PhD in Mechanical Engineering

The PhD program prepares students for basic and applied research in mechanical engineering or materials science & engineering. Research areas are multidisciplinary and reflect the interests of the mechanical engineering faculty. 

Learning contract

Every PhD student works with his/her advisor to develop a learning contract. The contract defines the knowledge and skills appropriate for the student's intended area of research and prepares students for the comprehensive examination. 


The PhD program in mechanical engineering requires a minimum of three academic years of full-time graduate level study after the baccalaureate degree, or their equivalent in part-time study. The PhD program requires 24 credits of study, including two required courses. 

Area of focus 

Students pursuing a PhD complete courses in an area of focus based on their interest. 

  • Design and manufacturing 
  • Dynamics and mechatronics
  • Energy and transport phenomena
  • Materials 
  • Solid mechanics and mechanical design

Student testimonial

Mikhail Coloma, MS '14, PhD '17, discusses why he picked Binghamton University for his graduate degrees.

Requirements for PhD degree 

In their first year of study, doctoral students must select a primary research advisor and guidance committee, and develop a learning contract. 

The learning contract specifies a program of study, including the major area of research, additional course requirements, teaching requirements, evaluations procedures and a proposed timeline for the comprehensive examination and prospectus. 

The student must maintain at least an overall B average (GPA 3.0/4.0) for his or her graduate coursework to be eligible for the PhD degree.

To earn their PhD, students must complete:

  • Core coursework (12 credits)
  • Graded elective coursework closely related to the PhD research area (12 credits)
  • Fulfillment of their learning contract
  • Comprehensive examination
  • Teaching proficiency requirement
  • Submission and defense of a dissertation proposal
  • Submission and defense of a dissertation 


Students pursuing a PhD in mechanical engineering must complete a research thesis.

The written thesis and an oral presentation defending the thesis must be approved by the student's research committee before he or she is eligible for the degree. Publication of the student's research in an archival journal is expected.

See the PhD program at a glance.

New Students

ME PhD Graduate Orientation Spring 2024 

Engineering & Science Building Information 

Resources for Current Students

Citation Help & Academic Honesty

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Related Links

The Coordinator of Graduate Programs

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)