Doctor of Philosophy

Doctor of Philosophy

Aerospace Engineering. The Graduate College requires a minimum of 72 credits for a PhD degree. The department’s requirements include a minimum of 36 credits of acceptable course work, at least 24 credits of which must be graduate course work in aerospace engineering.

You must also have a minimum of 9 credits of acceptable course work from outside the major.

Courses related to the history, philosophy, sociology or political aspects of science and technology are strongly encouraged. Some course work at the 600 level is expected in all PhD Programs of Study. The minimum of 36 credits of course work may include appropriate 590, 690 and experimental course credits.

Each graduate student is required to present an open seminar as the first portion of the final thesis defense.

Engineering Mechanics. The Graduate College requires a minimum of 72 credits for a PhD degree. The department’s requirements include a minimum of 36 credits of acceptable course work, at least 24 credits of which must be graduate work in Engineering Mechanics, or a closely related specialty.

The PhD candidate must complete 12 credits total of acceptable course work from outside EM of these at least 6 credits must be acceptable mathematics courses. In addition, a minimum of 36 credits in EM 699 (thesis research) must be taken.

Each graduate student is required to present an open seminar as the first portion of the final thesis defense.

To qualify as a Ph.D. student in Aerospace Engineering OR Engineering Mechanics, a student must successfully7 pass a qualifier examination. This exam will be given twice during each academic year. student who already have a Master’s degree are required to take the examination at the beginning of the second semester of their Ph.D. program. Students who are admitted to the Ph.D. program directly with out a Master’s degree can take the qualifier one semester later. Each graduate student must take three parts of the qualifier exam; the math exam, the exam for the student’s declared area of specialization, and one minor exam chosen by the student.

Preliminary Exam

For the PhD degree in both Aerospace Engineering and in Engineering Mechanics, you must take a Preliminary Exam that is administered by your POS Committee. This exam is comprised of two parts, written and oral. The purpose of the preliminary examination is to assess your progress towards completion of your dissertation, evaluate your research and establish your depth of understanding of your field of study. The examination must be passed no later than six months prior to your final exam (dissertation defense). More detailed information regarding the qualifier exam and the preliminary exam can be found in the department’s graduate handbook.

The purpose of the prelim is to establish your comprehension of the course material you have taken–in terms of facts, understanding, and the ability to use the material you have studied. It is taken at or near the time of completion of your formal course work, but no later than six months prior to your final exam (dissertation defense).

Positions Available

Three Ph.D. positions, Engineering Mechanics program in mechanics and materials, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor Valery Levitas group

Three positions available to perform work on federally funded projects on modeling stress-induced phase transformations, plasticity, and their interactions at nano-, micro-, and macroscales. For more information and how to apply, click here.

Aerospace Engineering Hours

  • Office, 1200 Howe: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Howe Hall: Monday-Saturday, 6 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
  • Emergency contact: Building supervisor Jim Benson, 515-294-4946

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