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Automotive Engineering M.S. Curriculum

The M.S. curriculum is designed as a post-B.S. degree program providing top-notch talent to the automotive industry and advanced engineering companies. Students complete graduate coursework equivalent to 33 credit hours and a six-month internship either in industry or on the Deep Orange vehicle prototyping project or completing a master's thesis.

Classes take place at Clemson’s state-of-the-art facilities at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in Greenville, South Carolina.

For Fall 2022, the GRE has been waived for all applicants.

  Internal Internship (Deep Orange) External Internship Thesis Option
Core Courses
  • AUE 8700 Automotive Business Concepts
  • AUE 8810 Automotive Systems
Technical Electives
  • AUE 8820 Systems Integration Methods
  • AUE 8830 Applied Systems Integration
  • 7 Other Technical Electives
  • 9 Technical Electives
  • 7 Technical Electives
Require 1 elective from outside the student's chosen track area for breadth (included in total electives).
Internship OR Thesis Deep Orange Project (2 semesters of INT 8010, zero credits) External Internship (2 semesters of INT 8010, zero credits) Write and defend MS Thesis (minimum 6 credits of AUE 8910)
Minimum Total Credits to MS Degree 33 33 33


See below for a note on auditing courses.

6 credit hours (2 courses). Core Courses are designed to provide basic competencies that every student graduating out of the program should possess. All newly incoming students must register for the two courses below if offered in their starting semester:

a)      AuE 8700 Automotive Business Concepts
b)      AuE 8810, 8811 Automotive Systems Overview

A minimum of 27 credit hours (9 courses), or 21 credit hours (5 courses) if enrolled in “Deep Orange” or in the Thesis option. Technical electives must be chosen to provide depth in a given track. At least 3 courses must be AuE courses in a given track. The other courses can be from the same track, however students taking classes outside a given track must pick courses that are complementary and must be selected in consultation with their faculty advisor and the student’s advisory committee. Track areas include the following:

i)     Vehicle Manufacturing and Materials
ii)    Vehicle Performance
iii)   Advanced Powertrains and Drivelines
iv)  Vehicle Electronics/Electrical Systems

There will not be a strict requirement to take additional business courses beyond AuE 8700. However, a maximum of one additional business course can be taken to count towards your total elective credit requirements. Students can select from MBA and MGT graduate courses for exposure to business topics, but the AuE department does not control the offering schedule or enrollment conditions for those courses. Additional business courses cannot be used to substitute for technical elective requirements for the MS degree; you can, however, take them as overload.

External Industrial Internship or Internal Internship/Deep Orange: A minimum of 6 months of internships are required and can be domestic, international, or as part of the Deep Orange project at Clemson University. Students are encouraged to complete a continuous six-month internship to maximize their experience; however, it is acceptable to split the internship into parts as long as six months are completed. Students opting for external internships are responsible for finding their own internships; the department does not have a placement program. Students opting for and selected for the Deep Orange students are required to remain with Deep Orange for the entire duration; that includes summer semesters. More details about Deep Orange Internships are given below.

Students on internships must sign up for the zero-credit course INT:8010: Graduate Internships offered by the Michelin Career Center. You can sign up for the course in multiple semesters, but it makes sense to do so only on your internship semesters. This course can also be used to satisfy continuous enrollment requirements of the Graduate School.

In general, students should not combine internships with course loads as doing so causes students to be unprepared for classes and does not give them the full in-depth experience of an internship that is the spirit of the requirement. A maximum of up to 1 credited course may be taken in your internship semester (in addition to INT 8010).

Students on the thesis option need not do internships.

Clemson undergraduate students have the option to declare they would like to do a combined BS to MS degree option, you can find more information here.

Note: Clemson undergraduates in the BS-MS program can have up to four 6000 level CECAS courses that they take as undergrads to count as technical electives towards their MS degree requirements in AuE. That means you only need to take 3 more technical electives with the thesis option, 5 more with the non-thesis internship options.

The thesis option gives students the opportunity to 1) design and execute graduate research in an immerging or applied area related to automotive engineering, 2) Articulate research project objectives and engage in the scholarly process of making hypothesis and design experiments (physical or virtual) to test them. 3) Document the research process in the form of a thesis that should be structured according to a style or format approved or provided by the Graduate School. 4) Effectively present and defend their scholarly work in front of the advisory committee and their peers.

If you enroll in the MS thesis option, you must first find a faculty advisor and set up your thesis advisory committee (see section on Advisory Committee about makeup of committee). You must also sign up for AuE 8910 Master’s Thesis Research under the faculty advisor for a minimum of 6 credit hours (distributed according to your semester course load and project needs).

Auditors are under no obligation of regular attendance, preparation, recitation, or examination and receive no credit. Participation in classroom discussion and laboratory exercise by auditors is at the discretion of the instructor. A student who has previously audited a course is ineligible for credit by examination. Courses audited are not recorded on the student's academic record.

1. With approval, the following may audit courses without tuition (other fees apply):

  • Graduate assistants
  • Full-time undergraduate and graduate students (12 or more credit hours)
  • Faculty and full-time staff
  • South Carolina residents age 60 or over, provided they are not a full-time employee of Clemson University

2. Other persons who audit pays the applicable tuition rate. Students may not sign up to audit until the first day of class so that priority may be given students taking courses for credit.

3. The deadline to sign up to audit a course is the last day to register or add a class for that term. Normal drop deadlines apply as well.

Students currently registered for courses may add an audit course or change one to audit status in iROAR. Other auditors must obtain a request to audit card from the Registrar's Office, 102 Sikes Hall, Box 345125, Clemson, SC 29634-5125.