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Direct Ph.D. Program in Mechanical Engineering

Admission Requirements:   

Incoming Students:  The student must have a strong interest in Graduate Studies leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The student must have:
The Graduate Committee will vote and approve each direct admission application.

  • Cumulative GPA ≥ 3.60 in the baccalaureate degree from a highly ranked university;
  • GRE recommended scores of 156 verbal, 161 quantitative and 4.0 analytical.

Students presently in MSME Program:  A graduate student who enters the Master’s program but later decides to pursue the Direct Ph.D. must submit a written request to the ME Graduate Office. The ME Admissions Committee approves changes from the MSME to Direct PhD requests. The student must have:

  • Cumulative GPA ≥ 3.60 in the baccalaureate degree from a highly ranked university;
  • Must have completed at least 12 credit hours of graduate coursework at Purdue with a minimum GPA of 3.80;
  • GRE recommended scores of 161 quantitative and 4.0 analytical;
  • The request must include a written endorsement by the Major Professor;
  • The request must be submitted to the Graduate Office before the first semester after the student has completed at least 12 credit hours of graduate coursework*

Optional MS Degree: Students enrolled in the Direct Ph.D. program have the option of seeking a Master’s degree “along the way” to the Ph.D. This option is available when the student meets the School of Mechanical Engineering’s and Purdue Graduate School’s requirements for a Master’s degree. The student will file a Master’s Plan of Study and register for Master’s candidacy. The Master’s plan may be for a non-thesis option and must satisfy ME’s requirements for a non-thesis Master’s degree.

Area Examinations: The Direct Ph.D. student must appear in the area examinations no later than the third semester (excluding summer sessions) of graduate studies at Purdue. The student will be given a maximum of two chances to pass the area exams. In the first attempt, the student must appear in all the required exams in the same semester. Any student unable to pass all the required area exams in two attempts will be dismissed from the Direct Ph.D. program. If desired, by the student and the Major Professor, a DPhD student failing the PhD area examinations may petition the ME Admissions Committee to convert from the Direct Ph.D. to the Master’s Degree program.

Direct PhD Plan of Study: Students are expected to file a Ph.D. Plan of Study before the beginning of the second semester of graduate study. The Plan of Study for a Direct Ph.D. student includes a minimum of 36 credit hours of graduate coursework in addition to thesis research hours. At least three (3) courses or nine (9) hours from among the twelve courses must be in applied mathematics. The Graduate School Database (Plans of study) and Purdue Banner systems will identify the student as a “PhD” student rather than Direct PhD.

Stipend Levels for Students Admitted to Direct PhD Program: The admitted student initially will be given the same stipend as the student admitted to the MS Program. The student’s stipend level will be adjusted to the PhD level after the student passes all area examinations. The new stipend level will become effective in the semester following the semester of passing the area exams.

*Regulations and Deadlines for Submitting the Direct PhD Application

1. A current MSME student wishing to be considered for the Direct PhD Program must submit a letter of request to the Graduate Office to be considered for the program. The letter needs to contain information explaining how the student’s credentials meet the requirements for the program, and the specific reasons for making the request should be explained. Any research experience, teaching experience or presentations, publications, GRE scores, and/or GPA, and long-term faculty or research position interests can be included to enhance the nomination.

2. The student’s major advisor also must submit a letter in support of the student for the Direct PhD Program.

3. Both letters should be submitted to the Graduate Office before the start of the Fall or Spring semester. The Admissions Committee reviews the request. The Committee will consider the most updated information available at that time for making a decision on the request.

4. Requests received after the deadline will be held until the beginning of the following semester. Requests will not be considered during the summer months.

5. Incoming students admitted into the Master’s program for the following semester will need to have their letter submitted in the same manner.