>> Requirements and Procedures
>> Admission Requirements
>> Summary of Degree Requirements
>> Credit Transfer Policy
>> Research Specialization
>> Preliminary Qualifying Examination
>> Academic Advisor and Dissertation Topic
>> Dissertation Committee
>> Final Qualifying Examination
>> Preparation of the Dissertation
>> Dissertation Defense
>> Time Limit
>> Contact Information
This page describes the principal requirements to be met and procedures to be followed by students pursuing the Doctor of Engineering (DE) degree in Mechanical Engineering. In addition to the policies and procedures described in the "Academic Regulations" section of the Lawrence Technological University Graduate Catalog, students in the DE program are also required to meet the following requirements for admission, matriculation, and graduation. Students with questions should seek assistance from the Director of the Doctor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering program.
Students applying for admission to the DE (Mechanical Engineering) program are required to meet the following criteria:
- Hold a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering or an equivalent related field from an accredited college or university. Exceptional students with an earned Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering may be considered for direct admission into the Doctoral program. Please contact the Program Director.
- Have earned an overall GPA of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 (B+) scale in the Master of Science degree. Students with lower GPA's may be accepted on a provisional basis as described below.
- Provide official transcripts of all completed college work.
- Submit a graduate Application Form (minimum two months before beginning of the term expected to enroll).
- Submit three letters of recommendation: two from professors who have directly evaluated the student’s academic performance during previous degrees and one from a corporate supervisor.
- Submit a research statement describing subject(s) of interest.
- Non-native speakers of English must document English proficiency upon entry to the program (TOEFL minimum 550 or IELTS minimum 6.0).
Students with a graduate GPA lower than 3.3 may be admitted on a provisional basis. They are evaluated for continuation upon completion of nine (9) credits of graduate coursework at LTU. This evaluation is conducted by the Director of the Doctor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering program, the Chair of Mechanical Engineering Department and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. The Department Chair will notify the student of the outcome. If a student is not permitted to continue work toward the DE then the student is expected to terminate studies within the Department. The student may petition the decision to the Doctoral Governance Committee of the College of Engineering (COE) within one week of decision letter. The decision of the Doctoral Governance Committee is final.
Students with an engineering master’s degree in a field other than civil engineering who have a GPA of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale may be admitted on a provisional basis. The program director and program advisor(s) will define the prerequisite requirements.
Summary of Degree Requirements
Students admitted to the DE (Mechanical Engineering) program have to earn minimum of 27 course credits (beyond MS degree) and a minimum of 30 dissertation credit hours to satisfy degree requirements. This is in addition to passing (a) Preliminary Qualifying Examination, (b) Final Qualifying Examination, and (c) Dissertation Defense.
It should be noted that those who are admitted to the program are defined as “DE Applicant” until they pass the Final Qualifying Exam. After passing the Final Qualifying Exam they become “DE Candidates.”
Course credits are subjected to following limitations:
- Twenty four (24) credits from 6000 level or higher mechanical engineering courses
- Three (3) credits of mathematics (EME6283 Engineering Analysis II)
- English language course credits are not counted towards the degree
Descriptions of all graduate courses offered by the Department of Mechanical Engineering are given in the Graduate Course Descriptions brochure. Students are required to consult the Director of the Doctor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering program in selecting courses not offered by the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Students are allowed to register for a maximum of 12 dissertation credits before becoming DE Candidates.
Credit Transfer Policy
Lawrence Tech’s will transfer a maximum of 6 credits of qualified graduate level coursework from other institutions. An applicant transferring in from another institution with special circumstances will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Students admitted to the DE (Mechanical Engineering) program have a choice to select from one of the following areas within mechanical engineering as their specialization:
- Solid Mechanics, Dynamics, Vibrations
This decision will also depend on students’ background during their MS in Mechanical Engineering. Those who have been not been adequately exposed to the selected specialization will be asked to take more courses to bridge the gap. Depending on the specialization selected, the student will be assigned to an Advisor who will guide and advisor the student throughout the process.
Preliminary Qualifying Examination
All students are required to pass a written Preliminary Qualifying Examination within one year (12 months) after being formally admitted to the program as a DE Applicant. The exam is designed to test the student’s knowledge of the advanced application and evaluation of fundamental theories, principles and concepts from his/her upper undergraduate and master levels studies in engineering. Each student has only two chances to pass this examination. The examination will be administered twice a year (once in Fall and Spring semesters).
It is the DE Applicant’s responsibility to initiate the process by making a written request to appear for the Preliminary Qualifying Exam. Eligibility to take the Preliminary Qualifying Exam is determined by the Director of the Doctor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering program.
The Preliminary Qualifying Examination is administered by Director of the Doctor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering program. He/she will form a Qualifying Examination Committee which will create and grade the exam.
