Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering
The graduate programs in mechanical engineering from Drexel Engineering engages students in learning and research at the forefront of mechanical engineering. Students graduate prepared for careers in academia, industry or research.
What is a Mechanical Engineering PhD program?
A mechanical engineering doctoral program prepares professionals for taking on emerging topics in design, construction and use in machines for the purpose of advancing computing, materials, manufacturing and communications. A doctoral degree in mechanical engineering explores the frontiers of the human-machine interface. The diverse applications of mechanical engineering spans use in healthcare and wellness, manufacturing, robotics, aerospace and many others. As a student, you will investigate ideas that seek to address challenges in industry or in society that can be impacted by mechanical devices.
The PhD program in mechanical engineering has the following major aims:
- Deliver education covering the breadth and depth of the most current and advanced knowledge in mechanical engineering through in-depth study of the chosen field of specialization.
- Develop top research capabilities through discovery, faculty guidance and research training.
- Prepare leaders in the field in careers in academia, research and industry.
- The PhD in Mechanical Engineering will take four to six years to complete on a full-time basis.
Why choose Drexel for your PhD in Mechanical Engineering?
As a Carnegie R1 research institution, Drexel is in the top tier of research output and one of only 34 US institutions with that designation. Through rigorous analysis and exploration, Drexel’s doctoral degree program in mechanical engineering deepens knowledge of the discipline, engineering design and implementation, and the considerations unique to the field. Students emerge prepared to take on the demands of industry, research, or academia in mechanical engineering and its related disciplines.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics (MEM) received more than $3 million in awards in 2021, with over $2.5M in annual research expenditures. The faculty in the growing department directs thriving research that supports PhD students and postdoctoral researchers in a diverse array of mechanical engineering areas. Drexel PhD students shape the field through pioneering research that often leads to commercialization and entrepreneurship. Just in 2021 alone, the College of Engineering faculty have garnered 16 US patents, three license agreements and has produced a new startup company.
As Director of the C. & J. Nyheim Plasma Institute of Drexel University, Alexander Fridman has been at the forefront of scientific discovery for decades.
Faculty in MEM are experts with industry experience or are at the forefront of research and teaching. Our MEM faculty have garnered many awards and numerous notable achievements.
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Director of Theoretical & Applied Mechanics Group
John A. Nyheim Chair Professor
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Director, C. J. Nyheim Plasma Institute
The city of Philadelphia and the surrounding metro area are home to multiple industrial research and production facilities that attract advanced mechanical engineering talent. Learn more.
Curriculum and Requirements
Both in research and in curriculum, the Drexel mechanical engineering PhD program emphasizes a combination of fundamentals with topical specialization and interdisciplinary training.
At least 90 credits are required for the PhD degree. You will choose a doctoral thesis topic after consultation with the faculty early in the program. An oral thesis presentation and defense are scheduled at the completion of the thesis work.
For students entering the PhD program with a prior MS degree:
- 45.0 credits of graduate courses out of which 18.0 credits are graduate courses exclusive of independent study and dissertation. If the MS degree was not from Drexel MEM Department, 12.0 of these 18.0 credits must be MEM graduate courses (600-level or above). The remaining 27.0 credits consist of a combination of dissertation, independent study, and additional advanced coursework consistent with the approved plan of study.
For students entering the PhD program with a BS degree but without a prior master's degree:
- 90.0 credits of graduate courses. 45.0 of these 90.0 credits must satisfy the MS in Mechanical Engineering degree requirements. The remaining 45.0 credits must satisfy the requirements above.
Graduate advisors will guide your course selection and scheduling of core and elective courses. Click here to learn more about the curricular requirements.
Visit the Drexel Catalog for more information or learn more about our admissions requirements.
All students in the mechanical engineering PhD program engage in research as part of their degree. Candidates are encouraged to base their thesis on some aspect of faculty research.
Mechanical engineering research labs and institutes house research conducted by our world-renowned faculty, funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and many other Federal and private sponsors. Opportunities also exist to engage with the college’s neighbors in The Singh Center for Nanotechnology, including the Quattrone Nanofabrication Facility.
Current research in mechanical engineering and mechanics covers areas such as:
- Biomechanical engineering
- Combustion and fuels
- Design and manufacturing
- Mechanics and structures
- Systems, controls and robotics
- Thermal fluid sciences
Visit research areas for more about other research activity at the College of Engineering.
The vast majority of incoming graduate students are funded by research assistantships, so we encourage you to contact faculty whose research interests you.
In addition, you may wish to investigate the following funding opportunities:
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