Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree

The Ph.D. degree requires completion of 72 credit hours of approved coursework
as follows:


With a master’s degree in engineering

  • 42 semester credits of graduate work in approved course of study
  • 30 semester credits automatically applied for master’s degree in engineering from an accredited university with original transcript.
  • Maximum 10 transfer credits for courses numbered 500 and above, earned after the master’s degree, and not counted towards any other degree (with original transcript)
  • Minimum 32 credits earned at CSU after program admission
  • Minimum 21 credits in courses numbered 500 and above
  • Minimum 12 credits in regular courses numbered 500 and above (not including dissertation, independent study or supervised teaching credits)
  • Maximum 30 dissertation credits
  • Three courses from core course list (one beyond M.S.; equivalents may be substituted) with a B or better
  • Minimum one journal publication accepted in a peer-reviewed journal
  • Minimum one journal publication submitted or second paper completed
  • Minimum 24 department seminars attended
  • Oral Qualifying Examination (by the 2nd semester)
  • Ph.D. Preliminary Examination
  • Ph.D. Dissertation Defense (Final Examination)
  • Ph.D. Dissertation Submission

With a bachelor’s degree in engineering (enrolled in continuous program from B.S. to Ph.D.)

  • 72 semester credits of graduate work in approved course of study
  • Maximum 10 transfer credits for credits earned after the bachelor’s degree not counted towards any other degree (with original transcript)
  • Minimum 62 credits earned at CSU after program admission
  • Minimum 45 credits in courses numbered 500 and above
  • Minimum 30 credits in regular courses numbered 500 and above (not including dissertation, independent study or supervised teaching)
  • Maximum 42 thesis/dissertation credits
  • Three courses from core course list with a B or better
  • Minimum two publications submitted to a peer-reviewed journal  (or one publication submitted and second paper completed)
  • Minimum one publication accepted in a peer-reviewed journal
  • Minimum 34 departmental seminars attended
  • Oral Qualifying Examination (by the 3rd semester)
  • Ph.D. Preliminary Examination
  • Ph.D. Dissertation Defense (Final Examination)
  • Ph.D. Dissertation Submission

These departmental requirements are minimums and may differ from general Graduate School requirements. In some cases, additional coursework may be required by a particular program and/or student’s committee.  For graduate school requirements, please refer to Section E.4.2 of the Graduate and Professional Bulletin at http://graduateschool.colostate.edu/current-students/bulletin.aspx

Program: Students pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree in mechanical engineering will undertake advanced research under the mentorship of a faculty advisor (P.I.), most often on a government or industry funded project as a paid research assistant. The degree plan will involve consideration of a challenging problem utilizing analytical, experimental, and/or design techniques. This research – in addition to coursework, exams, journal articles, and dissertation credits – will culminate in a final dissertation. The dissertation will contain new analytical knowledge, experimental knowledge, design knowledge, or a combination thereof. The dissertation must make an original contribution to the field.