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Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering

The Ph.D. degree is a research degree granted on the basis of broad knowledge of mechanical engineering and in-depth study in a specific area leading to a dissertation reflecting original work by the doctoral candidate. To obtain a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering, in addition to meeting the general requirements of The Graduate School, a student must:

  1. Earn 36 graduate credit hours taken at the University of Kentucky while in graduate standing.  Alternatively, those holding a non-UK M.S. may satisfy this requirement by earning 18 graduate credit hours at UK. 
  2. Satisfy the mathematics requirement.  The mathematics requirement for the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering may be satisfied by completing two math-related courses with a grade of B or better in each.  A list of acceptable courses is maintained by the director of graduate studies.
  3. Pass the Ph.D. Preliminary Examination. The Preliminary Examination is a written examination and shall satisfy the written portion of the Qualifying Examination required by The Graduate School. This examination tests the student’s knowledge in the field of mechanical engineering. This is a uniform examination that is required in three subject areas. For the Ph.D. preliminary examination, a doctoral student may select any of the available technical areas as a major field (two of the three subject areas should be from the student’s chosen major field). A list of current technical areas, subject areas and various courses under each subject area is maintained by the director of graduate studies.
  4. Pass the Qualifying Examination. This examination evaluates the soundness of the student’s proposed doctoral dissertation research. A prospectus prepared by the student and submitted to the student’s advisory committee is required. Only those who have passed the preliminary examination and have satisfied the doctoral mathematics requirement may sit for this examination.
  5. Present and satisfactorily defend the dissertation.

For a more detailed description of these requirements, contact the director of graduate studies.

Graduate Bulletin


  • Department Chair
  • Michael Renfro, Ph.D.
  • (859) 257-6336 x80643

  • Director of Graduate Studies
  • Haluk Karaca
  • (859) 257-6336 x80666

  • Student Affairs Officer I
  • Will Aaron
  • (859) 257-6336 x80611