PhD Engineering

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) students initiate and drive cutting-edge research that with supporting studies, position them to be new leaders in the advancement of their field and for success in a range of careers in industry, government or academe. Candidates for the Ph.D. degree are expected to synthesize and create new knowledge, make original and substantial contributions to their discipline, and demonstrate mastery of knowledge. The PhD in Engineering provides maximum flexibility for students and faculty to address 21st century engineering problems. Emphasis Areas within the Ph.D. in Engineering degree enable students to focus in either a specific disciplinary specialty or interdisciplinary area.


Program of Study

Requirements for the Ph.D. in Engineering, its Emphasis Area programs and all named disciplinary Ph.D. degree programs in the College include a minimum of 72 credit hours in the student’s program of study beyond the B.S. degree. A thesis master’s degree from an accredited university may be accepted for up to 30 credit hours, in which case a minimum of 42 credit hours of approved course work, research and dissertation beyond the M.S. degree would be required as follows:

  • A minimum of 16 semester hours of coursework, which must include*
    • At least 15 hours of 8000- and 9000-level courses in addition to research, dissertation writing, and directed study
    • 1 hour of Graduate Seminar**
  • A minimum of 23 Doctoral Research hours (Doctoral research (9000) or Doctoral project-focused research (9010)) for students with an M.S.***
  • The Program of Study must include 3 hours of ENGR 9300 Doctoral Dissertation.

* Discipline-specific Ph.D. and Emphasis Area programs will require completion of a set of specific courses detailed by each program. These courses may increase the total number of semester hours required for program completion.

** Only 3 hours of Graduate Seminar may apply on the Ph.D. Program of Study. Individual Programs or Schools may require students to enroll for additional semesters. (ECAM and ECE students register ENGR 8950; CMB students register BCHE 8970.) Students are strongly encouraged to continue regular attendance of speaker series presentations even if not formally registered in the seminar.

*** A typical student’s total research hours will exceed these minimums.

Direct Ph.D.

A student accepted to enter the Ph.D. program directly from the B.S must meet the above requirements, a minimum of 29 doctoral research hours, and all other specific requirements for their chosen Ph.D. program and emphasis area. Additional coursework beyond the minimums above will be required by the direct Ph.D. student’s advisory committee consistent with the student’s background from their B.S. and the student’s chosen doctoral path. The program of study for a B.S. student who bypasses the M.S. degree must contain 4 semester hours of University of Georgia courses open only to graduate students in addition to 16 semester hours of 8000 and 9000 level courses. Doctoral research (9000), doctoral project (9010), independent study courses, and dissertation writing (9300) may not be counted in these 20 hours.

All coursework is selected in coordination with the student’s Faculty Advisor and approved by the student’s Advisory Committee on the Program of Study. Each student must pass a formal comprehensive written and oral examinations before being admitted to candidacy. Proposal and defense of a dissertation of original research showing independent thinking, scholarly ability, and technical mastery of a field of study is required.

Completion of the Ph.D. requirements for all programs in the College of Engineering fulfill all requirements of the University of Georgia Graduate School. No grade below C will be accepted in the program of study. To be eligible for graduation, a student must maintain a 3.0 (B) average on the graduate transcript and a 3.0 (B) average in the program of study.

Emphasis Areas

Emphasis areas enable students to focus their Ph.D. course work to achieve greater depth in support of their doctoral research and career goals. Emphasis areas are indicated on the final transcript.

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