At the graduate level, the Mechanical Engineering program aligns the academic course work with research to prepare experts in the field. Both the thesis and non-thesis options are available to the student. Pursuing the thesis option gives students the opportunity to work under the guidance of a faculty adviser on research or an original investigation of a problem in mechanical engineering. Writing and defending a thesis describing the results of their work prepares the student for further doctoral study and research and project work in the industry. For some students, such as those working while completing their degree requirements, the non-thesis option is preferred.