Ph. D. Program
- Students who receive full financial support from the University during their first year of study endeavor to identify a PhD advisor by the end of the student's first semester. Students funded from other sources must ensure that they have obtained the consent of a faculty member to serve as a PhD advisor prior to coming to Lehigh, or the student pursues the Master of Engineering degree until the student identifies a PhD advisor. Please be advised that our faculty have many commitments, and the availability of faculty for research supervision depends on the specialty within the area of mechanical engineering and the ongoing advisory commitments of the faculty member.
- The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 72 credit hours taken at Lehigh, or 48 credit hours, if a Master's degree is acquired at another institution. Fifteen of these credits must be from the courses required to qualify for doctoral study (see Section II.1). It is also required that all Ph.D. students take ME 453 prior to graduation. The student's Doctoral Committee will provide oversight of the student's overall program of study.
- Upon entry to the program, a student must complete a qualifying process which requires the demonstration of competency in selected core courses (see Section II.1 below). The student must also pass the General Exam (see Section II.2 below). The core courses are to be completed prior to or during the first two semesters of enrollment in the Ph.D. program. Upon completion of the core courses, a student must have formed a Doctoral Committee. The Doctoral Committee is responsible for both oversight of the student's program of study and administration of the general exam.
- Within three months of completion of the qualifying process and the General Exam, a student must apply for formal Ph.D. candidacy. The candidacy application is initiated by the formulation of a proposal for his/her doctoral program, outlining additional coursework to be taken and a research plan. The student presents the proposal in both written and oral form to his/her Doctoral Committee for approval. Upon Committee approval, the proposal is submitted to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies of the P. C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS). Approval of the proposal by the Associate Dean admits the student to candidacy for the Ph.D. in the P.C. Rossin CEAS. Following admission to candidacy, it is expected that the student will complete his/her program nominally within two years. During this period, the candidate will report on his/her research progress to his/her Committee every six months.
- Upon completion of coursework and research, the candidate will prepare a dissertation describing the results and conclusions of his/her research. A written dissertation draft will be submitted to the Doctoral Committee, and a public defense of the dissertation will be presented. A satisfactory defense of the dissertation and acceptance of the written draft by the Doctoral Committee completes the Departmental requirements for the doctoral degree. To complete the degree requirements, the dissertation must also conform to the timing and guidelines of the P. C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, as described in the CEAS Graduate Student Handbook.
- For final satisfaction of the Ph.D. degree, the Department requires that the candidate prepare and submit:
A web page and professional quality poster describing the completed research.
II. Path to Candidacy
The initial qualifying criterion for pursuit of a Ph.D. degree is the demonstration of a minimum competency in the engineering sciences by achieving a 3.35/4.0 grade average in five mathematics and core engineering science courses, to be selected as follows:
Required Core Courses in Mathematics (Total of 2 Courses)
- Required: ME 452 Analytical Methods in Engineering I
- Choice of one of the following: ME 453 Analytical Methods in Engineering II OR ME 413 Numerical Methods in Mech Engineering
Required Core Courses in Mechanical Engineering: (Total of 3 courses):
- ME 401 Integrated Product Development OR ME 402 Advanced Manufacturing Science
- ME 423 Heat and Mass Transfer
- ME 430 Advanced Fluid Mechanics
- Mech 406 Fundamentals of Solid Mechanics
- Mech 425 Analytical Methods in Dynamics and Vibrations
Note: All courses to be included in the GPA calculation 3.35/4.0 must be taken during the first three semesters of graduate study.
Note: These five courses may be taken as part of a student's study for a Lehigh Master's degree or upon entry directly into the Ph.D. program.
Additional Course Requirement
All students must take ME 453, Mathematical Methods in Engineering II, prior to graduation.
In the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics,the General Exam is administered by the student's Doctoral Committee, and will normally be taken no later than during the first four weeks of the semester following formation of his/her Doctoral Committee. Students must achieve the required 3.35/4.0 GPA, as described in the foregoing, prior to taking the General Exam. Students will generally be given two opportunities to pass the General Exam. The General Exam will consist of a detailed review, assessment, and proposed extension of a technical journal article selected by the Doctoral Committee. The student will have two weeks to prepare and present to the Committee a written document of not more than 20 pages. The student will then schedule and present an oral defense of the document to the Committee, followed by questions. Satisfactory completion of the General Exam will be based on both the written document and the oral defense, including a proposed extension of the knowledge base.