Online and Distance Degrees > Degree Programs > PhD in Mechanical Engineering

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in
Mechanical Engineering


Program Overview

The online PhD in Mechanical Engineering gives you the opportunity to earn an accredited, premier doctoral degree in your field while continuing to build your engineering career. You can enhance your knowledge of mechanical engineering and contribute to research in the field through this innovative online option.

  • Program Format

  • Credit Hours

  • Tuition Per Hour


Drive Innovation in Mechanical Engineering

The program is primarily designed for engineering professionals who want to pursue doctoral study while working full time. Through this affordable online program, you can earn a research-based degree that allows you to propose, complete and defend an approved dissertation on a research topic that contributes to the field of mechanical engineering.

This PhD program in Mechanical Engineering is the same degree program offered to on-campus students. The primary differences are that course materials are delivered through recorded lectures, exams are administered via proctoring, and students interact with instructors, their faculty research advisor, and their dissertation committee remotely.

Live, in-person proctoring is required to complete exams.

  • Application DeadlineApplications accepted year round
  • Other Program SpecificsLive, in-person proctoring is required to complete exams
  • Are test scores required?Test scores are temporarily waived


You will work directly with a faculty adviser to complete the program requirements. Courses are offered following the on-campus schedule. Lectures for those courses are recorded and delivered online. Exams are taken off campus but require live proctors approved by the Office of Teaching Innovation and Digital Education. You have the option of pursuing this program either part time or full time to accommodate your schedule.

The PhD requires 48 credit hours of coursework past the bachelor’s degree, a comprehensive qualifying exam and a proposal presentation, plus 24 hours of dissertation research and a committee-approved dissertation and dissertation defense. Students with a master’s degree can receive credit for up to 24 hours of coursework. See the Graduate Catalog policies on Transfer of Credit for additional information. The dissertation will document original research that makes a significant contribution to the field. For additional information, contact the ME Graduate Program Director.


Currently, the program is open to U.S. students as well as international students residing in the U.S. with the appropriate visas. Applicants must apply for admission to The University of Alabama’s Graduate School. Graduate school minimums to be considered for regular admission are:

  • A master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or
  • A bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (see Mechanical Engineering Departmental page  for non-ME degree requirements) with a GPA of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale
  • A minimum GRE score of 300*

*The GRE is automatically waived for applicants with a MSME degree from an ABET-accredited program OR a waiver can be requested for BSME graduates with five or more years of field-related work experience. 

Applicants with only a bachelor’s degree and a GPA below 3.3 are encouraged to apply to the distance MSME program. After completing nine graduate coursework hours with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, the student may then apply for admission to the PhD program with the recommendation of the faculty adviser.

Applicants with non-ME undergraduate and graduate degrees should consult the appendix in the Mechanical Engineering Departmental page for undergraduate coursework material that all ME graduate students are expected to have completed prior to enrolling in the program.

For additional details, you can review specific program admission requirements for the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Graduate School.


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Katie Nethery
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