Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D.
Mechanical engineers create the physical systems and devices that define modern society — everything from automobiles to air conditioning, robotic parts to power plants, people movers to artificial limbs, and rocket engines to satellites. At the School of Engineering, we groom our students to become the inventors and innovators of tomorrow. Our PhD in Mechanical Engineering program offers a balanced curriculum that emphasizes the principles behind these designs and approaches. To apply these principles in the field, we make computational and research experience an integral component of your studies.
We also offer you the freedom to choose from 5 distinct areas of specialization:
- aerospace engineering
- controls and dynamic systems
- fluid dynamics and thermal systems
- materials engineering
- mechanics and structural systems
The high faculty-to-student ratio of our program ensures you develop close ties to your instructors and fellow students. This fosters lifelong relationships and a rigorous intellectual community of scholars.
Many of our graduates enter such fields as computer engineering, nanotechnology, software development, and financial engineering. They also occupy positions in bioengineering, manufacturing, astronautics, systems engineering, and corporate management and law.
Admission to this program requires an MS in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering or other closely related engineering field or applied sciences. Generally, you must also be able to present a GPA of 3.5 or better in your MS work. In cases where it is unclear that the required MS specialization has been satisfied, the degree requirements for the Mechanical Engineering, MS at the School of Engineering will define the necessary reparation. This same criterion applies for degrees received in other engineering disciplines.
Those with a BS in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering and a GPA of 3.5 or better may apply directly to the program.
Find out more about admission requirements.
The general credit requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering degree at the School of Engineering are:
- Transfer from MS degree (30 credits)
- Approved coursework beyond the MS degree (21 credits minimum)
- Ph.D. dissertation (21 credits minimum)
- Minimum Total Required: 75 Credits
The credits above include MS degree credits but go beyond those for the BS degree.
Your studies must also be completed 5 years after the MS degree or the date of admission, whichever is later, unless a formal leave of absence is approved before the period for which the studies are interrupted.
In addition, you must take a written and oral departmental qualifying examination within the first 2 times it is offered after the date you join the doctoral program. Upon passing, you must then form a Ph.D. Guidance Committee and begin your dissertation. To do so, you will need to register for at least 3 credits of ME 9999 each fall and spring semester. Actual registration should reflect the pace of the work and your activity.
An exception to the minimum registration requirement may be made in the last semester of registration if that semester is devoted primarily to complete the work and dissertation. A dissertation grade of U for 2 consecutive terms affects whether or not you will be allowed to continue doctoral work. You must present progress on your dissertation to your guidance committee at least once a year. You can find additional details on degree requirements in the departmental pamphlet available at the department's main office.