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Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering

Doctoral Program

Doctoral Program in Mechanical Engineering

The UMass Lowell Department of Mechanical Engineering offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) option in Mechanical Engineering.

1Ph.D. Option in Mechanical Engineering

The intent of the Doctor of Philosophy program is to prepare engineers for leadership positions in industry, academia and government. The program includes advanced graduate course work in engineering and allied subjects and research, culminating in a doctoral dissertation. The Ph.D. degree is oriented toward academic research.

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants must have a minimum of a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, or a closely related field with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and a min GPA of 3.25 in science and engineering courses. Applicants with a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, or a closely related field, must have a minimum graduate GPA of 3.25. 
  • Applicants must take the GRE
  • Applicants from abroad whose native language is not English, must take The TOEFL exam (other UMass Lowell graduate admission approved exam)
  • Applicants must fully completed application per the graduate admissions office. 

Transfer Credits

  • A student with an earned master's degree in Engineering or a closely related field may transfer the entire degree (coursework and thesis) up to total number of credits granted by UMass Lowell with approval of the Department Graduate Coordinator.
  • A student with graduate-level work completed at an accredited US or Canadian university may apply for transfer of up to 24 semester credits in acceptable graduate engineering courses (with grade of B or better) towards the doctoral program, upon approval by the Department Graduate Coordinator.

Note: Students may be required to make up prerequisites which they lack in comparison to the equivalent Engineering curriculum at the UMass Lowell.

Degree Requirements

A total of 63 credit hours of graduate level courses are required for the Ph.D. degree. The Ph.D. degree must involve a traditional research-based dissertation, plus:

  • A minimum of 30 approved credit hours of graduate-level engineering courses, including associated science and math courses.
  • A minimum of 21 credit hours of doctoral dissertation.
  • The balance of the remaining 12 credits can be a mix of graduate-level engineering courses including associated science and math coursework and dissertation credits at the discretion of the department, faculty advisor and dissertation committee.
  • At least two semesters of the 0 credit research seminar MECH.5010

In addition to these 63 semester hours of approved graduate courses and thesis:

  • The student must have a minimum grade point average of 3.25 in order to graduate.
  • The student is required to take and pass the doctoral proposal defense, complete and pass the dissertation defense, and submit fully approved dissertation per university requirements.

Concerning graduate-level STEM courses, the Ph.D. candidate must take the following:

  • One Course in advanced mathematics:
    • MECH.5200 Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations
    • CHEN.5390 Mathematical Methods for Engineers
    • MATH.5300 Applied Math I
    • MATH.5450 Partial Differential Equations
    • Or another advanced mathematics approved by the doctoral dissertation advisor

Dissertation Proposal

The Dissertation Proposal stage will consist of a written dissertation proposal (a document of typically 20 to 50 pages without appendices) and associated oral presentation by the examinee to an audience of peers and a committee of faculty members (minimum of three) where one of whom must be the examinee's dissertation advisor. The committee should have in addition one or more members from outside UMass Lowell (or outside the UMass Lowell Mechanical Engineering department).

At least two weeks (14 days) prior to the date of the presentation of the dissertation proposal, an announcement document must be submitted to the department graduate coordinator and to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. The template for posting these and the dissertation announcement can be found at: Thesis/Dissertation Submission

The dissertation proposal is open to the public. The proposal will outline the motivation for the research, give a summary of the related past work in the area and present the scope of the proposed dissertation research. The presentation should be approximately 30 minutes. The proposal should clearly articulate the proposed contribution of the student to the knowledge base and how it differs from the past work. The examinee will be expected to answer questions from the audience to demonstrate his/her understanding of the proposed research, as well as his/her proficiency in the general research field related to the dissertation proposal.