Ph.D. Program

The PhD program in Mechanical Engineering provides both post-bachelors and post-masters applicants the opportunity for study in a broad range of areas, many of which overlap with other disciplines within the College and the University.  ME faculty members boast international reputations and provide students with opportunities for research in:

Roadmap to a PhD in Mechanical Engineering

Course Requirements

Postbachelor’s Students

  • must complete all departmental requirements for the Master of Science degree
  • required to complete a minimum of 64 credits applicable to their degree
    • 32 credits must be structured courses,
    • 28 credits of which must be at the 500 level or higher
    • a minimum of 16 credits of research/dissertation is required.

Post Masters Students

  • develop a curriculum in consultation with faculty advisor
  • required to complete 32 credits applicable to their degree, all of which must be at the 500 level or higher
  • a minimum of 8 credits of research/dissertation coursework is required.

Residency Requirement

Each student must satisfy a residency requirement of a minimum of two consecutive regular semesters of full-time graduate study at Boston University. Full-time study in this context means full-time commitment to the discipline as determined by the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs.

Qualifying Examination

Mathematics Requirement

Dissertation Prospectus Defense

  • within one year of becoming a candidate, the student is expected to present an oral dissertation proposal to the prospective dissertation committee and obtain approval for the written dissertation prospectus.


  • a PhD candidate is expected to prepare and carry out an independent and original research project in partial fulfillment of the dissertation requirement.
  • the dissertation committee must consist of College of Engineering (tenured or tenure-track) faculty.

Final Oral Examination

  • students shall present themselves for a final oral examination in which they must defend their dissertation as a worthy contribution to knowledge in their fields and demonstrate mastery of their field of specialization as related to the dissertation.
  • the Examining Committee is composed of at least five members of which two must be (tenured or tenure-track) faculty from the student’s academic department/division.

Time Limit

  • both the postbachelor’s and post-master’s programs must be completed within five years of the individual’s acceptance into PhD candidacy.


  • candidates for the PhD degrees are required to have as an advisor a member of the graduate faculty in the department/division of their major field.

Admission Information

Grad Admissions information, including the online application, can be found on the College of Engineering Graduate Programs website. Please click here for instructions and general information.