Mechanical and Aerospace PhD Programs

Pursue your PhD with us in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering, where you'll engage in groundbreaking research and showcase your unique contributions through a comprehensive dissertation.

About the Aerospace Engineering PhD

The Aerospace Engineering PhD program equips students with the skills and knowledge necessary to take on leadership roles in the aerospace industry and associated sectors. The program covers a wide range of applications in aeronautics and astronautics, encompassing subsonic and supersonic aircraft, satellites, space shuttles, space stations, and more. 

Students in this program can also engage with UB's Computational Data-enabled Science and Engineering graduate program. This collaboration provides comprehensive training in computational data science, benefiting experimental and computational materials scientists.

Students working with MAE faculty in the UB Space System Dynamics and Control Lab.

About the Mechanical Engineering PhD

The Mechanical Engineering PhD emphasizes original research and provides students with a strong background for employment in academic institutions, government laboratories and industrial research laboratories with a focus on mechanical engineering. 

Faculty in the Robot Form and Function Lab with a graduate student.

The program provides a sound foundation in technical fundamentals with a broad-based curriculum in design and optimization; dynamics, control and mechatronics; fluid and thermal sciences; and bioengineering, computational and applied mechanics and materials.

Fully funded doctoral study

All doctoral students in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences receive a stipend, either through a Research Assistantship or a Teaching Assistantship, plus a full tuition scholarship.

Research Areas

Curriculum Overview

Both the Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering PhD require 72 credit hours: at least 48 credit hours from graduate coursework and 12-24 credit hours of dissertation work. A maximum of six credit hours of the 48 credit hour course requirement may be fulfilled by a master's thesis (6 credit hours) or a master's project (3 credit hours). Up to 12 credit hours are permitted for informal courses. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the program.

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

Program milestones include:

  • Qualifying Exam
  • Preliminary Exam
  • Dissertation Defense

Our PhD programs can be taken full-time or part-time, and typically take 4 to 5+ years to complete. In addition to fulfilling their RA/TA responsibilities, students must take nine credit hours per semester to maintain a full-time status.

Graduate Contact Information

Dr. Ehsan Esfahani
Graduate Studies Director
245 Bell Hall

Philomena Marinaccio
Graduate Coordinator
240 Bell Hall

For admissions information or questions about your application, contact

Admissions Requirements

Prospective students with and without a master's degree are welcome to apply. The following materials are required to apply to the Aerospace Engineering PhD and the Mechanical Engineering PhD.

Students without a master's who are pursuing a PhD and wish to switch to the master's program instead must first seek approval from their advisor.

Current UB master's students who wish to pursue a PhD in MAE must apply to the PhD program following standard admissions procedures.