Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Science and Mechanics

The doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in engineering science and mechanics at Penn State is a thesis-based, research-oriented degree for students who intend to pursue careers in research and development, research management, or academia. The program is a structured yet versatile program that is tailored to individual research interests. Students are challenged to become experts in their area of research.

Our program is ideal for engineers and scientists who wish to gain an expert understanding of the principles and philosophies of engineering science and mechanics and learn the skills to become confident and independent researchers. Strong interdisciplinary research ties at Penn State also allow students to interact with experts in nearly every field.

In addition to meeting course requirements specific to their discipline, Ph.D. students must also successfully pass the qualifying exam, comprehensive exam, final oral exam, write a dissertation, and satisfy the other academic program requirements outlined in the Graduate Programs Guide. The duration of the program varies from three to five years depending on the student’s background and professional interests.

Course Requirements

The candidate’s doctoral committee plays a major role in determining coursework and research direction. However, certain minimum requirements are specified by the departmental graduate faculty depending on whether a student is starting from a bachelor's or master's degree.

For detailed course requirements, please refer to the Graduate Programs Guide.



The Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) is an internationally distinguished department that is recognized for its globally competitive excellence in engineering and scientific accomplishments, research, and educational leadership.

Our Engineering Science program is the official undergraduate honors program of the College of Engineering, attracting the University’s brightest engineering students. We also offer graduate degrees in ESM, engineering mechanics, engineering at the nano-scale, and an integrated undergraduate/graduate program.

Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics

212 Earth and Engineering Sciences Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-4523