Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering

The Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering prepares students for careers in research and academia.

Our collaborative faculty are investigating a diverse range of research areas. Here is a sampling:

Additive manufacturing, air quality, cellular biomechanics, computational design, DNA origami, energy conversion and storage, nanoscale manufacturing, soft robotics, transdermal drug delivery, and transport phenomena. 

Interested? Visit our research pages for more information, including faculty areas of expertise and research videos. 

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View the degree requirements in the handbook.

Explore the range of research areas you could pursue. 

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering

Students typically complete the Ph.D. degree requirements in three to five years. Early in the program, students focus on course-work that enhances their knowledge as they prepare to conduct research.

Within one year, students must pass the departmental qualifying exam, an oral exam that tests research skills and knowledge of a core mechanical engineering subject area.

Student research forms the core of the Ph.D. program. Research involves active student-directed inquiry into an engineering problem, culminating in a written thesis and oral defense.

Students pursuing a Ph.D. are typically supported through assistantships or fellowships. At least one year of residency is required for the Ph.D. We offer two ways to enter the Ph.D. program.


For a comprehensive overview of the programs, including degree requirements, please consult the most recent handbook.

Advanced entry Ph.D.

The advanced entry Ph.D. is for students with an M.S. in engineering or a related field. Students may take fewer courses and can conduct research sooner than direct Ph.D. students.

Direct Ph.D.

The direct Ph.D. is for students entering the program with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering or a related field. These students take more courses than advanced entry Ph.D. students to build their knowledge of core concepts.

Direct Ph.D. students can receive their M.S. degree once they have completed all the M.S. degree requirements while working toward their Ph.D. degree.

Other Ph.D. programs and partnerships

Ph.D. application deadline

Innovation in action

Short research videos highlight what our faculty and Ph.D. students are working on in the labs.