Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers a dissertation option for a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Areas of study in Mechanical Engineering include:

  1. Biomechanics and Biomaterials: biomechanics of human motion, biomaterials, orthopedic biomechanics and biomedical product design, transport phenomena, and drug delivery.
  2. Computational Mechanics and Mathematics of Computations: computational mechanics, finite element analysis, finite element methods and software
  3. Thermal-Fluid Systems and Heat Transfer: energy and thermal-power system design, heat transfer and computational fluid dynamics
  4. Mechanical Design, Manufacturing, and Microprocessor Applications: computer-aided mechanical design, continuum mechanics, computer-integrated manufacturing, computational mechanics, finite element analysis, machine stress analysis, microcomputer applications, and automatic control systems

Mission

The broad discipline of mechanical engineering enables students to have productive and rewarding careers, and to develop and improve new technologies in both traditional and emerging fields. Mechanical engineers apply fundamental principles to develop, design, manufacture, and test machines and other mechanical devices. Such devices include, but are not limited to power-producing machines, as well as power-consuming machines. Mechanical engineers are employed in diverse areas, including but not limited to the energy and power industries, the automotive and aerospace industries, and industrial manufacturing. Mechanical Engineering graduates also have careers in medicine and medical device development, patent law, engineering and corporate management, forensic engineering, and engineering sales.

The mission of the Mechanical Engineering Department is to provide our students with a high quality education, to generate and apply knowledge, and to serve both society and the engineering profession.

 

Graduates holding the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering will be able to:

  1. Conduct independent, publishable, impactful research on a topic or topics related to mechanical engineering.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to learn new concepts and build new skills relevant to the discipline of mechanical engineering.
  3. Demonstrate expertise in at least one area of mechanical engineering.
  4. Effectively communicate advanced mechanical engineering concepts, both in writing and orally, at a professional level.

Admission Requirements

To qualify for graduate study in any of the graduate programs in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, a student generally must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited mechanical engineering program. However, a student with good pre­paration in some other engineering discipline or a related program, such as physics, may qualify by taking appropriate undergraduate courses specified by the Mechanical Engineering Department Graduate Admissions Committee.

Application Deadlines

Fall Priority Deadline: December 15

Spring Priority Deadline: September 30

Applications may be accepted after the priority deadlines listed above, but applicants may no longer be considered for fellowships and assistantships. All application materials for international students must be submitted by March 31(Fall semester admission) and September 30 (Spring semester admission). For domestic students, these dates are June 1 for fall and November 1 for spring. See the Graduate Studies website for the application procedure and fees.

Application Materials

  • Application
  • GRE scores (institution code = 6871; program code = 1502)
  • One-page Statement of Purpose
  • Resume or curriculum vitae (optional)
  • Official transcript from each institution of higher education attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL scores (international students; institution code = 6871; program code = 68)
  • Financial statement (international students only if admitted)

Submit all supporting documents and your graduate application online. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required for all applicants and are used in the evaluation process.

Regular Status

  • For admission to regular status in the Ph.D. program, the student must have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.75/4.0 for direct admission into the Ph.D. program (“Fast Track”) or 3.5/4.0 for admission with an M.S. degree.

Provisional Status

  • For Ph.D. applicants whose M.S. GPA is below 3.5/4.0, admission on provisional status will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • For Ph.D. “Fast Track” applicants whose undergraduate GPA is below 3.75/4.0, admission on provisional status will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • After the equivalent of one semester of full-time study as a provisional graduate student, the performance of the student is reviewed and will be (1) transferred to regular status, (2) dropped from the Graduate School, or (3) allowed to continue the equivalent of another semester as a provisional student. It is ordinarily expected that provisional status will not exceed two semesters. Provisional students are not eligible for Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) or Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) appointments, but may be considered for scholarship/fellowship funding based on need and available funding.

