The Doctor of Philosophy is a degree that is conferred on a student who has demonstrated proficiency in some broad area of learning, and who has proven that he or she has the capability to evaluate work in the field critically. In addition, the student must have demonstrated the ability to work independently and make original contributions to the field. The degree is conferred after the student has satisfied both a course work and dissertation requirement under the supervision of a committee.
The PhD degree is awarded to students who have satisfied the requirements of the program, who have submitted an acceptable dissertation, and who have passed all prescribed examinations. Program requirements are:
Students entering the program with a MS that is not in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering may have additional coursework requirements beyond those described above. These requirements will be determined as a part of the student's plan of study in coordination with the student, advisor and MAE Graduate Affairs Committee.
The completion of the Ph.D. degree must be accomplished in seven years. An extension to this time limit will be considered if requested.
The qualifying exam is designed to ensure that students achieve a high level of expertise in the subject matter of their major area, preparing them for success in the PhD program and in their broader career endeavors. The exam will cover one of three topical areas chosen from:
by the student in consultation with his or her advisor. The exam consists of two parts; a written test followed by an oral test. The oral test will usually be given one week after the written test. The exam will emphasize mathematical concepts pertinent to the topical area. The qualifying exam will be taken at the first opportunity after the completion of one academic semester following admission into the program. For more information reference the Qualifying Exam.
The dissertation is a written, polished document reporting the results of the student’s investigation into an original area of research. At least 30 semester hours of dissertation credit are required. All Ph.D. dissertations must be written according to a departmentally approved format and enclosed in the department report cover. Each will be assigned a department report number.
The final oral defense of the dissertation occurs at the completion of the dissertation after the first and second readers have approved its contents. It is open to anyone who wishes to attend. A successful candidate must receive the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Dissertation Committee. The examination may be attempted at most twice.