Are you interested in becoming an expert in mechanical engineering? Use our comprehensive guide to the best PhDs in Mechanical Engineering to find the right school and program for you. In addition to all the essential details of each PhD in Mechanical Engineering program, we will also give you tips for getting accepted into your chosen program and how to pay for it.
In addition, you can explore your career options with our comprehensive career outlook for mechanical engineering PhD holders. We’ve included the best mechanical engineering jobs for experts in the field and the average PhD in Mechanical Engineering salary you can expect to make in each of these positions.
What Is a PhD in Mechanical Engineering?
A PhD in Mechanical Engineering is a terminal degree in the field of mechanical engineering, which is the study of the theory and practice of how machines work. With this degree, mechanical engineers acquire expert-level knowledge and skills to design, develop, and build mechanical and thermal systems.
The mechanical engineering profession also requires testing these systems to make sure they function optimally. Mechanical engineers apply the science of matter, energy, motion, and change to machines that improve our lives.
How to Get Into a Mechanical Engineering PhD Program: Admission Requirements
The requirements to get into a mechanical engineering PhD program vary. Some of the typical requirements for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering program include an online application and paying an application fee. Most likely you will also need to have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering as a minimum education requirement.
Most programs require that you submit a personal statement, an updated resume, and letters of recommendation. International students usually have to complete a TOEFL, an IELTS, or an equivalent English proficiency exam and earn a minimum score. Some schools have a residency requirement that may need to be considered when planning for your PhD program.
In addition, most schools have qualifying exams that you must pass, as well, and you must provide transcripts from previous education. Further, some programs require you to complete specific coursework before beginning your PhD program.
PhD in Mechanical Engineering Admission Requirements
- Online application
- Application fee
- Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering or a related field
- Personal statement, updated resume, letters of recommendation
- TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent with minimum score requirements (international students)
Mechanical Engineering PhD Acceptance Rates: How Hard Is It to Get Into a PhD Program in Mechanical Engineering?
It is fairly hard to get into a PhD program in mechanical engineering. Some schools are very strict when it comes to whom they will accept into their program. Entrance into mechanical engineering PhD programs requires a specific level of knowledge and skills, so there is a qualifying exam in most cases.
The good news is that if you have advanced knowledge and skills in mechanical engineering, and you strategically plan your application, you will have a much easier time getting accepted into engineering school.
How to Get Into the Best Universities
Best PhDs in Mechanical Engineering: In Brief
|Arizona State University||PhD in Mechanical Engineering||No|
|Auburn University||PhD in Mechanical Engineering||No|
|Binghamton University||PhD in Mechanical Engineering||No|
|Boston University||PhD in Mechanical Engineering||Yes|
|California Institute of Technology||PhD in Mechanical Engineering||No|
|Clarkson University||PhD in Mechanical Engineering||No|
|Johns Hopkins University||PhD in Mechanical Engineering||No|
|Texas Tech University||PhD in Mechanical Engineering||No|
|University of Colorado Boulder||PhD in Mechanical Engineering||No|
|University of Michigan||PhD in Mechanical Engineering||No|
Best Universities for Mechanical Engineering PhDs: Where to Get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering
The best universities for mechanical engineering PhDs are reputable for preparing graduates to become experts in their field. Doctoral degree holders in mechanical engineering develop machines that have a positive impact on transportation, medicine, robotics, and climate change, among other fields critical to human health and happiness.
If you’ve begun looking into where to get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering to acquire advanced engineering skills and knowledge, look no further. Here are 10 of the best PhDs in Mechanical Engineering and more details about the schools that offer them.
Can You Get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering Online?
Yes, you can get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering online, but few programs are available. You may need to look outside mechanical engineering to find a PhD in engineering program online. Make sure that you adequately research the online PhD requirements. Depending on the school, there may be a need for you to go to campus for things like orientation, clinicals, internships, or practicum requirements.
Mechanical engineering graduate students’ online programs have various research opportunities. Thankfully, online degrees are also respected in the job market. Career opportunities with top companies become available once graduates have earned their PhD in Mechanical Engineering either online or on campus.
Best Online PhD Programs in Mechanical Engineering
|Michigan Tech Global Campus||Online PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics||Within 8 years|
|Mississippi State University||Online PhD in Engineering with a Concentration in Mechanical Engineering||Within 8 years|
|Texas A&M University||Online PhD in Engineering||Information not available|
|The University of Alabama||Online PhD in Mechanical Engineering||Within 9 years|
|Worcester Polytechnic Institute||Online PhD in Systems Engineering||Information not available|
How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering?
It takes three to 10 years to get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. The National Science Foundation states that most US students take around 7.2 years to graduate with a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering.