Minimum English Proficiency Requirements

These guidelines are subject to change by official action of the appropriate Graduate School governance bodies. Visit the full English Proficiency Requirements for International Students policy: http://policy.ku.edu/graduate-studies/english-proficiency-international-students

Admission:

The following are acceptable means for verifying English proficiency for purposes of admitting international students and domestic non-native English speakers:

  • Graduation with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned in residence from an accredited English-medium U.S. college or university or a college or university in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, English-speaking province of Canada, or an English-speaking Caribbean country, with instruction conducted in English. Degrees earned online may not be used to verify English proficiency.
  • Official scores from an English proficiency standardized test scores (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS-Academic, or PTE), sent by the testing agency to the University of Kansas. Official scores must be less than two years old.
  • In exceptional cases, a department, with written support from the appropriate School or College, may petition the Dean of Graduate studies to consider alternative documentation of English proficiency. In consultation with the Director of the Applied English Center, the Dean of Graduate Studies will determine whether the alternative documentation demonstrates English proficiency at the level expected for regular admission to graduate study at KU.

International students and students who indicated English as a second language, are required to show proof of English proficiency for admission purposes and must check-in at the Applied English Center (AEC) upon arrival on campus for orientation. This process serves to confirm each student's level of English proficiency and determine whether English courses will be included as a requirement of the student’s academic program. Note: Students who demonstrate English proficiency at the waiver level or who have earned a degree from one of the specified English-speaking countries are not required to check in at the AEC (see eligibility requirements on the Graduate Studies website).

GTA and GRA Eligibility:

Graduate teaching and research assistant eligibility requirements are distinct from admission requirements. Additional information on eligibility for graduate teaching assistants and graduate research assistants may be found in the GTA, GRA, and GA Appointments: General Guidelines and Eligibility (GTA/GRA Eligibility Guidelines).

The Board of Regents policy on spoken English competency for graduate teaching assistants requires that non-native speakers of English demonstrate English proficiency by obtaining:

  • A minimum score of 50 on the SPEAK test,
  • A 22 on the speaking portion of the TOEFL(iBT) with Reading, Listening, and Writing part scores of at least 20, or
  • An 8 on the speaking portion of the IELTS (minimum overall score of 6.0, no part score below 5.5)

In addition, all non-native speakers of English must be interviewed by three institutional representatives, including at least one student to determine sufficient English proficiency. More information may be found in the Kansas Board of Regents Policy on Spoken English Language Competency of Faculty and Graduate Teaching Assistants. Please consult the Graduate School English Proficiency Score requirements for admission and GTA/GRA eligibility.

Visiting Us

The graduate program staff is happy to work with all prospective students in determining the fit between the student and the program. We feel that visiting our campus in Lawrence is a very important step. In order to facilitate your visit to KU, there are two main options:

  • The first, and most preferred, option entails simply applying for admission to the program. All prospective students are welcome to attend our Graduate Open House in October and some highly qualified admitted students may be invited to participate in Campus Visit Days in February (prior to the fall semester of your intended matriculation). These organized visitation opportunities will allow you time to gather a great deal of first-hand information which we hope will help you in making a final decision about whether to attend KU.
  • The second option is making arrangements to visit us on your own, outside of organized events. With early notification, we will do our best to work with you to provide information and schedule appointments with faculty when possible. Please contact us if you feel that this is the best option for you.

Contact Information

Please contact the Mechanical Engineering Program Assistant at kume@ku.edu or (785) 864-3181, to schedule a visit or with questions about the application process.

The University of Kansas
Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program
3138 Learned Hall
1530 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045-7605

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree

A minimum of 72 credit hours of graduate credit beyond the bachelor’s degree is required for a Ph.D. For students with a 30-credit Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, a minimum of an additional 18 credits hours of graduate course work and 24 credit hours of dissertation are required. If a Master’s degree is not sought, 42 credit hours of graduate course work beyond the bachelor’s degree and 30 credit hours of dissertation credit are required. A minimum of 9 credit hours of the 18 (or 21 of the 42) must be mechanical engineering courses numbered 700-900 (excluding ME 702, ME 801, ME 899, ME 901, and ME 999). A minimum of 9 credit hours of advanced mathematics beyond the bachelor’s degree is required.  

