Doctor of Philosophy - Mechanical Engineering

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers a program leading to the Ph.D. degree in Engineering in the field of Mechanical Engineering. The program also offers the Ph.D. degree with major in the field of Nuclear Engineering. The Nuclear Engineering major track has the same admission and degree requirements as the Mechanical Engineering.

Learning Objectives

The Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering program strives to provide a learning centered environment where accomplished faculty share their experience and knowledge with students so that graduates of the program can:

  • Demonstrate a advanced technical knowledge of state-of-the-art and evolving areas associated with  the mechanical engineering field so that they can lead and direct engineering and scientific industry teams in their chosen field of study.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work creatively and independently on research topics.
  • Reach the highest academic level with the potential to become a leader and an authority in Mechanical Engineering.


Graduates of the program will:

  • Demonstrate a strong technical knowledge in chosen mechanical engineering field by successfully completing course work and integrating knowledge learned in their course work into a thesis.
  • Demonstrate the ability to learn independently by completing a creative or research project and reporting on this activity in a thesis which should include:
    1. A hypothesis (or hypotheses).
    2. A set of objectives and goals.
    3. A critical literature review.
    4. A theoretical, experimental and/or modeling study.
    5. A conclusion.


  1. Course work.
  2. Qualifying Exam.
  3. Preliminary Exam or Dissertation Proposal.
  4. Dissertation Defense.
  5. Track graduates career shortly after graduation.

Career Possibilities

A Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering may not be necessary to work as a regular engineer. A master's might be sufficient for getting such a position, and after enough time, your experience may outweigh education. A Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering is most necessary for those positions in the field of mechanical engineering that will require the greatest knowledge; those positions are most likely to be encountered in academia and at the highest levels of engineering work.

Graduate Catalog

The graduate catalog is the official repository of the graduate program requirements, and Graduate College policies.

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Representative Syllabi