Mechanical Engineering PhD

Become an expert in analyzing, designing and manufacturing mechanical systems ranging from car airbag sensors to electric propulsion systems for space travel in the Mechanical Engineering PhD. Conduct advanced research and gain instruction skills in new and growing areas of the field.

This concentrated PhD program offers faculty expertise in biomedical engineering, energy, material science, mechanics and robotics in particular. The small number of students in the program leads to an intimate learning environment with many opportunities to engage in innovative research with faculty members. You’ll also form close relationships with your cohort. Temple maintains a dynamic student body representing a wide range of national and racial identities.

The degree offers a uniquely interdisciplinary experience. Faculty members associated with the PhD program come from a variety of backgrounds, departments and research interests. You’ll leave the program steeped in diverse engineering approaches that will make you a well-rounded academic, researcher or engineer in industry.

The degree is heavily research-focused, and you’ll complete a preliminary examination (oral and written) as well as a dissertation, which you will defend in an open college seminar.

Classes & Curriculum

The coursework you complete will be selected in consultation with your research advisor and doctoral advisory committee and follow the outline of your plan of study. Some of the areas you might study include

  • dynamics and controls,
  • fluids and thermal,
  • materials science and engineering, and 
  • mechanics of materials.

See the full list of required courses

Completion Requirements

Completion requirements depend on whether you enter the doctoral program with a master’s degree.

  • If you have a master’s degree, you must complete 15 credits of PhD-level didactic coursework and 15 credits of PhD exams and dissertation research, for a total of 30 credits.
  • If you only have a bachelor’s degree, you must complete 45 credits of master’s- and PhD-level coursework and 15 credits of PhD exams and dissertation research, for a total of 60 credits. See the Admissions section below for more information.

Between didactic coursework, dissertation research and examinations, the PhD can take four or five years, depending on your trajectory and project interests. You have up to seven years to complete your degree.

There are three major pieces of culminating work for the PhD.

  • Preliminary examination: This exam evaluates your communication, information-synthesis and research skills.
  • Dissertation proposal: Research and write your proposal, and present it at an open college seminar.
  • Dissertation writing and defense: Present and defend your dissertation in front of a dissertation committee.
Mechanical engineering student and professor in lab

Student Diversity

The College of Engineering reflects the diversity that has always been a hallmark of life at Temple. With students from all 50 states, 129 countries and with cultural backgrounds of all kinds, Temple’s classrooms are enriched with countless perspectives, giving students a global point of view across disciplines and fields, and strengthening bonds that encourage success among students.

As a community, Temple’s shared responsibility is to enhance the quality of life for all members of the Temple community, providing a safe, supportive and welcoming environment in which to learn, work and grow.

Labs & Research

As a graduate student, you’ll have the opportunity to be involved in research areas including

  • acoustics metamaterials and sensors applications,
  • advanced materials for energy applications,
  • biofluidics,
  • biomechanics,
  • design and mechanics of soft materials,
  • dynamic robotics and controls,
  • nanosynthesis and manufacturing,
  • smart materials and composites, and
  • thermal and fluid mechanics.

A range of industry players and state and federal government agencies have funded faculty research through grants, such as

  • the American Heart Association,
  • the commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • the National Science Foundation,
  • the U.S. Department of Defense and
  • the U.S. Department of Energy.

Check out the Mechanical Engineering Department's cutting-edge labs and equipment.

Research Funding

The College of Engineering had more than $14 million in active research in 2016–2017. With external support from prestigious organizations including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Navy and the American Heart Association, faculty members of Temple University’s College of Engineering are engaging in advanced research. Graduate students will find multiple opportunities to partner with faculty on innovative projects and perform experiments. Take a look at the full range of labs in the College of Engineering.

In 2016, the National Science Foundation placed Temple among the top 100 in terms of research expenditures, which amounted to $242 million. Learn more about the university’s expanded research support efforts.

Carnegie Classification

In 2016, Temple was elevated to an R1 institution of “highest research activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, placing it in the top 4% of all four-year educational institutions in the nation. Temple’s research enterprise distinguishes itself through its focus on community, and using advances in technology to make a positive impact on people’s lives.

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, this Doctor of Philosophy offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency, and more. These tuition costs apply to the 2023–2024 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $1,280.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,675.00 per credit

Learn more about our tuition and fees.

PhD Advising

PhD students should identify a faculty advisor prior to applying. A faculty advisor will guide you in navigating the curriculum and selecting the appropriate coursework to achieve your academic and professional goals. Applicants may reach out to faculty via the faculty directory


Additional Program Information