Doctoral Qualifying Examination

For a student with a Master’s degree, a qualifying examination will normally be taken in the first semester of participation in the doctoral program on regular status. It may not be taken later than the end of the second semester. For a direct admit with a bachelor’s degree, a qualifying examination will typically be taken after completion of 30 hours of graduate course work.

The Qualifying Examination Committee consists of three or more members of the graduate faculty within the area of emphasis and are normally expected to be members of the Research and Graduate Studies Committee of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. A grade of pass or fail will be assigned and be kept in the departmental records.

Three evaluation criteria for the Qualifying Examination were established by the faculty on August 15, 2008.

Criterion #1: The student must demonstrate an understanding in a core set of fundamental undergraduate mechanical engineering knowledge.

Criterion #2: The student must demonstrate an understanding in a subset of core advanced mechanical engineering knowledge.

Criterion #3: The student must demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively through writing, oral presentation, and open questioning.

The faculty from the four areas of study in Mechanical Engineering, as defined by the Graduate Student Handbook, are responsible for developing separate methods to evaluate the criteria. The areas of study are: Biomechanics and Biomaterials; Computational Mechanics and Mathematics of Computations; Thermal-Fluid Systems and Heat Transfer; and Mechanical Design, Manufacturing, and Microprocessor Applications. The methods for the four areas to assess the three criteria area listed below.

Criterion #1

Assessment #1 (all four groups the same): This criterion will be assessed and satisfied with the current policies for entrance to the KUME graduate program. This includes the current requirements for satisfying deficiencies in the undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum. At the time of the Ph.D. qualifying exam, the student must have satisfied and completed all requirements and conditions specified by the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the SOE to address deficiencies.

Criterion #2

Biomechanics and Biomaterials Criterion #2: The student will select three 3 credit mechanical engineering courses numbered 700-990 (excluding ME 702, ME 860, ME 899, ME 901, and ME 999) with the approval of their advisor and the qualifying committee chair. The chosen courses should reflect the student’s interest in the area(s) of biomechanics and biomaterials. To satisfy this criterion, the student must complete the three qualifying courses with an average GPA of 3.5 or above.

Computational Mechanics and Mathematics of Computations Criterion #2: The student is required to demonstrate an understanding of 1) the fundamentals of mechanics, 2) the theory of finite-element methods and 3) applied mathematics, by passing written exams in each of these areas. The series of three written exams will be scheduled during one week each spring semester. Each exam will be graded separately. A student must pass all three exams to pass the qualifying requirement. A CONDITIONAL PASS may be awarded in the case of a student passing in two areas and failing in just one area. Additional conditions that must be satisfied may include extra coursework and/or a repeat of the exam in the area failed. A student failing to pass in at least two areas must repeat the entire exam sequence the following year.

Thermal-Fluid Systems and Heat Transfer Criterion #2: The student must demonstrate that they have an understanding in a core advanced thermal-fluid systems and heat transfer knowledge by completing a graduate level course with grade “A” in the following areas: Fluids, Heat Transfer, Applied Thermodynamics and Advanced Mathematics. A course from each area may be selected from the following.

            Fluids                                   Heat Transfer                 Applied Thermodynamics

            ME 711                                  ME 770                             ME 636

            ME 810                                  ME 774                             ME 637

           *ME 733                                  *ME 831 or C&PE 731      ME 712

           *ME 831 or C&PE 731                                                     *ME 733

            * Course will count in one area only

           Advanced Mathematics

           Courses selected from approved list

Equivalent graduate courses that are completed at other institutions may be used to satisfy the requirements. For a conditional pass, a student must complete with an “A” grade courses in at least two areas and obtain a “B” grade in each of the remaining areas. The student will be required to pass courses with “A” grades in the areas in which they obtained “B” grades, within a year or before taking the Ph.D. comprehensive examination.

