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Graduate Specialization in Automotive Systems Engineering

The Graduate Specialization in Automotive Systems Engineering (GS ASE) provides a unique opportunity for masters and PhD students to acquire specialized training, unique skills and real-world experience in their area of interest which will enhance their degree with an interdisciplinary focus on automotive systems.


Program Features

Participating Departments

Students wishing to partake in the GS ASE program are required to gain admission through a participating graduate program.

  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
Program Development and Approval

Because departmental requirements for the master’s degree vary (e.g. thesis and non-thesis options), students are expected to prepare and implement a study plan that satisfies requirements for both their their home department and the GS ASE program. Each student will formulate a plan with the assistance of his/her advisor, and upon its completion, submit it to his/her home department’s Graduate Studies Committee.

Depending on whether they are completing the thesis or non-thesis option, students fulfill the requirements of their selected focus area by completing one or two sequences of core courses. For more information on what constitutes a sequence, please refer to the Core Course Sequence Requirements chart (Table 1) section below.

After completing their core sequence, students enroll in a number of interdisciplinary courses that relate to their specified area of expertise. Generally, relevant courses on mathematics, statistics and computational methods qualify as expertise area courses.

Course Requirements

GS ASE requirements summarized

Briefly, the GS ASE requirements (detailed in the following subsections) are that:

  • Thesis option students are required to take one core sequence. It is expected that their thesis be on a topic related to automotive systems.
  • Non-thesis option students (master’s only) are required to take two core sequences.
  • In addition to the core sequence(s), students fill out the coursework portion of their degree requirements with an expertise area course, some of which should be drawn from the core focus area courses. A partial list of suggested expertise area courses is linked here, with the exemption of available math courses that are excluded due to their large number.
  • All students are required to regularly attend seminars on automotive systems topics, which are held weekly at the Center for Automotive Research when classes are in session at the university.

Table 1: Core Course Sequence Requirements of the GS ASE program


Core Course Sequence Requirement

To complete a core sequence, a student must select two semester courses from one of the core focus areas listed below. Under special circumstances—providing that the intent of the core sequence is preserved—students may substitute one of the core courses in a sequence. In the cases where prerequisites for core courses may not be waived, students should take the prerequisite course for credit and use these courses to satisfy other requirements posed by their graduate program.

Core sequences consist of subject matter that is crucial to form a comprehensive understanding of at least one important area in automotive systems. Additionally, the focus of each sequence aligns with the research specializations at the Center for Automotive Research.

Expertise Area Requirements

In addition to the core sequences listed above, each GS ASE student is required to take at least 21 credit hours (dependent upon departmental requirements) of expertise area coursework, at least three hours of which must be drawn from the list of core focus areas. A partial list of expertise area courses is linked here. Because courses not listed herein may qualify as expertise area courses (such as most mathematics courses available for graduate credit), the student must work out a plan with his/her advisor, and submit to the home department’s Graduate Studies Committee for approval (see below).

Seminars on Automotive Topics

All students participating in the GS ASE program are required to regularly attend seminars that focus on automotive systems topics. These seminars will feature a range of speakers and themes, and industry experts are often invited to share their insight with students as well. Generally, seminars focus on current work in automotive-related research, conveyed from the perspectives of practicing automotive engineers and managers.

Additional Requirements

Regardless of whether a GS ASE student is completing a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation, it is required that the final research product is relevant to automotive systems.

The GS ASE requirements serve to enhance the skills and knowledge that graduate engineers will apply to complex automotive problems in the future. By their program’s completion, students will better understand the perspectives, capabilities and approaches of other engineering disciplines, as well as their relevance to automotive systems.

Application and Enrollment

  1. The student must inform their advisor about their interest in the program during their first MS or PhD semester
  2. The student and advisor will prepare a planned program of study and letter of support
  3. The advisor will send above material to the program administrator (Marcello Canova)
  4. The administrator will contact the graduate studies coordinator in the student’s department for approval
  5. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the requirements posed by both their home department and the GS ASE program are satisfied.

Students who complete the program will have the automotive specialization printed on their master’s degree and their Ohio State transcripts. 

Program Administration

The GS ASE program is administered by the Graduate Studies Committees of the participating departments.  

Please direct any questions to:

Professor Marcello Canova (MAE)
Center for Automotive Research
The Ohio State University
930 Kinnear Road
Columbus, OH 43212