Mechanical Engineering
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Ph.D. Curriculum & Courses

Coursework Requirements

The doctorate requires at least 60 semester hours of graduate work, exclusive of the dissertation. No more than 30 semester credit hour of an earned master’s degree from another institution may be transferred. A student will be required to take 4 core graduate courses (12 hours) listed below. Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program are required to complete one core course from each group, totaling 4 courses. However, with the approval of his/her advisory committee, core course requirements can be exempted.

  1. Course 1
  2. Course 2
  3. Course 3
  4. Course 4

The remaining 18 hours may consist of ME 7000, ME 6331, or additional graduate courses. A student may not include more than 9 hours each of ME 7000 or ME 6331 courses. Each of the ME 7000 and ME 6331 courses should have a unique prefix identifying the class name. The Graduate School’s custom and practice is to reject all degree plans when a student is taking more than 9 hours with a single professor because this is not consistent with the guidelines of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

The balance of the graduate courses required for a degree program may be selected from mathematics, science, and engineering with the approval of the Faculty Advisor and Advisory Committee. All courses must carry graduate credit. Students should obtain the approval of the offering department when taking courses outside of Mechanical Engineering to be sure that they have the appropriate prerequisites.

Filing an Official Degree Program

All Ph.D. students must submit the degree program form to the Graduate School before the second semester of enrollment (this will be enforced by placing a hold on students records). The form (obtained from the links below) must be completed using Microsoft Word and sent as an email attachment to the Graduate Assistant in the Advising Office. Please read the following instructions before completing the form: Guidelines for Degree Plans.

Once this form is approved by the student’s Faculty Advisor, the Graduate Advisor and the Graduate School, the courses listed on this form become the Official Degree Program for the student, and deviations can only be made when properly justified. Students are therefore urged to work closely with their Faculty Advisor when submitting this form. Please note that the department is not required to accept any courses taken after the initial semester of attendance unless they have been previously approved as part of the Official Degree Program.

Graduate Seminar

One hour of graduate seminar (ME 5120) is required for all students. Students register for this course in their first full−time graduate semester, but must attend seminars throughout their entire academic career, until completion of the requirement. Students must attend at total of 10 presentations scheduled during their degree program. This may include any of the Mechanical Engineering departmental seminars, as well as any external seminars approved in advance by the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Advisor.

You may find a seminar yourself and bring an abstract to the Advising Office in advance for approval. In either case, a feedback sheet must be picked up from the Advising Office before attending any external seminars and it must be turned in to the Advising Office as soon as possible afterwards.

Journal Publication Requirement

The Department of Mechanical Engineering requires, as part of its Ph.D. degree requirements, that all of its Ph.D. degree candidates have at least one technical paper submitted to an archival journal relevant to the candidate’s field of expertise prior to the defense of their Ph.D. thesis. The individual faculty advisors reserve the right, regarding journal publication requirement, to publish beyond one paper submitted.

Major & Minor

The doctorate requires at least 60 semester hours of graduate work, exclusive of the dissertation. The Mechanical Engineering graduate program does not require a formal minor. However, the student may pursue a minor or one may be required by the student’s advisory committee or by the program faculty in which the major is taken. If a minor is taken, it must include at least 15 graduate hours in a program outside the student’s major. The minor will be declared in the student’s "Program for the Doctoral Degree" (see "Filing a Doctoral Degree Plan"). If a minor is taken, the major requires a minimum of 45 semester hours.

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