About PhD Engineering Programs

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PhD in Engineering Introduction

A PhD in engineering is offered a various universities. However, some universities only offer a Doctorate in Engineering that is equivalent to the PhD. The PhD engineering degree is for anyone who would like to further his or her education in engineering. The courses usually involve extensive quantitative research and require completion of a dissertation. With a PhD in the field of engineering, the graduate is qualified to work as an engineering professor, a researcher in a laboratory, and as an engineering consultant on industrial projects.

The 3 most well known programs for a PhD in engineering include the University of Pennsylvania, Wright State University, and City University of New York.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is found in Philadelphia and the School of Engineering offers PhD degree specialties in bioengineering, material sciences engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical systems engineering. There is also the ability to do a joint PhD in bioengineering with medicine, veterinary medicine, and dentistry.

This PhD engineering degree is a research based degree and the courses taken will depend on what specialty is being pursued. For example, a PhD engineering degree in bioengineering requires 9 courses divided into 2 biomedical courses, 5 bioengineering courses, 2 mathematics courses, and a completed thesis. The program is typically 5 to 6 years. The PhD student is granted funding that covers all of the tuition and provides a stipend for room and board. This funding also pays for the student health insurance.

Admissions into the University of Pennsylvania’s PhD program requires the applicant to have a master’s degree in a related field, but preferably engineering. Reference letters and official transcripts sent from previous schools are essential.

Wright State University

The PhD in engineering from Wright State University is offered by the College of Engineering and Computer. It offers 7 areas to specialize, such as electronics, materials and nanotechnology, or medical and biological systems.

Wright State University is located in Dayton, Ohio and is ranked as one of the top programs for a PhD in engineering. There are currently 18,000 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs.

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). For admissions, an accredited ABET bachelor’s degrees is required. The admissions process to Wright State University is very competitive. The applicant must submit an application form along with 3 reference letters. The results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are also required. Along with the application, 2 references and a statement of objectives are also required. International students will also need to submit TOEFL scores.

City College of the City University Of New York

The engineering program from City University in New York allows qualified applicants to be selected to study for a PhD in engineering. The student can do research in the fields of civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, and biomedical engineering.

Acceptance to the program guarantees full funding as the school will only accept applicants if research funding can be obtained for them. Admission into the program is by an application and submission of copies of transcripts. Applicants should take the GRE and submit this result. The PhD program in engineering can be between 5 to 6 years.


University of Pennsylvania. “PhD in Engineering.” 2010 Available at: https://www.seas.upenn.edu/prospective-students/graduate/PhD/index.php

Wright State University. “PhD in Engineering: Admissions.” 2010. Available: https://www.cs.wright.edu/phd/prospective/admission.html

City University of New York. “PhD in Engineering.” 2010. Available at: https://web.gc.cuny.edu/dept/engineering/