Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering

The Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering is designed to ensure that students receive both fundamental knowledge in basic concepts and an understanding of current and emerging/future technologies and applications, which include but are not limited to the following areas: biomedical devices, biosensors and cell/tissue-based physiological platforms, composites and structured materials, computational and experimental fluid dynamics and heat transfer, computer-aided design and manufacturing, integrated product and process design, control theory, design of thermal systems, knowledge-based engineering systems, noise control and vibration, robotics and automation, nano/micro system modeling, design and fabrication, sustainable energy and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Courses are selected to develop knowledge and skills in a particular area of interest. While this coursework is necessary to develop the knowledge and skills of the student’s profession, the most important aspect of the doctoral program is the student’s original research in a selected topic of interest.

Nanotechnology Concentration


The Mechanical Engineering Doctoral Program is an integral part of the institute-wide Nanotechnology graduate program. A Ph.D. degree option in Mechanical Engineering with a Concentration in Nanotechnology is available to students who satisfy the conditions and requirements of the Nanotechnology area which are outlined in a separate section of the catalog.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering requires 84 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. A prior master’s degree in mechanical engineering or a related field may be transferred for up to 30 credits without specific course descriptions. The remaining 54 credits must include at least: 

  • 24 course credits 

  • 27 research credits

  • a three-credit PRV 961 course 

Research Seminars


Ph.D. students are required to attend research seminars. Students failing to meet this requirement may be put on probation at the discretion of the faculty.


Qualifying Exam 


The Qualifying Exam is to be taken at the end of the third semester (if a student enters with a B.S. degree) or the second semester (if a student enters with a master’s degree) of arriving at Stevens.



Students must complete a minimum of 15 credits of ME 960 Dissertation/Research. The dissertation must demonstrate the student’s mastery of the associated topic area, it must exhibit sound research methodology, and it must make a unique and substantial contribution to an area of research.

Thesis Proposal

By the end of their fourth semester, students must write and present a thesis proposal, where they lay out an intended course of research for their dissertation. The proposal should contain an explanation of the problem and why it is important, a sketch of the proposed solution, and background information that serves to indicate that the problem is unsolved and what prior or related approaches to this or similar problems have already been investigated.The Ph.D. dissertation proposal is required to be held two semesters after the student passes the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam (i.e. after four semesters with master’s degree and after five semesters with bachelor’s degree).

Dissertation Defense

At the completion of the doctoral research, the candidate must defend their dissertation in a public presentation or Ph.D. Dissertation Defense. The final Ph.D. dissertation is usually defended at the end of the fourth year of full-time study. The dissertation must be based upon original investigation in the field of mechanical engineering and must be a contribution worthy of publication in the current professional literature. 


The faculty reserve the right to make exceptions to any of the rules and procedures described above in order to promote and preserve the health of the doctoral program and to ensure each student’s prompt and effective progress through the program.