Montana State University

College of Engineering

Montana State University
P.O. Box 173820
Bozeman, MT 59717-3820

Tel: (406) 994-2272
Fax: (406) 994-6665
Location: 212 Roberts Hall

Dean and Director:

Brett Gunnink


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Ph.D. in Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Option

Are you interested in a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering

PhD Program Research Areas in Mechanical Engineering

Materials & Structures

  • biologically-inspired
  • ceramics
  • composites
  • MEMS
  • smart
  • ultra-lightweight

Energy Systems

  • alternative energy
  • fuel cell
  • technology
  • HVAC
  • renewable energy
  • wind energy systems

Measurement Systems

College-wide Program Requirements

The College of Engineering (COE) offers a Ph.D. in Engineering with options that include Mechanical Engineering, which is administered by the Mechanical Engineering graduate program. The COE has general program requirements that apply to all students who pursue a Ph.D. in Engineering, regardless of which option they choose.

Program-specific Degree Requirements for the Mechanical Engineering Option

Students are required to take

Advanced Math
EGEN 505

Advanced Engineering Analysis

3 credits
Numerical Methods
EGEN 506 Numerical Solutions to Engineering Problems 3 credits

Additional Coursework

EM 525 Continuum Mechanics 3 credits
  Thermo-fluids Mechanics 3 credits (minimum)
  Solid Mechanics 3 credits (minimum)

Note: These requirements are satisfied by the MSU MS in Mechanical Engineering

Qualifying Examination

The exam will be administered on the second Tuesday in February of the Spring semester.

The undergraduate Mechanical Engineering topics will include the following

  • thermodynamics
  • heat (energy) transfer
  • fluid mechanics
  • structural mechanics
  • materials
  • dynamics and vibrations
  • mathematics

Students will solve problems in 4 of the 7 topic areas. The exam will be 4 hours in duration in an open book, open notes format. Each problem set will be graded by the faculty member that submitted the set. The results will be analyzed by the Mechanical Engineering graduate studies committee, and each candidate will receive a grade of Pass (P), Fail (F) or Remediate (R). Students will not be given the test back in order to protect the questions from dissemination. In cases where remediation in certain topic areas is required, the Ph.D. advisor will develop a problem-solving-based plan with the Ph.D. candidate to prepare for a retest on the identified topic areas. The retest must occur prior to the next fall semester and will be overseen by the Ph.D. advisor.

Comprehensive Examination

The public research seminar will include 40 minutes for the student’s presentation and 10 minutes for questions from the audience. This will be followed immediately by a closed-session oral examination and additional remediation may be required at this point.