Mechanical Engineering (PhD)
The PhD degree program is intended for persons having an accredited masters and/or baccalaureate degree in mechanical engineering but is available to those with other backgrounds. Applicants with other backgrounds should plan on taking some undergraduate background course work. Students interested in the PhD degree program should consult the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The University of Louisville is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral degrees.
The J.B. Speed School of Engineering has established the following performance policies:
- The minimum grade point average requirement for good standing and satisfaction of degree requirements is 3.00 for all academic work completed while in graduate studies.
- Any student who does not satisfy the published performance criteria shall be placed in probationary status. Please review the Academic Standing section within this catalog in regard to Academic Probation.
- Students receiving graduate assistantships (teaching, research or service) shall be provided adequate training and shall be required to understand and adhere to University policies related to these areas. The performance of teaching, research and service duties by such students shall be periodically evaluated. Students with teaching assistantships shall be evaluated annually.
- Students who fail to meet performance goals or who do not meet other requirements as outlined in the admission letter, program requirements or the university catalog may be subject to academic dismissal from their programs.
All graduate students are expected to make steady and satisfactory progress toward the completion of degrees. Students who are not enrolled for a period of more than 12 months will be considered to have withdrawn from the program. Students who seek to return after such a period of time must contact the graduate program director. Students who seek to return after such a period of time must apply for readmission by completing a University of Louisville graduate application. If admitted, the student will be subject to catalog requirements in effect at the time of readmission.
The award of a Doctor of Philosophy degree indicates that a student has attained mastery of a field and has demonstrated the capacity to perform independent scholarly research. The following degree requirements are mandatory of all doctoral candidates:
- The Program of Study must be completed with a 3.00 GPA or better for all academic work attempted in Graduate Studies.
- At least two years of study must be spent at the University of Louisville.
- One year must be spent in full-time residency (a minimum of 18 credit hours within a 12-month period) or four terms of continuous part-time enrollment.
- The applicant for a Doctor of Philosophy degree must pass an oral and/or written qualifying examination.
- Admission to candidacy must not be later than the end of the ninth month prior to the awarding of the degree. Students enter Doctoral Candidacy upon completion of all coursework, qualifying exams, required research credit hours and other co-curricular requirements. Students who are enrolled in Doctoral Candidacy are considered full-time students. Enrollment in Doctoral Candidacy status must be continuously maintained year round (i.e. Fall, Spring, and Summer sesmesters) until the degree is awarded.
- A dissertation is required of all candidates.
- All candidates must pass a final oral examination. This is to be a defense of the dissertation and a demonstration of the candidate's mastery of his/her field.
- Ordinarily, the equivalent of three years of full-time graduate study is a minimum. However, the candidate must complete all requirements for the degree within four calendar years after passing the qualifying examination.
The requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree are explained in more detail in the Degree Requirements section of this catalog.
The admission standards for the PhD program in mechanical engineering are as follows:
- All admission applications for the program shall include:
- A completed application for the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies,
- An application fee,
- Results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE),
- At least two (2) letters of recommendation, and
- Official transcript(s) for all previous post-secondary coursework. All transcripts not in English must be certified as authentic and translated verbatim into English.
- The minimum requirement for admission is a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution or current enrollment in an undergraduate Speed School program.
- International students whose primary language is not English must show English language proficiency by either TOEFL/IELTS score or demonstration of a degree award from an acceptable English language institution. The successful applicant will typically have a total TOEFL score of 80 or higher or overall IELTS score of 6.5 or higher.
The successful applicant will typically have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 or above and a graduate grade point average of 3.25 or above (on a 4.0 scale) and a GRE Combined Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning score of 302 or above.
Admission in good standing shall be made only if all admission credentials have been received, evaluated and approved and all academic requirements met including a demonstration of adequate background in a foundational subject material. A student may be admitted provisionally if academic requirements are met but application materials are incomplete (usually missing letters of recommendation or official transcripts and/or official score reports). Students have one semester to furnish any credentials missing at the time of admission and may not enroll for a second consecutive term in provisional status.
Any conditional acceptance shall be made on an individual basis and shall require a statement of the rationale for the exception, plans for monitoring progress and performance and stated success criteria. Such justification must be provided in writing and must be accepted by the program chair and the Speed School associate dean for academic affairs.
Normally, it is expected that the student will complete a master's degree before being admitted to the PhD program. However, qualified applicants may be admitted directly to the doctoral program after receiving a baccalaureate degree. These students will be required to complete an additional 30 credit hours of coursework at the 500 and 600 level under an individual plan developed in conjunction with the department's Director of Graduate Studies. Also, remedial work may be specified for those applicants who, in the opinion of the faculty, do not have a sufficient background.
The minimum curricular requirements for the doctoral program are:
|Master's Degree or Approved Master’s-Level Course Work||30|
|Technical Electives 1||15|
|ME 700||Dissertation Research in Mechanical Engineering||15|
|Minimum Total Hours||60|
Candidates for the doctor of philosophy degree must have a minimum final cumulative grade point average of 3.00 for all academic work attempted in graduate studies.
Technical Electives can be ME or non-ME courses. Technical Electives must be approved by the department. Students are allowed to take at most six (6) hours of Independent Study (ME 588/ME 688) as part of the 30 credit hours of coursework