Most people complete the coursework in two to three years. However, the dissertation may take up to seven years to complete depending on how much time you dedicate to finishing it.
Is a PhD in Mechanical Engineering Hard?
Yes, a PhD in Mechanical Engineering is hard, even if you are good at and enjoy mathematics and science. A PhD is the highest level of education in the field so it requires a significant amount of research, time, and dedication. In addition, the field of mechanical engineering includes scientific and mathematical concepts that PhD mechanical engineering students will need to master to acquire their PhD degree.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering?
It costs about $19,314 per year to get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This data further illustrates that the average cost of graduate degree programs in mechanical engineering at a private institute can reach as much as $25,929 and public institutions cost around $12,171 per year.
Costs to acquire a PhD in Mechanical Engineering will vary from school to school. There are also different costs for in-state and out-of-state students. Make sure to check out the costs associated with your PhD degree properly so that you can adequately plan or budget for your investment.
How to Pay for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering: PhD Funding Options
The PhD funding options that students can use to pay for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering include tuition waivers, teaching assistantships, research fellowships, scholarships, financial aid loans, and grants. In some cases these can completely pay for your PhD, making it essentially free. Many of these funding options are available for online learning too.
Some schools also offer income share agreements as an option. However, this option should be carefully considered as total payments may amount to more than the actual cost of your PhD degree.
Note that there are various options available that will vary by school. There are also multiple options of funding for students available depending on your circumstances, for example, low-income families and international students.
Best Online Master’s Degrees
What Is the Difference Between a Mechanical Engineering Master’s Degree and PhD?
The difference between a mechanical engineering master’s degree and a PhD is that a PhD, or doctoral degree, can be attained after acquiring your master’s degree. A master’s degree is more career-oriented, and a PhD is more research-oriented. As a result, a master’s may mean that you have more job opportunities. However, a PhD means that you are an expert in your field.
A master’s is quicker to acquire than a PhD, but obtaining a PhD also means being bestowed the title of doctor. A Master’s in Mechanical Engineering will most likely cost less than a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. However, PhD in Mechanical Engineering is more desirable than a master’s degree in professions such as teaching at higher education institutions, for research, and in clinical settings.
Master’s vs PhD in Mechanical Engineering Job Outlook
A job outlook of 7 percent growth is projected for jobs such as mechanical engineers with a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS also reports that a career such as a post-secondary teacher, which typically requires a PhD, has a job outlook of 12 percent. As such, having a mechanical engineering PhD will offer you more career opportunities than just a master’s degree will.
Difference in Salary for Mechanical Engineering Master’s vs PhD
A Master’s in Mechanical Engineering, according to PayScale, comes with an average salary of $89,000. Entry-level jobs may start with salaries of about $62,000. Wiith experience and a proven track record, you may reach a high-paying wage of about $98,509 per year.
A PhD in Mechanical Engineering degree holder has an average salary of $110,000. This means that a PhD represents earning an average of about $20,000 more per year than a master’s degree. Entry-level positions may start at around $52,000, but with experience and a proven track record, you could earn as much as $130,000.
Related Mechanical Engineering Degrees
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Why You Should Get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering
You should get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering because there areexcellent benefits that come with this degree. Benefits, aside from being bestowed the designation of doctor and being an expert in your field, include high-paying salaries and research opportunities. Let’s have a closer look below.
Reasons for Getting a PhD in Mechanical Engineering
- Higher-paying salaries and possible tenure. With a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, graduates can acquire higher-paying salaries that may come with academic tenure or research tenure. This means you can get above-average wages and, with tenure, a certain amount of job security provided that you comply with the defined terms and conditions.
- Expert-level knowledge and skills. A PhD or doctoral degree is the highest qualification you can acquire in any field. As a result, you accumulate in-depth knowledge and skills that few others possess unless they too have obtained a PhD degree.
- Increased job opportunities. Having a PhD in Mechanical Engineering will increase job opportunities because it is the highest qualification you can acquire. As a result, there will be few jobs in your industry that you won’t qualify for. You will be a prime candidate with an edge over other applicants for a wide range of positions.
- Opportunities to make an impact in your industry. Having experience in research, and continuing with research after acquiring your PhD degree, will afford you the benefit of valuable contribution to cutting-edge research areas in your chosen industry. Being a part of these research opportunities means making valuable, or even revolutionary, discoveries and conclusions that may affect valuable change in your field.
Getting a PhD in Mechanical Engineering: Mechanical Engineering PhD Coursework
The coursework options for getting a PhD in Mechanical Engineering cover a widely varied scope of topics, and knowing what to look for may seem overwhelming for some. However, as this is a technical field of study, prospective students can be sure that there are specific coursework requirements across all programs. Below is a list of topics typically included in mechanical engineering PhD coursework.
