

Top of Page