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ME PhD Degree Requirements

The standard PhD program requires forty-five (45) credit hours of coursework, of which at least twenty-four (24) credit hours must be dissertation hours. The remaining twenty-one (21) letter-graded credit hours are divided into three areas:

General Engineering and Mathematics

Six (6) semester hours: EML 5930 – Analysis in Mechanical Engineering II (3) and one additional course from the approved course list.

Electives

Fifteen (15) semester hours: Select five (5) graduate-level, letter-graded courses in engineering, mathematics, and/or any science discipline (e.g. computer science, physics, etc.).

Graduate Seminar

EML 5935 – Mechanical Engineering Seminar (0). See Graduate Seminar section for additional information.

Preliminary Exam

EML 8968 - Preliminary Examination (0). See Preliminary Exam section for additional information.

Dissertation

Twenty-four (24) semester hours: EML 6980 - Dissertation (1-12). University rules require that students take thesis credit in their final term, even if they have completed the thesis credit requirement for their degree program.

Dissertation Defense

EML 8985 - Dissertation Defense (0) must be taken in the student's final semester.

The BS-PhD program requires sixty (60) credit hours of coursework, of which at least twenty-four (24) credit hours must be dissertation hours. The remaining thirty-six (36) letter-graded credit hours are divided into four areas:

Core Courses
Nine (9) semester hours: EML 5060 Analysis in Mechanical Engineering I, two core courses in the student's major area:

Dynamics and Controls

  • EGM 5444 - Advanced Dynamics
  • EML 5317 - Advanced Control Systems
  • EML 5361 - Multivariable Control
  • EML 5930 - Adaptive Controls

Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer

  • EGM 5152 - Heat Transfer
  • EML 5155 - Convective Heat Transfer
  • EML 5709 - Fluid Mechanics
  • EML 5930 - Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics

Solid Mechanics and Materials Science

  • EGM 5611 - Continuum Mechanics
  • EGM 5653 - Theory of Elasticity
  • EML 5930 - Advanced Materials
  • EML 5930 - Solid Mechanics and Electromagnetics of Continuous Media

General Engineering and Mathematics
Six (6) semester hours: EML 5930 – Analysis in Mechanical Engineering II (3) and one additional course from the approved course list.

Mechanical Engineering Courses
Six (6) semester hours: any two courses in Mechanical Engineering.

Electives
Fifteen (15) semester hours: Select five (5) graduate-level, letter-graded courses in engineering, mathematics, and/or any science discipline (e.g. computer science, physics, etc.).

Graduate Seminar
EML 5935 – Mechanical Engineering Seminar (0). See Graduate Seminar section for additional information.

Preliminary Exam
EML 8968 - Preliminary Examination (0). See Preliminary Exam section for additional information.

Dissertation
Twenty-four (24) semester hours: EML 6980 – Dissertation (1-12). University rules require that students take thesis credit in their final term, even if they have completed the thesis credit requirement for their degree program.

Dissertation Defense
EML 8985 - Dissertation Defense (0) must be taken in the student's final semester.

The following courses have been approved by the Graduate Committee to satisfy the General Engineering & Advanced Mathematics requirement for doctoral students. Students must take EML 5930 - Analysis in Mechanical Engineering II (3) and one additional course from this approved list.

Students may select an alternative course with the approval of their major professor AND the Chair of the Graduate Committee. The request must be made prior to enrolling in the course. Retroactive approval will not be granted.

  • EEL 5173 - Signal and System Analysis
  • EEL 6502 - Digital Signal Processing I
  • EGN 5456 - Computational Mechanics
  • EML 5361 - Multivariable Control
  • EML 5930 - Adaptive Controls
  • EGM 5444 - Advanced Dynamics
  • ESI 5408 - Applied Optimization
  • ISC 5227 - Survey of Num. PDE’s
  • ISC 5315 – Applied Computational Sci. I
  • ISC 5316 – Applied Computational Sci. II
  • ISC 5936 - Num. Methods for SDE’s
  • ISC 5935 - Multi-scale Modeling
  • MAA 4402 - Complex Variables
  • MAD 5420 - Numerical Optimization
  • MAD 5708 - Numerical Analysis II
  • MAD 5738 - Numerical Solution of PDE's I
  • MAD 5739 - Numerical Solution of PDE's II
  • MAD 5745 - Spectral Methods for PDE's
  • MAP 5207 - Optimization
  • MAP 5217 - Calculus of Variations
  • MAP 5336 - Qualitative Theory of ODE's
  • MAP 5346 - Elementary PDE's II
  • MAP 5423 - Complex Vars, Asymp. Exps
  • MAP 5441 - Perturbation Theory
  • MAP 5513 - Wave Propagation Theory
  • MAS 4106 - Applied Linear Algebra II
  • PHY 5515 - Thermal & Statistical Physics
  • PHY 4523 - Statistical Physics
  • STA 4202 - Design of Experiments I
  • STA 5206 - Analysis of Variance & Design
  • STA 5207 - Applied Regression Methods

Exam Dates (Tentative)

  • Oral Exam: Fall Semester of your second year

Exam Objectives, Structure and Procedures

The Preliminary Exam is designed to evaluate your grasp of a specified spectrum of Mechanical Engineering as well as your ability to think creatively. Although the factual material is limited to material that you should have seen before, you can expect questions to be phased in a way that you have not seen before, and to require creative processes. The academic level and the subject matter of the exam correspond mostly to the BS program in Mechanical Engineering, although some material corresponds to the MS program .

