Baylor University
Mechanical Engineering
School of Engineering and Computer Science

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
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DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

The Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering (Ph.D.M.E.) is designed for students who are interested in engineering careers that require education beyond the Master of Science degree. Examples of those include engineers performing industrial research, research at national laboratories, or careers in engineering academics.

Admission

All applicants accepted into the Mechanical Engineering (ME) doctoral program must have received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering or closely related fields. The GRE exam is required of all applicants.

Course Credit Requirements

The program requirements include a minimum of seventy-eight (78) semester hours of approved coursework and research hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Broad latitude is granted in the selection of courses, but all courses must be approved by the student’s graduate committee. The semester hours must meet the following criteria:

1. At least Forty-eight (48) semester hours of coursework including M.S. hours, subject to the following criteria:

a minimum of twelve (12) semester hours of 5000 or 6000 level coursework beyond the M.S. degree within ME

a minimum of six (6) semester hours of 5000 or 6000 level coursework beyond the M.S. degree outside of ME*

a maximum of six (6) semester hours of 4000 level coursework beyond the M.S. degree within ME

a minimum of five (5) semester hours of coursework in Ethics, Religion, Philosophy, or related area**

2. Doctoral Research hours:

a minimum of twelve (12) semester hours of ME Doctoral Research 6V99 taken after the preliminary exam

a maximum of six (6) semester hours of Engineering Research 6V97 taken prior to the preliminary exam

*Engineering is inherently cross-disciplinary, and oftentimes students may benefit from courses in non-ME disciplines to broaden their understanding of particular applications or knowledge domains. Supportive graduate course hours outside of ME can be selected from areas that include, but are not limited to: electrical and computer engineering, biomedical engineering, computer science, mathematics, statistics, the physical sciences, the social sciences, education or business.

**Engineering is a values-based discipline that benefits from Christian worldview and faith perspectives. Therefore, students are required to take select supportive course in areas that touch on these perspectives. Among the courses accepted for this requirement are one-credit-hour seminars taught by ME faculty on Research Ethics, or on Technology and Society.

Foreign Language Requirement

The ME doctoral program does not have a foreign language requirement. However, competency in a collateral field will be cultivated in students through the requirement of coursework outside of ME.

Student’s Graduate Committee

The Graduate Committee for a Ph.D. candidate shall consist of at least five members of the Baylor graduate faculty, at least three members from within ME, and at least one member from outside of ME. A researcher from outside of Baylor may serve as a committee member if approved by the ME graduate director and the Baylor members of the committee. The committee chair must be a tenured or tenure-track member of the ME faculty and a member of the Graduate Faculty.

If deemed appropriate, a graduate faculty member outside of ECE may supervise and mentor the student, in the capacity of a co-chair of the committee. The committee’s activities and structure will otherwise be governed by the appropriate sections of the Graduate Catalog.

Qualifying Examination

Students must pass a qualifying exam that covers coursework in three subject areas selected by the student’s graduate committee from among those offered by the ME department. The qualifying exam format will be at the discretion of the ME graduate faculty. A student may petition the graduate faculty to retake one or more failed subject areas of the qualifying exam, but must pass all three subject areas within six months of the date when the first exam was taken.

Preliminary Examination

Students must pass a preliminary exam (Ph.D. proposal) to be admitted to candidacy, and to enroll in Dissertation Research 6V99. The preliminary exam must be submitted in a semester following the semester during which the qualifying exam was passed. The preliminary exam format will be at the discretion of the student’s graduate committee, but may typically include a formal written proposal along with a formal presentation providing the committee an opportunity to ask questions about the scope and nature of the proposed research.

Dissertation

Candidates for the Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering degree must complete an acceptable dissertation on a research topic in the ME discipline or closely related field. The dissertation must provide evidence that the candidate has pursued a program of research, the results of which reveal scholarly competence and a significant contribution to knowledge.

Teaching Opportunities

Doctoral students considering an academic career may benefit from serving as undergraduate course instructors with a title of Teaching Fellow. To be eligible to serve as a Teaching Fellow a student must have passed the qualifying exam, be approved by the ME department chair, and have completed training through the Graduate School. A Baylor ME faculty member will be assigned to supervise and guide each Teaching Fellow.