PhD in Mechanical Engineering

PhD in Mechanical Engineering


The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Mechanical Engineering is awarded to students who demonstrate high academic achievement and research competence in the fields of mechanical engineering. To earn a PhD, a student must complete an approved, rigorous program of advanced course work and submit and defend an original dissertation of independent research. The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) expects all successful doctoral candidates to show depth of knowledge and research innovation in their chosen field of specialization.

The MIE department admits applicants to the PhD program either directly after earning a suitable bachelor’s degree (i.e., direct entry) or after earning a suitable master’s degree (i.e., advanced entry).

Innovative Curriculum

All course work must have the approval of the academic advisor. All PhD students must first pass the Doctoral Qualifying Examinations before being admitted to Doctoral Candidacy.

  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering/scientific/quantitative problems
  • An ability to explain and apply engineering design principles, as appropriate to the program’s educational objectives
  • An ability to produce solutions that meet specified end-user needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  • An ability to recognize and advance the engineering tools/principles needed for creative thinking and innovation to propel technical development for industrial applications and/or scientific research

Experiential Learning

Northeastern combines rigorous academics with experiential learning and research, including cooperative education and internships, to prepare students for real world engineering challenges. The Cooperative Education Program, also known as a “co-op,” is one of the largest and most innovative in the world, and Northeastern is one of only a few that offers a Co-op Program for Graduate Students. Through this program students gain industry experience in a wide variety of organizations, from large companies to entrepreneurial start-ups, while helping to finance their education. Students also have the option to participate in an internship or the university’s Experiential PhD program.

Academic Advising

The Academic Advisors in the Graduate Student Services office can help answer many of your questions and assist with various concerns regarding your program and student record. Use the link below to also determine which questions can be answered by your Faculty Program Advisors and OGS Advisors.

Admissions & Aid

Ready to take the next step? Review degree requirements to see courses needed to complete this degree. Then, explore ways to fund your education. Finally, review admissions information to see our deadlines and gather the materials you need to Apply.

Recent News

Wanunu Receives Northeastern NAI Innovator of the Year Award

COS/BioE Professor Meni Wanunu received the Innovator of the Year award from the Northeastern University chapter of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Daniel Braconnier, a recent mechanical engineering PhD graduate, received the student innovator award.

COE Research Expo Displays Promising Work of PhD Students

The College of Engineering held a research expo to highlight the work of PhD students. Participants presented their research to a panel of judges and gained critical presentation and communication skills. They also displayed their research during the poster showcase and students were recognized with awards.

Spinout Company Fourier LLC to Revolutionize Thermal Management

After pioneering thermoforming technical ceramic matrix composites (CMC’s) last year, MIE Associate Professor Randall Erb and mechanical engineering alum Jason Hoffman-Bice, PhD’22, have created a spinout company called Fourier LLC to commercialize their groundbreaking innovation in thermal management.

Fan Receives ASME Design Engineering Division Best Paper Award

Haonan Fan, PhD’24, mechanical engineering, received the 2023 Best Paper Award of the ASME Design Engineering Division for “DC Motor Velocity Control with Integral Retarded Controller Under Unintentional Delay” at the 2023 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference.