Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Mechanical Engineering

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy recognizes a candidate's high achievement in research and his/her original contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the area chosen, the results of which are compiled in a dissertation and presented in an oral defense to the members of the academic community. Please note: as of spring 2024, the GRE is not required. 

Currently, three areas of specialization exist at the doctoral level in Mechanical Engineering:

  • Thermal/Fluid Sciences
  • Mechanical Systems and Design
  • Materials Science and Engineering

PhD Plan of Study

Each student planning to work towards the degree of Doctor of Philosophy must form an advisory committee within his/her first 12 hours of PhD coursework. This committee is usually formed of the student's advisor and two other faculty from the Department, one CoE faculty member from outside Mechanical Engineering, and one WSU faculty member from outside the CoE. The student will formulate a plan of study in consultation with this committee, which has to be approved by the graduate school. The College of Engineering requires a minimum of 60 hours (including courses from a master's degree), with a minimum of 60 percent of the hours (including 24 dissertation hours, after having obtained candidacy) beyond the master's level (800 or above). Some additional requirements are listed here:

Major Field

  • At least 15 hours of coursework must be from the student's area of specialization.
  • A minimum of 18 hours of the coursework must come from outside the major area.

Minor Field

  • A minor field should be defined in consultation with the student's advisory committee. A minimum of 6 hours of coursework must be taken from this minor area.

Mathematics / Statistics Requirement

  • At least 6 hours of mathematics/statistics coursework is required. The Math/Stat courses applicable for the PhD program in ME are as follows:
    1) Any math/Stat courses above 700-level from Math Department
    2) ME 750 C Modeling of Engineering Systems
    3) IME 724 – Stat Methods for Engineers
    4) IME 754 – Reliability and Maintainability Engineering
    5) IME 755 – Design of Experiments

Independent Study Courses

  • In addition to the course titles described in the Bulletin as well as the required dissertation hours, Independent Study Courses may be identified with the consent of the advisor. These should be designed following the guidelines provided in the Bulletin in order to meet the candidate's individual research interests and necessities. Up to 6 hours of credit can be applied towards the degree.

PhD students have to take a comprehensive examination in their major and minor areas in order to become an Aspirant. The next stage is to orally present a proposal at the Dissertation Approval Examination (DAE), which confers candidacy. At least five months must elapse between the DAE and the Final Dissertation Examination (oral defense). For all other details, including Time Limits and Residency Requirements, students should consult the Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate Coordinator.

Access the current Graduate Course Catalog here: Graduate catalog 

Any information provided on this website is for information only and subject to changes by the ME Department, Graduate School and Wichita State University.