PhD in Mechanical Engineering

The Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering offers a world-class program leading to the PhD in Mechanical Engineering. The program offers tremendous flexibility in course selection, with a rigorous qualifying exam based on upper-level undergraduate course work. Most students joining the department enter the PhD program in Stage 1, during which they complete their MS degree in Mechanical Engineering or Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. An outline of the steps toward completion of the Mechanical Engineering PhD is presented below.

Stage 1: MS or its equivalent

Click here for information on getting your MS degree in ME or TAM.*

Stage 2: Qualifying Exam, PhD Coursework, Preliminary Examination

Qualifying Exam

Students are required to take the exam within one calendar year of completion of their MS degree. The Department requires the successful completion of a Qualifying Examination to formally enter the Ph.D. program. The Qualifying Examination should be taken no later one calendar year after completion of the MS degree. You can download sample examinations should you want them. Also, please download the exam scheduling guidelines and both the research examination proposal cover sheet and PhD qualifying examination registration form to schedule your exam.

Coursework***

32 hours of graded coursework (16 hours at 500-level and 3-4 hours of advanced math)**

Preliminary Examination

Scheduled upon completion of coursework requirement or in the semester in which the final coursework is taken. To schedule your exam, download the Guidelines for, and the administration of, the Doctoral Preliminary Examination and the Doctoral Final Examination. Students should submit Form A (for Preliminary Examination) to the MechSE Graduate Office (166 MEB) at least 3 weeks prior to the approximate exam date. Form B, along with an electronic copy of the proposal should be submitted to the MechSE Graduate Office at least one week prior to the exam.

Seminar Requirement

Continuous registration in ME 590 is required until completion of the final exam. Seminar credit cannot be counted toward coursework requirements.

Stage 3: Thesis and Final Examination

Thesis Focus

Thesis and Final Examination

Doctoral Dissertation Defense

May be taken no sooner than six months after the preliminary examination.

Seminar Requirement

Continuous registration in ME 590 is required until completion of the final exam. Seminar credit cannot be counted toward coursework requirements.

Final Examination

STUDENTS are responsible for preparing the Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form, “TDA” (formerly known as the “Red Boarder” form). They should print three original copies of the form to bring to the exam. The form is found at http://www.grad.illinois.edu/forms/tda . All information required on the form should be entered by the student before printing off the form . The only handwritten item on the form will be the signatures of the Committee Members. To schedule your exam, download the Guidelines for, and the administration of, the Doctoral Preliminary Examination and the Doctoral Final Examination. Students should submit Form C (for Final Examination) to the MechSE Graduate Office (166 MEB) at least 3 weeks prior to the approximate exam date. Students must submit Form D, along with an electronic copy of the abstract at least two weeks prior to the exam. This will allow time for the announcement to be published in MechSE e-week.

Residency requirement: The University of Illinois requires that 64 hours must be from courses meeting on the Urbana-Champaign campus or at other locations approved by the Graduate College for resident credit.
*A student entering with a MS degree is credited with 32 hours of coursework, leaving 64 hours to be completed at Illinois.
**A maximum of 4 hours of ME 597 Independent study may be applied toward the 500-level coursework requirement.
***Coursework applied toward the degree must be approved by the Associate Head for Graduate Programs.
 

 

Contact Info

Graduate Programs Office
166 MEB
1206 W. Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 244-3416
mechse-gradatillinois [dot] edu
 

Student Profiles

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