PhD Programs

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers courses and provides facilities for three programs of graduate study and research, leading to the degrees of Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, and Doctor of Arts. Within these programs much flexibility is permitted the individual student in organizing a program of study and research. 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, Heat Transfer, Energy Conversion, Hydrogen Energy, Environmental Engineering, Materials Science, Solid Mechanics, Internal Combustion Engines, Robotics, Controls and Design. In addition, a specialization is available in the interdisciplinary field of Engineering Management. The interdisciplinary program is administered with the cooperation of the School of Business Administration. It is expected that each graduate student will indicate early in his/her graduate work, the particular area in which he/she intends to concentrate his/her efforts.


The program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy 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 program leading to the Doctor of Arts degree is designed to prepare students for careers as engineering teachers of undergraduates in two and four-year college institutions.  The DA program parallels the PhD program with a difference in structure and with an emphasis oriented toward developing teaching competence in a broad subject matter field.  The program of study for the Doctor of Arts consists of:

1. work in the area of concentration at the same level as the PhD;
2. work in the relevant areas of professional education;
3. scholarly investigation;
4. undergraduate teaching internship;
5. examinations.

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