Mechanical Design, Manufacturing, and Microprocessor Applications Criterion #2: The student will select three 3 credit mechanical engineering courses numbered 700-990 (excluding ME 702, ME 860, ME 899, ME 901, and ME 999) with the approval of their advisor and the qualifying committee chair. The chosen courses should reflect the student’s interest in the area(s) of design, manufacturing, and microprocessor applications. To satisfy this criterion, the student must complete the three qualifying courses with an average GPA of 3.5 or above.

Criterion #3

Biomechanics and Biomaterials Criterion #3: This assessment will be done over a three day period. On the morning of the first day, the student will be provided three published manuscripts within their research area. The student will briefly review the articles and then select one for the examination. There are two steps to the examination.

Within the first three hours of the examination:

The student will write and submit a one page summary of the chosen manuscript. No outside help or resources are allowed. A computer with word processing will be provided. The written examination will last 3 hours or less.

Within the next three days of the examination:

The student will prepare a PowerPoint presentation to be presented to the qualifying examination committee. The presentation should include a discussion of the manuscript content and an evaluation of its strengths and weaknesses. No outside help will be allowed, although the student may utilize resources such as published manuscripts, textbooks, and references as needed to clarify the manuscript content. This is not an examination of research methods. It is also not an examination of the student’s ability to assimilate a broad research topic. This is an examination of the student’s ability to effectively communicate the information contained within the chosen manuscript. Therefore, no other manuscripts should be referred to during the presentation. The oral presentation will last 20 minutes or less. The presentation, including questions on the manuscript content, will last 60 minutes or less.

Note: A set of SAMPLE questions corresponding to a SAMPLE manuscript (i.e., not the manuscript selected by the student) will be provided prior to the exam to give the student insight into the types of questions they should expect on the manuscript content during the exam.

Computational Mechanics and Mathematics of Computations Criterion #3: Under development.

Thermal-Fluid Systems and Heat Transfer Criterion #3: The student will give a 20 minute oral presentation to the qualifying examination committee. The material for the presentation will be from one of the following: the results of the student’s MS thesis research, the manuscript of the student’s published paper, or the results of a special research project assigned by the student’s major advisor. The student must provide to the committee an abstract of the presentation ahead of the examination. To receive a grade of pass, the student must demonstrate to the committee their ability to effectively communicate the information. For a student that receives a grade of conditional pass, the committee will recommend appropriate remedies. If a student receives a grade of fail, a second and final attempt will be granted.

Mechanical Design, Manufacturing, and Microprocessor Applications Criterion #3: This assessment will be done over a three day period. On the morning of the first day, the student will be provided three published manuscripts within their research area. The student will briefly review the articles and then select one for the examination. There are two steps to the examination.

Within the first three hours of the examination:

The student will write and submit a one page summary of the chosen manuscript. No outside help or resources are allowed. A computer with word processing will be provided. The written examination will last 3 hours or less.

Within the next three days of the examination:

The student will prepare a PowerPoint presentation to be presented to the qualifying examination committee. The presentation should include a discussion of the manuscript content and an evaluation of its strengths and weaknesses. No outside help will be allowed, although the student may utilize resources such as published manuscripts, textbooks, and references as needed to clarify the manuscript content. This is not an examination of research methods. It is also not an examination of the student’s ability to assimilate a broad research topic. This is an examination of the student’s ability to effectively communicate the information contained within the chosen manuscript. Therefore, no other manuscripts should be referred to during the presentation. The oral presentation will last 20 minutes or less. The presentation, including questions on the manuscript content, will last 60 minutes or less.

Note: A set of SAMPLE questions corresponding to a SAMPLE manuscript (i.e., not the manuscript selected by the student) will be provided prior to the exam to give the student insight into the types of questions they should expect on the manuscript content during the exam.

Plan of Study

On successful completion of the qualifying examination, the student selects a major professor from the Department to serve as the chairperson of the advisory committee and to direct the research. An advisory committee of at least five Graduate Faculty members from the School of Engineering with at least three from the Mechanical Engineering faculty is then selected by the student and their adviser to assist the student in preparing the plan of study, to conduct the comprehensive examination, and to assist the student in planning research.

