Mechanical and Aerospace PhD Programs

We offer PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering or Aerospace Engineering. Students will have the ability to pursue research and complete a dissertation of original research.


  • Research-focused degree program
  • Requires successful completion of 72 graduate credit hours
  • Must maintain at least 3.0 GPA throughout program
  • Key component is dissertation, features original research, typically 24 credit hours effort
  • Major advisor plays important role throughout
  • Nearly all PhD students receive a stipend (RA or TA), plus full tuition scholarship (see Financial Support page for details)
  • Milestones: Qualifying Exam, Preliminary Exam, Dissertation Defense
  • Full-time status: Requires nine credit hours per semester, plus RA or TA
  • Program duration: Typically three plus years from BS degree
  • Informal courses: Up to twelve credit hours are permitted


The selection of the program of courses and the student's dissertation research are under the supervision of a PhD program committee chaired by the student's advisor.

Minimum Requirements

  • At least 48 credit hours of graduate course work
  • 12-24 credit hours of dissertation work, for a total of 72 credit hours

A maximum of six credit hours of the 48 credit hour course requirement may be fulfilled by MS Thesis (six (6) credit hours) or MS Project (three (3) credit hours) completed at the University at Buffalo.

Program Options

Entering with MS Degree Entering without MS Degree Continuing Students

Students Entering PhD Program without MS Degree

Students with outstanding undergraduate studies and a high level of interest in research can pursue their PhD degree by directly entering the PhD program.

During this pursuit, if the student wishes to take MS instead of PhD for special reasons, they need to first seek for the approval from their advisor.