Doctorate Program

Doctorate Program

Students enrolled in the Doctoral program work with faculty who are pioneers in the field. Together they conduct cutting-edge research, such as developing the latest innovations in robotics, nanomaterials, and sustainable energy systems. A minimum of 84 credits of graduate work in an approved program of study are required beyond the Bachelor's degree; this may include up to 30 credits obtained in a Master's degree program. A doctoral dissertation based on the results of original research, carried out under the guidance of a faculty member and defended in a public examination, is a major component of the doctoral program.

Decisions on admission to the Doctoral (Ph.D.) program in Mechanical Engineering will be made by the Graduate Committee of the department and will be based on an assessment of academic background, competence and aptitude for advanced study and research. Normally, an appropriate Master of Engineering degree or its equivalent is required, but exceptionally well qualified applicants will be considered for admission to the doctoral program even without a completed Master's degree. Note that applicants who would like to be considered for assistantships or fellowships must apply by February 1 for consideration for the fall semester. International applicants whose native language is not English and who have not obtained prior degrees from a U.S. institution are required to provide TOEFL scores. View the full application requirements checklist.

If accepted, students will have to select an Advisor to assist in defining a study plan, selecting a dissertation topic and forming a Doctoral Committee. Courses* are selected to develop skills in a particular area of interest. While this course work is necessary to develop the knowledge and skills of the profession, the most important aspect of the course selection is the original research topic. The subject of the doctoral dissertation is open to a wide range of particular choices within the broad range of Mechanical Engineering disciplines.

After enrolled into the doctoral program for at least one year, students will be required to successfully complete a Qualifying Examination. This two-part examination, which is intended to test comprehension of introductory level graduate material and assess research aptitude, is usually administered during the fall semester. Subsequently, students will be required to defend a Dissertation Proposal within two years from enrollment into the doctoral program. The doctoral dissertation must be based upon original investigation, approved by the graduate committee of the department and must represent a contribution to the state of the art worthy of publication in the peer-reviewed literature.

Before receiving the doctoral degree, students must also satisfy the requirements for residence and publication of the dissertation.

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Admission Requirements

Admission into the Graduate Certificate or Master's Degree programs requires an undergraduate degree in Engineering, or in a related discipline, with a grade point average of "B" or better from an accredited college or university.

Required Documentation

All applicants must submit the following documents to be considered for admission:

  • Completed online application for admission
  • Official college transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • GRE scores*
  • Application fee

Optional Documents:

  • Resume/CV

* Starting Fall 2014 GRE scores required for all applicants applying into a full-time graduate program in the School of Engineering and Sciences. (Code #2819) All scores are only valid for five years prior to the application term. GRE required for all PhD applicants.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

TOEFL/IELTS - International students (Code #2819).  For English language proficiency requirements please click here.

Approximately two weeks following receipt of the above material, you will receive a decision letter from the Office of Graduate Admissions. If accepted you will receive an acceptance letter outlining the program to which you were accepted, as well as your assigned Academic Advisor's contact information.

For questions related to program requirements please check with the Office of Graduate Admissions at [email protected].

For more details on deadlines and how to apply please visit the Office of Graduate Admissions website at