Courses completed without an approved program of study filed will not necessarily count toward the degree. The complete plan of study must be submitted before the end of the first semester and include the specific courses and all other requirements (research skills, research topic, etc.), and filed electronically with the Department and the Graduate Division of the School of Engineering.

Proficiency in Research Skill Area and Responsible Scholarship

All doctoral studetns must meet the Research Skills requirement before proceeding to comprehensive exams. The requirement must include at least two components:

  • Every doctoral student is required to have training in responsible scholarship pertinent to the field of research.
  • Every doctoral student is required to obtain research skills pertinent to the doctoral level of research in their field(s).

The responsible scholarship requirement may be met by taking ME 801, in addition to all other course and credit requirements. The Ph.D. student must demonstrate proficiency in at least one research skill area. Since the needs of students differ, the research skills are determined with the advice and approval of the advisory committee. Possible areas may include:

  1. Foreign Language. The aspirant may demonstrate a reading knowledge in a foreign language in either of two ways:
    1. Receive a score in the language on the Educational Testing Service Graduate School Foreign Language Test at, or above, the minimal level prescribed by the Graduate Studies Office.
    2. Complete a language course approved by the advisory committee with a grade of B or better.
  2. Computer Science. To establish competence in computer science, it is necessary to satisfy the advisory committee by demonstrating proficiency in a commonly used programming language and creating at least one original program.
  3. Laboratory Training. Specific training on research skills relevant to the topic of dissertation by the advisor in their respective laboratory with the help of senior students.

All research skill and responsible scholarship requirements must be satisfied prior to the comprehensive examination and reported to the Graduate Division.

Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

When a doctoral aspirant has completed the major portion of the course work at a level satisfactory to the graduate degree program and school (typically 18 credit hours beyond the Master’s degree, or 42 beyond the Bachelor’s degree) and met all other program, school, and general requirements prerequisite to the comprehensive oral examination, including the research skills requirement as appropriately applied and established for the student’s particular program, the degree program must request the Graduate Division of its school to schedule the comprehensive oral examination. It should be determined that the student is in good academic standing (3.0 or higher grade-point average) before scheduling the examination. The examination request (using the Progress to Degree system) must be submitted in advance of the examination date by at least the period specified by the Graduate Division, normally a minimum of two weeks. The Graduate Division ascertains whether all pertinent requirements have been satisfied and if reports of any previously scheduled comprehensive oral examinations have been properly submitted and recorded. http://policy.ku.edu/graduate-studies/doctoral-oral-exams

The committee for the comprehensive oral examination must consist of at least five members, all of whom must be members of the Graduate Faculty and at least three of whom must be tenured / tenure track Mechanical Engineering Faculty including the committee chair. Its members are appointed by the Graduate Division of the school or college on the basis of nominations submitted by the graduate degree program. At least one member must be from a department other than the aspirant’s major department. This member represents Graduate Studies and must be a regular member of the Graduate Faculty. The Graduate Studies representative is a voting member of the committee and has full right to participate in the examination. In the case of any unsatisfactory or irregular aspects of the exam or violation of Graduate Studies policy, the Graduate Studies representative shall provide a written report to the Dean of Graduate Studies for consideration of further action. The examination may be scheduled provided that at least five months have elapsed from the time of the aspirant’s first enrollment at KU considering the Qualifying Exam has been successfully passed.

The comprehensive oral examination covers the major field and any extra-departmental work for which the program wishes to hold the aspirant responsible (students should discuss the oral examination requirements with their advisor and committee). For every scheduled examination, the degree program reports a grade of Honors, Satisfactory, or Unsatisfactory. If the aspirant receives a grade of Unsatisfactory on the comprehensive oral examination, it may be repeated on the recommendation of the degree program, but under no circumstances may it be taken more than three times. In any case, the examination may not be repeated until at least 90 days have elapsed since the last unsuccessful attempt. The schedule for the examination should be announced throughout the Department at least 7 days in advance.

