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ME PhD Degree Requirements

The GRE requirement has been waived (and extended) for all engineering master’s applicants applying through Fall 2026!

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. Alternates should be non-ME courses, at the 5000-level or above, and in the areas of science, math or scientific computing. 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

Course Requirement

Only after attainment of a minimum GPA of 3.20/4.0 in at least five graduate-level courses, a minimum of 1 Math (EML 5060/5061, MAP 5345/5346), 2 Core (major area), and 2 ME Grad courses, is a student allowed to proceed with the Preliminary Examination. Students can choose the 5 best-graded courses to satisfy the minimum GPA requirement.

Major Subject Area Courses

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
 

Doctoral Committee

During 2nd Year, the student (in consultation with major professor) forms the Doctoral Committee to initiate the Preliminary Exam process. The committee composition:

  1. Major professor (Chair, Prospectus & Dissertation)
  2. ME Faculty member in your major area (1) (Chair, Prelim Exam)
  3. ME Faculty member outside major area (1)
  4. A tenured faculty member from outside the Department of Mechanical Engineering (Univ. Rep.)
  5. Optional (at the discretion of Major Professor): Additional member in the major area

    The 4 primary members must be tenure-track faculty, holding the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor. Assistant professors may not serve as the University Rep. The Doctoral Committee is responsible for both administrations of the Preliminary exam and oversight of the student's program of study. Committee members must be approved by the ME Graduate Committee. The preliminary exam shall be attempted during the 2nd year.

Notes:

  1. Participation of the University Representative during the oral presentation of the exam is optional.
  2. Major professor doesn’t take part in the evaluation (scoring) process.
  3. The page limit (20 pages) for the research proposal indicated above is maximum. A good quality research proposal of shorter length should not be penalized.
  4. The students are encouraged to discuss the whitepaper and research proposal with their advisor before submission to the committee.
  5. If a student fails the exam, Chair of the committee must ensure that detailed feedback is provided to the student.
  6. If a student fails the exam, he/she can either select a new topic or continue to work on the same and improve based on the feedback provided.

Preliminary Exam Format (Timeline for Spring 2022)

Milestone Complete No Later Than Initial & Date (Student)* Initial & Date (Chair)*
Formation of Doctoral Committee Prior to Spring 2022 Classes

CLASSES BEGIN
January 5, 2022
   
Student submits 1-page whitepaper on research proposal including problem statement, intellectual merit, and boarder impact to the Doctoral Committee. Week of January 10, 2022    
Doctoral Committee reviews the whitepaper, makes suggestions, provides comments, and may suggest modifications to the topic (~one week). Week of January 24, 2022

MLK HOLIDAY
January 17, 2022
   
Student submits a 20-page (maximum) research proposal including theoretical framework, literature review (including a seminal/review paper), knowledge gaps, and proposed research (~6 weeks). Week of March 7, 2022

SPRING BREAK
March 14-18, 2022
   
Committee reviews proposal & provides comments and questions (~2 weeks). Week of March 21, 2022    
Response submitted by the student (~2 weeks). Week of April 4, 2022
**DROP DEADLINE
   
Oral presentation 30 min – Q&A (time as needed) Week of April 18, 2022

FINAL EXAMS
April 25-28, 2022
   

*Each milestone should be initialed by the student when submitted and initialed by the advisor/committee chair when written feedback is given and discussed.

**STUDENTS WHO DO NOT COMPLETE THE EXAM PROCESS IN SPRING 2022, MUST DROP THE COURSE AND REQUEST THE EXAM FOR SUMMER 2022!

Preliminary Examination Evaluation Rubric

Evaluation Criteria Excellent Good Fair Poor
Formation of Doctoral Committee        
Preciseness and Quality of Research Problem Definition        
Technical Content        
Importance to Mechanical Engineering        
Style and Clarity (Format & Language Proficiency)        
Completeness        
Uncertainty of Computed Results or Experimental Data Adequately Addressed in the Proposal        
Intellectual Merit of the Proposal        
Responses to Written Questions / Suggestions from the Committee Members        
Communication Skills during Oral Presentation        
Responses to Oral Questions / Suggestions from the Committee Members        
Overall Recommendation of the Committee member Pass / Fail

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.