The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering supports a PhD program in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The Doctor of Philosophy is a degree that is conferred on a student who has demonstrated proficiency in some broad area of learning, and who has proven that he or she has the capability to evaluate work in the field critically. In addition, the student must have demonstrated the ability to work independently and make original contributions to the field. The degree is conferred after the student has satisfied both a course work and dissertation requirement under the supervision of a committee.
For additional information, please contact the MAE Department.
Regular admission to the Ph.D. program with an MAE focus normally requires a Master of Science (M.S.) in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, or other closely related field with a 3.3 grade-point-average (GPA) on all previous college work. Exceptional students with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) will also be considered for normal admission. Students not admitted on a regular basis may be admitted provisionally depending on their overall application file and their GRE score. A provisional admission is subject to approval of the MAE Graduate Affairs Committee. Remedial courses are usually required of such students. The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is required of any student who falls below the minimum GPA requirement, is not a graduate of an ABET-accredited undergraduate program in mechanical or aerospace engineering, or is a graduate of a foreign university. Foreign university graduates applying from outside the USA are required to pass the TOEFL examination with a minimum score of 550 or the IELTS with a minimum score of 6. In certain circumstances, the TOEFL may be waived.
For application information: How To Apply
Duration of Program
The completion of the Ph.D. degree must be accomplished in seven years. An extension to this time limit will be considered if requested.
The qualifying exam is designed to ensure that students achieve a high level of expertise in the subject matter of their major area, preparing them for success in the PhD program and in their broader career endeavors. The exam will cover one of three topical areas chosen from:
by the student in consultation with his or her advisor. The exam consists of two parts; a written test followed by an oral test. The oral test will usually be given one week after the written test. The exam will emphasize mathematical concepts pertinent to the topical area. The qualifying exam will be taken at the first opportunity after the completion of one academic semester following admission into the program. For more information reference the Qualifying Exam.
The PhD degree is awarded to students who have satisfied the requirements of the program, who have submitted an acceptable dissertation, and who have passed all prescribed examinations. Students entering with a master's degree must:
The dissertation is a written, polished document reporting the results of the student’s investigation into an original area of research. At least 30 semester hours of dissertation credit are required. All Ph.D. dissertations must be written according to a departmentally approved format and enclosed in the department report cover. Each will be assigned a department report number.
Final Oral Defense of the Dissertation
The final oral defense of the dissertation occurs at the completion of the dissertation after the first and second readers have approved its contents. It is open to anyone who wishes to attend. A successful candidate must receive the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Dissertation Committee. The examination may be attempted at most twice.