Engineering class


Doctoral requirements

A doctoral student must complete a program of study prepared in collaboration with his or her permanent adviser and outlined on an approved doctoral program planning form. This form must be submitted within the first year of the student’s doctoral studies. The program normally requires 48 credit hours of course work beyond the baccalaureate degree, plus 12 credit hours of dissertation work. In cases in which the student enters the program with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering or a closely related field, the student may request that the department and the Graduate School allow credits from the master’s degree to satisfy up to 24 credit hours of the required course work. At least one half of the total course work requirement must be from designated graduate-level courses. Students are required to take at least one-half of their total course work from the Department of Mechanical Engineering course offerings. A maximum of six credit hours of graduate-level credit from other accredited institutions may be accepted toward the requirements of the degree. Independent study course work can account for a maximum of three credit hours. All doctoral students are required to participate in the department graduate seminar activities. Finally, he/she must pass a doctoral-qualifying examination and submit and successfully defend a dissertation. The dissertation must represent an original research contribution and demonstrate high scholarly achievement and the ability to conduct independent research.

Residency requirement

The residency requirement is designed to immerse doctoral students in the campus community of scholars. It must be satisfied in the department in which the student is seeking a doctoral degree. The residency requirement is met when a student completes nine credits of course work, or its equivalent per term, for two terms within an 18-month period or, alternatively, completes at least six credits of course work, or its equivalent per term, for three terms within an 18-month period. Plans for the residency must be included on the doctoral program planning form. The credit load necessary to meet the six- or nine-credit requirement may be met by course work alone or course work in conjunction with dissertation credits (departmental seminars will be sufficient to satisfy the course work requirement).

Steps in completing degree requirements

Students pursuing doctoral degrees normally proceed through the following stages:

  1. Acceptance into the Graduate School and assignment of temporary adviser.
  2. Selection of a permanent (dissertation) adviser.
  3. Selection of dissertation committee and submittal of doctoral program planning form.
  4. Successful completion of the proficiency examination.
  5. Completion of the dissertation outline form.
  6. Presentation to and acceptance of the doctoral dissertation outline form by the dissertation committee.
  7. Successful completion of the qualifying/dissertation proposal examination.
  8. Completion of course work.
  9. Successful presentation/defense of dissertation.

Instructions for preparing the dissertation are given in the dissertation directives. In the semester during which a student plans to complete the requirements for a degree, he/she must fill out an application for graduation form.

Dissertation committee

The dissertation committee must consist of a minimum of five members, one of whom must be the student's dissertation adviser. A minimum of three committee members (including the student's dissertation adviser) must be chosen from tenured or tenure track faculty from within the department. The remaining committee members may be chosen from other departments, academic units, universities/colleges, or industry. The Department Chairperson and the Dean of the Graduate School must approve the dissertation committee.

Proficiency examination

The proficiency examination is a written examination that is administered and graded by the graduate committee. A doctoral student must complete a departmental written proficiency exam prior to completion of the Marquette University doctoral residency requirement. This exam will be comprised of two components, one component being engineering mathematics and the other representing the student’s declared area of specialization: energy systems, manufacturing systems or mechanical systems. This examination is based upon material presented in the advanced undergraduate and master’s degree level normally covered in the following courses.

MEEN 6101: advanced engineering analysis
Energy systems
MEEN 5350: transport phenomena
MEEN 5360: intermediate thermodynamics
Manufacturing systems
MEEN 5410: design of experiments
MEEN 5440: processing and formation of materials
Mechanical systems
MEEN 5220: intermediate dynamics
MEEN 5230: Intermediate mechanics of materials

The examination is given to all eligible candidates at the same time each year in the spring semester. Students who fail only one part must retake that part next time. Two successive failure of the examination will lead to discontinuation of the student's enrollment status as a doctoral candidate.

Qualifying/dissertation proposal examination

Students are eligible to take this examination after three semesters of full time work towards their degree and are encouraged to take the examination as early as possible; however, they must pass their proficiency examination prior to scheduling this examination. A student must pass a doctoral-qualifying examination (DQE) administered by his/her doctoral committee within one academic year after completing course work requirements. The student must arrange a meeting for this examination with members of the dissertation committee. During this examination, the student is required to identify the proposed dissertation research topic and plan that will be used for bringing the dissertation to a successful conclusion. The committee members will evaluate the scientific and technical merit of the dissertation proposal and then accept the plan, reject the plan or offer suggestions for modification of the proposed work. The committee's final decision will also be based upon its assessment of the student's academic readiness to undertake and complete the research task. The final defense of the dissertation cannot be taken earlier than one year after this examination.

Dissertation defense

The doctoral program culminates with the successful defense of the student's dissertation. The defense occurs at a meeting period that is scheduled by the student. Students must submit a copy of their completed dissertation to all members of the committee at least four weeks prior to the examination. Public notification of the defense must be posted through the department and the Graduate School at least four weeks prior to the meeting period. During the dissertation defense, the dissertation committee reviews and evaluates the integrity of the dissertation through oral inquiry and, ultimately, approves or disapproves the student's dissertation. A dissertation defense must be completed within five years of beginning the doctoral program or seven years after enrolling in the Graduate School.

Important forms* and directions

* All documents are Adobe PDFs.


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College of Engineering
1515 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53233

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Prospective students: (414) 288-7302
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