Overview

A change to the prior PhD preliminary examination was proposed to enhance the preparation and professional development of our PhD students. The new examination format exclusively focuses on the oral examination. The written portion is excluded; however, this exclusion was replaced with a 3.5 GPA requirement for mechanical engineering graduate courses taken the first year of study as detailed in item 6 below. The 3.5 GPA automatically guarantees the requirement to take the oral exam. A GPA less than 3.5 but greater than or equal to 3.25 must submit a petition to the graduate committee for approval to take the exam. Extenuating circumstances beyond these requirements may be submitted to the graduate committee on a case-by-case basis. A petition to the graduate committee regarding GPAs must occur within 30 days after the spring semester for taking the preliminary exam in the fall of the following school year.

The key requirements for the new preliminary examination are described as follows:

  1. A 1.5 hour oral examination will be given to each PhD candidate.

  2. Content of the examination will include:
    1. A brief presentation (~10-15 minutes) on the candidate’s chosen area of research. This presentation should describe the problem, articulate its impact on science, engineering, and society, and anticipate expected research outcome
    2. The remaining time will focus on open ended questions within the field of study based upon the current mechanical engineering PhD topic list.

  3. This field of study will be identified by the PhD mentor and student guided by the mechanical engineering PhD topic list (see Preliminary Exam Topics). The topic list must coincide with one existing topic area previously agreed upon by the department and published for student examination preparation. The questions will be based on the aforementioned topics at a fundamental level required for open ended research problems appropriate as a graduate research assistant. 

    For example, the current three areas include: a) dynamics and controls, b) fluids and heat transfer, or c) solid mechanics and materials science, or an agreed upon set of topics approved by the graduate committee for students conducting interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary research. Flexibility in the topics within each area is left at the discretion of the oral examination committee, but must include breadth as well as depth.

  4. The oral examination will be given by three faculty members determined by the graduate coordinator in consultation with the PhD advisor, who is excluded from serving on the examination committee. The PhD advisor is strongly recommended to be present during the oral examination.

  5. Grading will be pass/fail and determined through deliberation at the end of the oral examination for each candidate. It will include one vote pass/fail from each faculty member on the examination committee. The PhD advisor is recommended to participate in the first round of discussion of the student’s examination performance. This will be followed by a closed discussion by the three committee members who will vote pass/fail. The results will be submitted to the graduate committee for final approval. Upon a second unsuccessful attempt, a petition to the graduate committee must be made for extenuating circumstances if the student has shown other significant evidence worthy of continuation in the PhD program. A plan of corrective action(s) must be put in writing to ensure the PhD student will be successful as a PhD candidate.

  6. Exam dates: the examination will occur during the second fall semester of the graduate student’s tenure within the mechanical engineering graduate program. The list of exam topics selected by each PhD student in consultation with the faculty member should be submitted to the graduate committee by the end of the spring semester prior to the fall examination. A minimum of 3.5 GPA average must be satisfied comprised of two 3-credit hours of graduate mathematics courses (inside or outside of the mechanical engineering department) and another two 3-credit hours of courses in the declared major subject. Courses within the major subject areas include: 
     

    Dynamics & Controls

    Thermal Fluids

    Mechanics & Materials

    Introduction to Controls

    Fluids Dynamics

    Continuum Mechanics

    Advanced Dynamics

    Heat Transfer

    Computational Material Physics

    -

    Aerodynamics

    Solid Mechanics and Electromagnetics of Continuous Media

    -

    Gas Dynamics

    Metallurgy

    -

    Computational Fluid Dynamics

    Design Using FEM

    -

    -

    Materials Selection in Design


    Any alternate courses must be approved by the graduate committee. The math courses includeAnalysis I and Analysis II or alternate graduate level mathematics courses approved by the graduate committee. 

    Students desiring a spring exam must petition to the graduate committee before the end of the fall semester. As noted above, a student with a GPA between 3.25 and 3.5 may petition to the graduate committee to take the oral exam. Such petitions should be submitted to the graduate committee 30 days after the spring semester for fall examination. Extenuating circumstances beyond these requirements must be petitioned to the graduate committee on a case-by-case basis. Requirements to correct any deficiencies will be put in writing and agreed upon by the PhD advisor and student.