Post-comprehensive Enrollment

After passing the comprehensive oral examination for a doctoral degree, the candidate must be continuously enrolled each fall and spring semester until all requirements for the degree are completed (summer is optional). Enrollment must reflect, as accurately as possible, the candidate's demands on faculty time and university facilities. During this time, until all requirements for the degree are completed OR until 18 post-comprehensive hours have been completed (whichever comes first), the candidate must enroll for a minimum of 6 hours each fall and spring semester (3 hours for summer is recommended if enrolled).

Post-comprehensive enrollment may include enrollment during the semester or summer session in which the comprehensive oral examination has been passed. If after 18 hours of post-comprehensive enrollment, the degree is not completed, the candidate must continue to enroll each semester until all requirements for the degree have been met. The number of hours of each enrollment must be determined by the candidate's dissertation advisor and must reflect as accurately as possible the candidate's demands on faculty time and university facilities.

Dissertation

The doctoral candidate must present a dissertation showing the planning, conduct, and results of original research and/or scholarly creativity. The purpose of the dissertation is to encourage and ensure the development of broad intellectual capabilities and to demonstrate an intensive focus on a problem or research area. The dissertation itself should be an evident product of the candidate’s growth and attainment of the ability to identify significant problems; organize, analyze, and communicate scholarly results; and bring to bear on an area of scholarly or scientific interest a variety of research skills and scholarly or creative processes. The dissertation must show some original accomplishment (sufficient quality to merit publication(s) in refereed journals), but it should also demonstrate without doubt the candidate’s potential to make future contributions to knowledge and understanding. Furthermore, a candidate for a doctoral degree must satisfy all Graduate School requirements for the degree.

Both the dissertation research and the dissertation itself are to be completed under the guidance and direction of the committee appointed as described in the Doctoral Student Oral Exam Committee Composition policy:

  1. Doctoral committees are composed of at least five voting members;
  2. The majority of committee members serving on a doctoral student oral examination committee must be tenured/tenure-track faculty holding regular or dissertation graduate faculty status in the candidate’s department/program of study. Tenured/tenure-track faculty who are appointed as courtesy faculty within the program/department are considered (for the purposes of committee composition) to be faculty of that program/department;
  3. One member must meet the requirements for serving as the Graduate Studies representative. A faculty member from a different department with a courtesy appointment in the student’s department may serve as the Graduate Studies representative or in fulfillment of the committee majority, but cannot serve in both roles at the same time; and
  4. Beyond the majority requirement, the additional member may hold any graduate faculty status, including regular, dissertation, or special status. This fifth member can be, but need not be, a member of the candidate’s department/program.

The doctoral committee chair must hold dissertation status. While committees are not required to have a co-chair, the student or the committee members may decide to select a co-chair. The co-chair can hold any graduate faculty status.

Substitutions of the committee chair (and/or co-chair) are prohibited after the committee has been approved by the Graduate Division of the school/college. If a committee chair (and/or co-chair) needs to be replaced, the revised committee must be approved by the Graduate Division in advance of the exam.

Substitutions of the committee members are permitted as long as the new members hold regular or dissertation graduate faculty status. Special members can be added after the committee has been approved by the Graduate Division of the school/college, but these additions must be approved by the Graduate Division in advance of the exam.

Dissertation Oral Examination

Completion of the dissertation is the final academic phase of a doctoral program, culminating in the final oral examination and defense of the dissertation. In all but the rarest cases, tentative approval of the dissertation is followed promptly by the final oral examination. When the completed dissertation has been accepted by the committee in final draft form, and all other degree requirements have been satisfied, the chair of the committee requests the Graduate Division to schedule the final oral examination. This request must be made in advance of the desired examination by at least the period specified by the Graduate Division (normally three weeks). The submission of the request must allow sufficient time to publicize the examination so that interested members of the university community may attend. The final oral examination may be held no earlier than one (1) month after the successful completion of the comprehensive oral examination. Departments, programs, schools, or the College may require a longer minimum interval between the oral comprehensive exam and the final dissertation defense.