Mechanical design coursework introduces concepts like computational approaches that automatically generate mechanical designs via predefined parameters. Additionally, you will learn about multi-material mechanical design, relating to topics in the design process, and computational analysis tools based on mechanical simulation, among others.
Thermodynamics coursework introduces basic laws of thermodynamics. Students will develop a body of knowledge about entropy, thermodynamic properties of substances and mixtures, phase equilibrium, and transformations. Course content also includes the basic phase diagram and related physical and mechanical properties.
In this course you will learn about energy’s fundamental principles and experimental electrochemistry techniques as well as the fundamentals in iconic and electronic conduction of metal. It will help students understand different semiconductors, inorganics, and polymer materials and their applications pertaining to batteries, fuel cells, electrochemical capacitors and photonics, sensors, and semiconductor electrochemistry.
This kind of course covers everything about materials mechanics, including crystalline and non-crystalline materials, as well as basic solid mechanics concepts, stress concentration and materials failures, stress and strain sensing principles, and sensors.
Coursework may include learning about polymer chain formation, configuration, and basic structures; crystalline and amorphous states of polymers; and solution and phase behavior of polymers.
Learn about the physical properties of gasses and liquids and the kinematics of flow fields. Analyze viscous, heat-conducting Newtonian fluids, stress and surface-tension-driven flow and capillary effects. Among the other topics covered are vorticity and circulation, and ideal fluid flow theory in two and three dimensions.
Best Master’s Degrees
How to Get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering: Doctoral Program Requirements
Although there are some common steps and requirements for earning a mechanical engineering PhD degree, many doctoral program requirements will vary by school and PhD program. Check the specific graduation requirements of the school and the program before applying to learn how to get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering.
This will help ensure that you are informed of and prepared to fulfill all of the criteria required for your career path in advanced mechanical engineering. That being said, below you can find typical doctoral requirements for engineering disciplines.
Potential Careers With a Mechanical Engineering Degree
PhD in Mechanical Engineering Salary and Job Outlook
A PhD in Mechanical Engineering salary ranges between $79,000 and $130,000. Job outlooks over the next five years or so range between 5 and 12 percent in growth, and the number of jobs ranges from 28,000 to 1,276,900. This means that securing employment in your chosen career in mechanical engineering is an achievable career goal.
What Can You Do With a PhD in Mechanical Engineering?
With a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, you can work in various industries, including aerospace engineering and mechanics, materials and metals, chemicals, and fast-moving consumer goods. Career choices include jobs like research scientist, senior software engineer, or training and development manager.
Best Jobs with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering
- Petroleum engineers
- Training and development managers
- Senior mechanical engineers
- Research scientists
- Senior software engineers
What Is the Average Salary for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering?
The average salary for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering degree holder is $110,000, according to PayScale. Based on this data, salaries may start at around $52,000 on the low end and reach as much as $300,000 in the most senior positions, like chief executive officer (CEO).
Highest-Paying Mechanical Engineering Jobs for PhD Grads
|Mechanical Engineering PhD Jobs||Average Salary|
|Training and development managers||$120,130|
|Industrial production managers||$103,150|
Best Mechanical Engineering Jobs with a Doctorate
The best mechanical engineering jobs with a doctorate come with excellent salaries, and they represent varied specializations and industries. On top of that, the best states to work in represent various parts of our beautiful country. Let’s have a closer look at these career options.
Is a PhD in Mechanical Engineering Worth It?
Yes, a PhD in Mechanical Engineering is worth it. Although most jobs for mechanical engineers require at most a master’s degree, some do require a PhD, like becoming a university professor.
However, benefits of having a PhD in Mechanical Engineering include increased employability and avoiding unemployment, higher-paying salaries, expertise-level knowledge in your field, strong technical skills, and the distinguished title of doctor.
Additional Reading About Mechanical Engineering
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PhD in Mechanical Engineering FAQ
Yes, you can get a good job in mechanical engineering without a PhD degree. Most jobs in mechanical engineering require a master’s degree at most. However, having a PhD will increase your chances for advancement.
Yes, you can work remotely with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. In fact, there are numerous jobs available online for candidates with degrees at the doctoral level.
You can find PhD in Mechanical Engineering jobs on trusted job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn. You can also network with your school’s program partners and other professionals in the industry. You can also look online for lists of the best companies hiring mechanical engineers to discover the top employers in the field.
Yes, a bootcamp technical certificate can help you get a mechanical engineering job at some of the world’s top global companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
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