  7. During the transition of this examination change, accommodations will be made for students that fall outside of the requirements. Students who have not completed the required courses fall 2016, or who have not satisfied the GPA requirements, will be permitted to take the new oral examination.

Florida A&M

There is no PhD residency requirement for Florida A&M graduate students.

Florida State

The intent of the residency requirement is to ensure that doctoral students contribute to and benefit from the complete spectrum of educational, professional, and enrichment opportunities provided on the campus of a comprehensive university. When establishing residency the student should interact with faculty and peers by regularly attending courses, conferences, or seminars, and utilize the library and laboratory facilities provided for graduate education.

Your Doctoral Residency period begins once you have completed 30 credit hours of graduate coursework at FSU OR if you were admitted to the doctoral program with a MS degree. During your residency period you must be enrolled on the main campus for a minimum of 24 credit hours during any consecutive 12-month period.

The Coordinator of Graduate Studies will prepare your doctoral residency schedule. It will be included in your admission to candidacy letter after you pass the preliminary exam. It is your responsibility to follow your schedule. You will not be permitted to graduate if the requirement has not been satisfied.

Supervised Teaching Experience

Each doctoral student must demonstrate a minimum proficiency in teaching. To meet this requirement, the student must prepare and present a minimum of three lectures in a course supervised by a tenure-tracked faculty member. Also, the student must register for and attend the Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) Conference prior to his/her teaching experience. Non-native English speakers are also required to take and pass the SPEAK test. Students must score 50 or above on the SPEAK or at least 26 on the speaking portion of the IBTOEFL.

Each student will receive a written evaluation of his/her teaching performance based on feedback from the students in the class and the supervising faculty member’s observations. The supervising faculty member will discuss the results with the student. A copy of the evaluation must be submitted to the Department as part of the annual doctoral student evaluation. Supervised Teaching Evaluation Form

If for any reason the student is unable to carry out the formal teaching requirement, he/she may propose an alternative teaching experience and petition the Graduate Committee for approval.

Annual Poster Presentation

As part of the Graduate Seminar, each doctoral student will annually prepare a poster and present an overview of his/her work including a current status report.

Graduate Seminar Presentation

Prior to graduation, each doctoral student must give a formal presentation of his/her dissertation topic during the Graduate Seminar.

Research Ethics

Doctoral students are required to complete the online Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) course. The completion of this courses satisfies the National Science Foundation's Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training requirement. A copy of the completion certificate must be submitted to the Department.

Additional Resources

  • FAMU Professional Development Workshop Series: Each academic year, the School of Graduate Studies and Research conducts a series of professional development workshops. These free workshops, led by FAMU faculty and administrators, are designed for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

  • FSU Professional Development Workshop Series: Each academic year, the Graduate School conducts a series of professional development workshops. These free workshops, led by FSU faculty and administrators, are designed for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

  • FSU Preparing Future Faculty (PFF): The Preparing Future Faculty Program assists FSU doctoral students (and others headed toward academic careers) prepare for future faculty work. Through participation in coursework, workshops, and mentoring, PFF Fellows increase their awareness of expectations for faculty performance and of resources available to aid in scholarly careers, and build their readiness to address research, teaching and related demands of faculty life. Goals include enhancing the placement of FSU students in university positions and supporting the finest scholarly accomplishments of FSU's graduates in their future careers.

Students must form their dissertation committee within one semester of passing the preliminary exam. Each dissertation committee must consist of at least four individuals:

  1. Student's major professor
  2. A Mechanical Engineering faculty member in student's major area
  3. A Mechanical Engineering faculty member from outside student's major area
  4. A tenured university faculty member from outside the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

All four primary committee members must be tenure-track faculty, with Graduate Faculty Status (GFS), holding the rank of Professor, Associate Professor or Assistant Professor. Assistant professors are not eligible to serve as the Outside University Representative. Research scholars/scientists, adjunct professors and faculty from outside the university may not serve as primary members of your dissertation committee. However, they may serve as additional members with the approval of the Department Chair and the Graduate Faculty. No committee member may serve more than one role on the committee.

Committee Forms

Non-University Committee Members

Non-University faculty may serve on your dissertation committee but they must have a courtesy appointment with the university prior to serving on the committee. To complete the courtesy appointment the prospective committee member must submit the following items to the Department:

  1. Current Curriculum Vitae
  2. Copy of their Social Security Card
  3. Employment Application (FAMU | FSU)

Once the courtesy appointment has been approved the Department will request Co-Doctoral Directive Status (CDDS) for prospective committee member. The approval process involves several different university offices (Dean's Office, Graduate Studies, Dean of Faculties, etc.) and can take up to 3-4 weeks to process so please plan accordingly.