The committee for the final oral examination must consist of at least five members (the members of the dissertation committee plus other members of the Graduate Faculty recommended by the committee chair and the department and appointed by the Graduate Division). At least one member must be from a department other than the major department. This member represents Graduate Studies and must be a regular member of the Graduate Faculty. Before the examination, the Graduate Division provides a list of responsibilities to the Graduate Studies representative. The Graduate Studies representative is a voting member of the committee and has full right to participate in the examination. In the case of any unsatisfactory or irregular aspects of the exam or violation of Graduate Studies policy, the Graduate Studies representative shall provide a written report to the Dean of Graduate Studies for consideration of further action.

The Graduate Division ascertains whether all other degree requirements have been met and it reports of any previously scheduled final oral examinations have been submitted and recorded. Upon approval of the request, the final oral examination is scheduled at the time and place designated by the Graduate Division. This information must be published in a news medium as prescribed by the Graduate Faculty. Interested members of the university community are encouraged to attend these examinations.

For every scheduled final oral examination, the department reports to the Graduate Division a grade of Honors, Satisfactory, or Unsatisfactory for the candidate’s performance. If an Unsatisfactory grade is reported, the candidate may be allowed to repeat the examination on the recommendation of the department.

When the candidate has passed the final oral examination and the members of the dissertation committee have signed the dissertation, a title page and acceptance page with original signatures are to be delivered to the Graduate Affairs office of the school/college in which the student’s program resides so that completion of degree requirements may be officially certified. As a requirement of graduation, the candidate must arrange publication of the dissertation and payment of all applicable fees, through the electronic submission process.

Moreover, the candidate must provide a bound copy to the major professor, and one bound copy to the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Program Time Constraints

Minimum Tenure

The student must spend three full academic years, or the bona fide equivalent thereof, in resident study at this or some other approved university, including the time spent in attaining the master’s degree. Resident study at less than full time requires a correspondingly longer period, but the requirement is not measured merely in hours of enrollment. Because a minimum number of hours for the degree is not prescribed, no transfer of credit is appropriate. However, graduate degree programs take relevant prior graduate work into consideration in setting up programs of study leading to the doctorate.

Residence Requirement

Two semesters, which may include one summer session, must be spent in resident study at KU. During this period, the student must be involved full time in academic or professional pursuits, which may include an appointment for teaching or research if it is directed specifically toward degree objectives. Enrollment in approved distance-learning courses offered through KU cannot be used to meet the doctoral residency requirement. The student must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester, and the increased research involvement must be fully supported and documented by the dissertation supervisor as contributing to the student’s dissertation or program objectives. Research must be performed under the direct supervision of the major adviser if on campus, or with adequate liaison if off campus.

Maximum Tenure

After being admitted to doctoral programs at KU, students complete all degree requirements in eight years. In cases in which compelling circumstances recommend a one-year extension, the Graduate Division has authority to grant the extension on the written advice of the department and dissertation committee. Students who complete the master’s degree at KU and subsequently begin doctoral studies have a maximum total enrolled time of 10 years to complete both degrees. Normal expectations, however, are that most master’s degrees (excluding some professional terminal degrees) should be completed in two years of full-time study, and both master’s and doctorate in six years of full-time study. Some graduate degree programs may have more stringent time restrictions. Students should inquire about the policy in effect in the department in which they plan to study.

A student in any of the above categories may petition the Graduate Division through the department for a leave of absence during either the pre- or post-comprehensive period to pursue full-time professional activities related to the doctoral program and long-range professional goals. Leaves of absence also may be granted because of illness or other emergency. Ordinarily a leave of absence is granted for one year, with the possibility of extension upon request. After an absence of five years, however, a doctoral aspirant or candidate loses status as such and must apply for readmission to the program and the Graduate Division.