Jun 25, 2024  
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog 

Mechanical Engineering Ph.D.

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Admission Requirements

In order to be admitted to the Ph.D. program in Engineering in the field of Mechanical Engineering, a student must complete the following requirements:

  1. Application must be made to the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Applications must include all documentation as required by the Graduate College. The Department of Mechanical Engineering will admit the student and supervise the student’s Ph.D. program.
  2. The applicant must have a Master of Science in Engineering degree or equivalent with a major in mechanical engineering or a closely allied field. Students with nonengineering backgrounds will be required to complete a set of course work requirements that will assure successful completion of the Ph.D. specialization and qualify the student to sit for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. The Graduate Program Committee (GPC) will decide upon special cases.
  3. The applicant must submit a written statement of purpose indicating interests and objectives in working toward a Ph.D. degree. In addition, three letters of recommendation for the Ph.D.-level study must be submitted. The statement and letters should be sent to the department.
  4. Foreign applicants must take and obtain a satisfactory score of a minimum of 550 (213 computerized) on the TOEFL exam as required by the Graduate College.
  5. The GPC will examine the applicant’s academic record and will make the final determination of the applicant’s admissibility to the Ph.D. program. In general, a minimum postbaccalaureate GPA of 3.20 on a 4.00 scale or equivalent is required for admission.
  6. The applicant must obtain satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as determined by the GPC.
  7. The UNLV Graduate College must formally admit the applicant.

Degree Requirements

The degree requirements for the Ph.D. in Engineering in the field of Mechanical Engineering include the following:

  1. A Doctoral Advisory Committee composed of at least five members of the UNLV graduate faculty is to be formed for the student. Three of these faculty must be from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the fourth from a relevant supporting field, and a fifth as appointed by the Graduate College.
  2. The program of study must be submitted by the second semester of study. The program of study is to be prepared by the student and his/her doctoral advisor, and must be approved by the student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee and the GPC.
  3. Doctoral students must complete a minimum of 21 credit hours of course work beyond the degree of Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.) or equivalent. A minimum of 18 of these credits must be 700-level courses. The student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee may add other requirements in accordance with the individual’s background and area of study. All Ph.D. candidates must maintain a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.20 and a minimum GPA of 3.20 each semester. Ph.D. candidates who do not maintain an overall GPA of 3.20 and a GPA of 3.20 each semester will be placed on probation.
  4. In addition to these course requirements, a minimum of 18 credits of Dissertation Research:
    ME 799 - Dissertation  is also required.
  5. In order to show breadth and depth of knowledge in his/her discipline, the doctoral student must pass either a written qualifying exam, or an oral qualifying exam, or both as determined by the student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee. Each student must choose one of the following areas as a major and another as a minor: Dynamics and Control, Fluid Mechanics, Material Science, Solid Mechanics and Mechanical Design, and Thermal Sciences. In addition, all students will be tested in Mathematics. These examinations are on the undergraduate senior level. They are prepared by the department. Qualifying exams are held every semester. The qualifying exams must be scheduled during the first year of study. The qualifying exam can be taken a maximum of two times. Failure to take the exam within the first year or failure to pass the exam in the second attempt will automatically result in terminating student from the program.
  6. The doctoral student must pass a preliminary exam consisting of a written proposal for the dissertation research, followed by an oral defense of the proposal. The Doctoral Advisory Committee must approve the dissertation research proposal. The student is advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. upon completion of all course work and approval of the dissertation before the Doctoral Advisory Committee.
  7. All requirements for the Ph.D. are met upon the satisfactory completion of the proposed research, the submission of a satisfactory dissertation, and the successful oral defense of the dissertation before the Doctoral Advisory  Committee.

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