The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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PhD in ME

The Ph.D. program is intended to prepare the student for a research career in industry, academia or national laboratories.  A dissertation, presenting significant new information, is the primary requirement of the degree.

To apply to the PhD program, a Master Degree is NOT required. Prospective students with a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering or relevant fields could apply directly to a PhD program, through an MSc/PhD path.

Other requirements for the Ph.D. degree include:

  • A minimum of one academic year in residency. Residency is defined as one continuous academic year of full-time graduate work (9 credits per semester).
  • A certification by the candidate's Guidance Committee that the candidate is qualified to pursue the Ph.D. degree.
  • Successful completion of a preliminary comprehensive examination.
  • An approved dissertation proposal.
  • Completion of an approved course curriculum
  • A Ph.D. dissertation.
  • A final oral examination.

Additional University requirements are listed in the Graduate School Bulletin.  Note that the MIE Department does not require a student to demonstrate competency in a foreign language.

Prospective students should review the MIE Department's Research Areas in order to familiarize themselves with the major research themes of the department. To apply, please go the Graduate School Admissions Page

Curricular Components for Ph.D. Degree

The minimum course requirement for the Ph.D. degree is enrollment in 18 credits of MIE 899 (Doctoral Dissertation). Ph.D. students must also formulate a complete and coherent program of coursework approved by the student’s Dissertation Committee and the GPD.

Approved programs must include at least 9 course credits (audited courses do not count) beyond the requirements of M.S. Degree. Only one of the required courses can be at the 500 level.  These and other courses (including ones taken as part of a M.S. Degree Program) should comprise a major concentration and a minor concentration.  A concentration consists of a series of at least 9 course credits.  Students who do not hold a Masters degree will take a total of 30 credits which include the 9 PhD course credits.