Degree structure

Direct-access students from the Bachelor's Program of Mechanical Engineering can start this master's program every month of the year. All other students can only apply for a September start.

The Master's Program of Mechanical Engineering consists of seven different specializations, otherwise called research groups. These are presented in the slider below. Before starting this two-year program, you are allocated to a mentor of one of these research groups after you have selected your preference for one of the three divisions of the department. For more information about this procedure please consult the education guide*.


The Master's Program of Mechanical Engineering is two years. After being allocated to your specialization, you design your own program together with your mentor. Most students follow all courses in their first year, so they can do an internship and work on their graduation project in their second year. But also here you have the freedom to pave your own path.

Year 1 Core program 20 ECTS
  Specialization courses 20 ECTS
  Professional skills 5 ECTS
  Electives 15 ECTS
Year 2 Internship 15 ECTS
  Graduation project 45 ECTS

Core program

A core program of 20 ECTS is mandatory for all Mechanical Engineering students and is partly dependent on the specialization. A number of courses in this core program are important for all specializations, for instance one mathematical course, one course on experimental techniques, one on optimization and one on numeric methods for problems in mechanical engineering. Other courses are related to one or more specializations.

You choose a total of four courses from a list of 12. Here, you also have sufficient freedom to customize your program to your wishes.

For more information on the core program, please consult the education guide*.

Specialization courses

For the specialization courses, you choose a total of 20 ECTS from a broad list of 28 courses of the different specializations. For instance, you can focus on specializing in robotics, modern energy sources or new materials. The specialization courses available to you do depend on the research group you will graduate in. The full list of specialization courses can be found in the education guide*.

Professional skills

In addition to the technical courses, there are two mandatory courses on professional skills. These are:

  1. Coaching & Tutoring
  2. Career Development

These courses are specially designed for Mechanical Engineering students. The course Coaching & Tutoring is only intended for students with experience in design-based learning or challenge-based learning. Other students take the course Teamwork and Academic Writing instead.


In addition, you are free to choose a number of electives. This way, you can follow supplementary courses, join an internal research project or extend your internship. You are not limited to mechanical engineering courses. For instance, you can take the opportunity to study non-technical courses, such as philosophy or business courses. This enables you to gain a completely different perspective on your specialization, or to follow courses from a different technical department. You can also follow courses outside TU/e, for example at École Polytechnique (l’X), Technical University of Munich (TUM), Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) and Tallin University of Technology (TalTech). 


An internship, or research internship, is worth 15 ECTS, which corresponds with a full-time job of performing the internship work and writing a report in 11 weeks. The most important objective of this internship is to develop your scientific research skills, while at the same time getting the opportunity to bridge theory to everyday professional practices. For instance, you could be working on optimizing a particular process within a company, or develop a new method for specific mechanical engineering topics. The topic and location will be determined in close collaboration with a mentor in order to make sure that the internship fits well within your specialization. Normally, an internship takes place outside of the university. For instance at a company, research institution or other university in the Netherlands or abroad. We recommend Dutch students to do their internship abroad, because international work experience is greatly valued. It is also possible to extend your internship with 5 ECTS from the individual elective space.

Graduation project

You start your graduation project once you passed all your courses and completed your internship. During your graduation project, which lasts three quarters of the academic year, you will further develop the expertise and skills you developed in the first year. You will demonstrate that you can independently conduct a research or design project. The project can be conducted in one of the research laboratories at the department or at a company. The majority of the graduation projects are conducted at, or in collaboration with, companies and is part of a (long-standing) collaboration between the department and the connected line of business.

Would you like some examples of graduation projects? You can find them in the education guide*.

The pre-Master

The Mechanical Engineering pre-Master’s program is intended for students who have not received direct admission to the Mechanical Engineering Master’s program. Amongst these students we see:

  • Bachelor graduates from the TU/e (and other Dutch universities) who did not obtain a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Marine Technology or Applied Physics
  • Graduates from University of Applied Sciences (hbo) programs such as ‘Werktuigbouwkunde’

This pre-Master takes two semesters and is worth 30 ECTS. We aim to give you the necessary background to enable a seamless and successful transition into the Mechanical Engineering Master’s program. Included in this pre-Master are courses in mathematics, thermodynamics, dynamics and control and solid mechanics. For further information please visit the education guide*.


View our education guide* for detailed information about the degree structure.

*Note: The Education guide is used as a source of information for current students. It contains detailed, practical information that is important during your program. Prospective students can consult it for additional information.

Research groups Mechanical Engineering