This study investigates the dynamic properties of a sandwich beam with magnetorheological (MR) fluid as a core material between the two layers of the continuous elastic structure. Timoshenko beam theory has been employed to derive the governing differential equation of motion in the finite element form for the transverse vibration response of MR fluid sandwich beam. The validation of the developed finite element formulation is demonstrated by comparing the results in terms of natural frequencies evaluated with those of available literature. Various parametric studies are also performed in terms of variations of the natural frequencies and loss factor as functions of the applied magnetic field and thickness of the MR fluid layer for various boundary conditions. © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.