Feb 21, 2024  
2023-2024 University of Wyoming Catalog 
2023-2024 University of Wyoming Catalog

Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D.

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The UW Mechanical Engineering PhD program includes coursework and a substantial research component. Research is performed with an advisor, and a dissertation is produced. Program requirements include Qualifying, Preliminary, and Final Examinations.

Program Requirements

For students of outstanding academic ability and with demonstrated capacity for undertaking independent research on advanced engineering problems, the Ph.D. program in mechanical engineering is offered. The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 72 graduate hours, at least 42 of which must be earned in formal coursework.  In addition to coursework requirements, graduate students pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering must complete three examinations: Qualifying, Preliminary, and Final.

Classes must meet the following constraints:

  • A mimimum of 24 in-resident coursework hours is required
  • ME courses (5000-level): minimum of 15 hours
  • A maximum of 9 credits at the 4000 level outside of ME may be taken

All graduate students in Mechanical Engineering are expected to follow the graduate education policies of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Qualifying Exam

In consultation with their advisor, students are allowed to take the Qualifying Exam after declaring pursuit of a Ph.D. degree. Graduate students do not require a M.S. to take the Qualifying Exam. The format is a knowledge-based examination consisting of three subject areas, each with both a written and an oral component. The candidate will be evaluated for each subject area, based on the cumulative performance in both (written and oral) components. Should the student fail a single subject area, at the discretion of the committee, they may repeat the failed portion at the next available opportunity. A third attempt is not permitted. The successful completion of the Qualifying Exam is required before the Preliminary Exam.

Preliminary & Final Exam

The purpose of the Preliminary Exam is to evaluate the aptitude of the Ph.D. candidate to perform research based on preliminary results, and to assess the student’s plan for completing the research necessary for the Final Exam. The Preliminary Exam follows university regulations and, at a minimum, consists of a seminar attended by the student’s committee members.

The purpose of the Final Exam is to ensure the Ph.D. candidate has sufficient accomplishments to be awarded a Ph.D. The Final Exam consists of an oral defense of the dissertation in accordance with university policy.

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