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As a candidate for the doctoral program, the student, in consultation with a faculty adviser and his or her Ph.D. committee, develops an integrated program of study in preparation for a comprehensive general examination. After passing the general examination, the student prepares a dissertation displaying technical mastery of the field and the contributions to the advancement of knowledge, followed by a public presentation of the material to the technical community. Candidates in this program are required to take a minimum of 10 courses throughout their enrollment, with eight of the courses being taken in the first three semesters. Candidates are also required to be an assistant in teaching for a minimum of three semesters after passing the general examination. The Ph.D. program typically lasts five years and includes full financial support.
With the permission of the Departmental Graduate Committee and the Graduate School, students in good standing in the Ph.D. program may transfer to the M.S.E. program to satisfy newly realized goals.
Each candidate is expected to demonstrate competence in certain core subjects to the satisfaction of the department as a whole. The basic topics vary for individual programs, but students are expected to take eight courses for a grade and perform preliminary research during the first three semesters prior to standing for the general exam. Two of the courses must be in mathematics and four must be in the student’s primary area of research. Students must achieve a GPA of 3.0 or higher. A student may receive one C in a graduate course and remain in the Ph.D. program. Approved courses from other departments may be taken, and members of these departments may be invited to participate in the general examination.
Ordinarily, students will be given a single oral interview in the fall of their second year by a faculty member chosen by the major group. In case of an interdisciplinary program of study spanning two major areas, separate interviews in both areas should be conducted. A list of available interviewers and their subjects is available from the graduate office. These interviews are intended to explore, in-depth, the student's knowledge of a subject area, to prepare the student for the general examination, and to identify areas where further study may be necessary.
There is no requirement to pass or fail an interview; interviews are for the benefit of the student to ensure adequate preparation for the subject component of the general exam and to inform the graduate committee of the student’s readiness for the general exam. In some cases of weaker performance, interviewers may request additional time from the student after further studying.
The Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is a certification that the graduating student is well versed in the fundamentals of his or her chosen field, is capable of performing creative, independent research, and has the ability to effectively communicate his or her ideas to a broad audience. The general examination procedure exercises the department's responsibility for determining a student's potential to satisfactorily complete a Ph.D. and simultaneously encourages the student to review and consolidate material from various courses and research activities. The general examination process consists of two components: the research component, consisting of a 30-minute presentation with an open question period; followed by the subject component, a 90-minute oral examination covering the broader subject area related to the student's research. The general exam is normally taken in January of the second year.
Qualifying for the M.A.:
The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree is normally an incidental degree on the way to full Ph.D. candidacy and is earned after a student successfully passes the general examination.
It is a requirement for students to teach a minimum of three (3) half-time assistant in instruction assignments in order to qualify for their Ph.D.
Yearly Committee Meetings
After successful completion of the general exam, the balance of the program is spent on dissertation research, teaching obligations, and additional courses. Candidates meet with their Ph.D. committee each year to review their research progress.
Dissertation and FPO:
The culmination of the Ph.D. program is the writing of a thesis on a research topic explored by the student and a presentation of this work in a final public oral examination. The thesis must contain significant and original contributions to the advancement of a field of knowledge. Upon acceptance of the dissertation by the departmental faculty, candidates are admitted to the final public oral examination.
The Ph.D. is awarded after the candidate’s doctoral dissertation has been accepted and the final public oral examination sustained.
- Application Fee: $90
- Statement of Academic Purpose
- Resume/Curriculum Vitae
- Recommendation Letters
- Fall Semester Grades
- Prerequisite Tests
- English Language Tests
- GRE : General test
For Ph.D. candidates, tuition and fees during a student’s regular period of enrollment are provided in full from a student’s graduate student financial support, in the form of tuition support from fellowships, assistantships, or external sources.
The annual stipend amount provided to Ph.D. candidates during their regular enrollment is intended to support a single graduate student based on estimated costs. Master’s students or students with spouses and/or dependents may require additional resources to support their living expenses