PhD Programs

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Program Overview

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering offers courses and provides facilities for a doctoral program of graduate study and research, leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Within the program, a student is permitted the flexibility to organize much of his/her program of study and research, in close consultation with his/her thesis advisor. Specific programs must, however, reflect the importance of underlying principles of the physical sciences and mathematical analysis to all phases of modern mechanical engineering. Within the department, specializations are available in Fluid Mechanics, Materials Science, Solid Mechanical, Space Systems, Internal Combustion Engines, Robotics, Energy and Environmental Sciences, Controls and Design. It is expected that each doctoral student will indicate early in his/her doctoral work the particular area in which he/she intends to concentrate

The PhD in Mechanical Engineering complies in full with the regulations of the Graduate School concerning admission, residence requirements, qualifying and final examinations and the dissertation.  There is no foreign language requirements.  All candidates for the PhD degree are expected to complete an integrated program of studies in mechanical engineering, mathematics, physics and/or chemistry in preparation for the Comprehensive Qualifying Examination.  Such preparation normally requires two academic years after the Bachelor’s degree.  The candidate is also expected to demonstrate his/her competence in certain basic courses appropriate to modern mechanical engineering to the satisfaction of the department. One or two years beyond the Qualifying Examination will usually be found necessary for the completion of an acceptable dissertation, whereupon the student will be required to pass the Final Oral Defense of the Dissertation. The candidate may, if he/she so desires, pursue for his/her dissertation an investigation in connection with any of the research projects in progress in the Mechanical Engineering Department or, in the case of interdisciplinary programs, in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Science or the Medical School.


The mission of the graduate program is to prepare students to become knowledgeable and skilled engineers and researchers with an understanding of the ethical and other professional aspects of mechanical engineering.


The goal of the PhD program in Mechanical Engineering is to train students for advanced independent research and technical innovation in mechanical engineering. The program is designed to prepare graduates for careers in academia, industrial research and development, or government. The educational objective of the program is to graduate engineers with advanced skills and knowledge in mechanical engineering and to train, motivate and inspire our graduates to become leaders in their field and scholarship.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate competence in the theoretical and practical knowledge of mechanical engineering.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively the scientific and technical research in writing and oral presentations.
  • Graduates will demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research and contribute to existing knowledge.


Completion of the PhD program requires a minimum of 72 credits including 27 course credits, 6 seminar credits, 3 teaching credits, and 36 research credits. 

Click here for more details on the MAE PhD Curriculum

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