Texas Tech University

Doctor of Philosophy Program

doctor of philosophy program

Welcome to the Ph.D. program webpage of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas Tech University. The program overview, admissions information, and general rules guiding our Ph.D. program are provided in the sections below. You will find the required ME forms, contact information, and detailed policies in the Graduate Program Resource sections displayed on the right. To browse our faculty profiles and read about the projects, use the Research tab on the left hand side.

NOTE: The graduate handbook is now up to date and has answers to all program questions 

Program Overview

The TTU Ph.D. Program in Mechanical Engineering addresses the growing demand for highly skilled professionals capable of solving important technological problems and eagerness to take leadership roles in academia, industry, and governmental agencies. Our Ph.D. students acquire fundamental skills through well-devised coursework, and under the mentorship of their Ph.D. advisors, perform innovative investigations on metallic glasses, soft matter, smart materials, renewable energy, unmanned autonomous systems, microfluidic biosensors, healthcare-related problems, and others. Through their multidisciplinary research students develop expertise in mechanical engineering sciences and learn how to combine it with the necessary scholarship in other areas such as physics, biology, chemical engineering, and materials science. This immersion in the cutting-edge science helps students meet the requirements of the current economic environment and become successful mechanical engineering professionals in the fast-changing 21st century marketplace.


Students should apply through the Texas Tech Graduate School Admissions portal (see the Graduate School Application Page under Admissions Tab on the right). We especially encourage students interested in interdisciplinary research (follow the research link on the left), to apply. We will consider applicants with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering as well as in other fields of engineering and science, including chemical engineering, chemistry, and physics. Admitted applicants that already have a master's degree typically have their coursework load reduced since some of their courses can be transferred to the ME Ph.D. Program at TTU.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering requires from prospective students GRE scores and three letters of recommendation, in addition to satisfying the Graduate School requirements. More information about the admission process can be found by following links provided in the Research section.

Coursework Requirements

Students enrolled after May 31, 2014.—

The minimum requirement is 12 graduate lecture courses (36 credit hours), with the following course distribution:

  • 2 math and 2 concentration-area courses must be completed in the first two semesters of enrollment.
  • 6 ME courses minimum (including the concentration-area courses but excluding the required math courses).
  • The remaining courses can be taken at ME and other engineering and science departments.

Students enrolled before June 1, 2014.—

The minimum requirement is 14 graduate lecture courses (42 credit hours), with the following course distribution:

  • 2 math and 2 core ME courses from different groups (as defined in the 2012 Graduate Student Handbook)
  • The remaining courses can be taken at ME and other engineering and science departments.

Graduate Seminar Requirement

One credit hour of graduate seminar (ME 5120) is required for all students. Students register for this course in the first semester of their graduate studies and must attend seminars until graduation to receive credit at the end of their studies. The talks give our students an opportunity to learn about cutting-edge research and modern technologies from leaders in academia and the industry.

Course Transfers and Leveling Courses

Course transfers
A limited number of courses can be transferred from a different graduate program at TTU or other academic institutions. Students who would like to have some of their courses applied to their Doctoral Degree in Mechanical Engineering should provide the list of courses and their syllabi upon completing the Mechanical Engineering Degree Plan in the first year of their studies. More detailed information regarding course transfers (including the number of transfer hours allowed) can be found in the instructions to the ME Degree Plan Form located in the Graduate Program Resource section of this webpage.

Leveling courses
Students with a bachelor's degree in a field other than mechanical engineering may be required to take undergraduate leveling courses in preparation for graduate studies in mechanical engineering. The leveling course requirements are determined by the Director of Graduate Studies upon the student's admission to the Ph.D. program.

Submission of Degree Plan

Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. students are required to submit a Degree Plan by the end of the second semester of their doctoral studies. The Degree Plan, developed by the student in consultation with his Ph.D. advisor, lists the courses the student intends to take and apply towards his/her Ph.D. degree. In addition to the core ME courses, the Degree Plan includes courses directly related to the student's field of research; courses providing broader interdisciplinary knowledge are encouraged.

If needed, the degree plan can be changed by submitting an updated form. The final version of the degree plan should be submitted no later than the beginning of the semester of graduation. The Degree Plan Form with instructions and approximate schedule of graduate courses offered at the Mechanical Engineering Department are posted in the Graduate Program Resource section. The Degree Plan must conform to the coursework requirements listed above; for more details regarding the program requirements see the Graduate Student Handbook (for students enrolled before June 1, 2014) and Graduate Student Handbook Supplement (for students enrolled after May 31, 2014).

Doctoral Research

Our Ph.D. program has been designed to combine flexibility with a thorough grounding in fundamentals. The coursework provides Ph.D. students with the necessary fundamental mechanical engineering knowledge and exposes them to new ideas through special-topic elective courses; upon this foundation rests the doctoral research. The advisor-supervised student investigations lead to a Ph.D. dissertation, based on the student's original research contribution. Ph.D. researchers are expected to expand their creativity and identify important open problems. Students also learn to formulate hypotheses, develop experimental/numerical/theoretical protocols, critically analyze and evaluate the results obtained, synthesize and interpret data, and succinctly present outcomes.

The student's doctoral research must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Ph.D. dissertation shall present the results of original and significant research work conducted by the student under the supervision of the Ph.D. Advisor and Ph.D. Committee.
  • At least one publication in a peer-reviewed, archival journal indexed in Scopus or Web of Science is required.
  • At least one presentation at a national/international technical conference (oral or poster) or a graduate seminar presentation within the department is also required.

Upon completion of their Ph.D. degree students should be able to work as independent researchers in academia or industry. Using and expanding the knowledge and skills obtained during their Ph.D. studies, they will eventually assume leadership roles in the U.S. or worldwide.

Academic Regulations

Academic regulations governing our Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program are described in the Graduate Student Handbook and Graduate Student Handbook Supplement. In addition to the departmental rules provided in the Handbook, all TTU Ph.D. students must follow the Graduate School regulations (for more details visit the Graduate School webpage).


Department of Mechanical Engineering