The three possible outcomes of the examination are: 1) pass; 2) fail (first try) and deferment for re-examination; or 3) fail (second try) and dismissal from the program. The student who is dismissed from the program will not be permitted to continue work toward the DE and will be expected to terminate studies within the Department of Mechanical Engineering by the end of the academic semester. The student may petition the decision to the COE’s Doctoral Governance Committee within one week of decision letter. The decision of the Doctoral Governance Committee is final.
Following successful completion of the Preliminary Qualifying Examination, the Qualifying Examination Committee reports the examination results to the Director of the Doctor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering program and the Department Chair.
Selection of Academic Advisor and Dissertation Topic
All DE Applicants are required to select an Academic Advisor within one semester after having passed the Preliminary Qualifying Examination. Typically, the Academic Advisor becomes the Chair of the Dissertation Committee. If necessary, any full-time engineering faculty member can serve as Co-Chair.
The student's dissertation research must make a significant and important contribution to knowledge in the chosen area of specialization. However, the scope and complexity of the research should not make completion impossible within a reasonable period of time. Students must refer to the Handbook for Doctoral Students for further details.
The Doctoral Dissertation Committee, which serves as both the Final Qualifying Examination Committee and the Dissertation Committee for each DE Applicant/Candidate, will be formed at least two semesters prior to the student taking the Final Qualifying Examination. The Dissertation Committee must include at least five members: a qualified academic advisor, an industrial advisor, at least two members from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and at least one member from a cognate field outside the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Other qualified individuals not affiliated with Lawrence Technological University may also be appointed. To have any person who is not a faculty approved to serve as a committee member, it is necessary to file a curriculum vitae (or resume) describing that person’s qualifications.
When the Dissertation Committee has been selected and each prospective member has consented to serve, the designated Dissertation Committee Chair requests the Department to recommend appointment of the Dissertation Committee to the Dean of the Graduate Programs.
Final Qualifying Examination
Before registering for more than 12 credits of DE Dissertation Research, each student is required to successfully pass the Final Qualifying Examination. The examination is administered by the student’s Doctoral Dissertation Committee and consists of an oral presentation of the student’s proposed dissertation research and an optional written examination in the field pertaining to the proposed research. The optional written examination is at the discretion of the student’s Doctoral Committee and program director. To become eligible to take the Final Qualifying Examination, the DE Applicant must have maintained a minimum of 3.3/4.0 GPA. In consultation with the Academic Advisor, the DE Candidate should assume the responsibility for arranging the date, time and the venue of the Final Qualifying Examination.
The examination will consist of a presentation followed by an oral examination during which the DE Applicant defends the Dissertation Proposal in front of the Doctoral Dissertation Committee. Only the presentation portion of the examination is open to the public.
The student passes the oral and the optional written examination upon recommendation of the Doctoral Dissertation Committee. The student is allowed only one re-examination for each of the oral and written parts. Following successful completion of the Preliminary Qualifying Examination, the Final Qualifying Examination Committee recommends to the Director of the Doctor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering program and the Department Chair that the student be advanced to DE Candidate status. Advancement to DE Candidate Status is granted by the Dean of the Graduate Programs upon recommendation of the Department Chair.
Preparation of the Dissertation
The steps in the process of completion, submission and approval of the dissertation are specified in the Handbook for Doctoral Students. The dissertation must be prepared according to the Handbook. A final draft of the dissertation must be submitted to each member of the Dissertation Committee for review and evaluation four weeks prior to the final exam week of the semester.
The student must complete a minimum of 30 dissertation research credits to fulfill the degree requirements. The student may be enrolled in any remaining credits (typically 6 credits) during the semester of the dissertation defense. DE Candidates are responsible for making constant contacts with the committee members and updating them on the progress.
The Dissertation Defense is conducted by the Dissertation Committee. During the Examination, the DE Candidate gives an oral presentation of the research and defends the dissertation. The Final Examination is advertised by the Department and only the presentation portion of the Final Examination is open to the public.
At the end of the Dissertation Defense, the Dissertation Committee informs the student of the outcome. The three possible outcomes of the Final Examination are: 1) acceptance of the dissertation as it is; 2) acceptance of the dissertation with corrections; or 3) deferment for re-examination at a later date after steps have been taken to remedy deficiencies. Following successful completion of the Examination, the Dissertation Committee recommends that the Dean of Graduate Studies awards the degree to the DE Candidate.
An unbound final copy of the dissertation, incorporating all corrections required by the Dissertation Committee, is required by the Graduate School. This final version is sent to a publisher for binding the required number of copies as well as an electronic version as outlined in the Handbook for Doctoral Students.
A student must complete all doctoral work within seven (7) consecutive years after the first enrollment in the doctoral program. The student exceeding this time limit must petition the Dean of the Graduate Program through the Department for an extension of time and may be required to take additional examinations and/or course work.
For additional information contact the program director as per the information listed below.
Badih Jawad, Ph.D., Director
Tel: 248-204-2572 Fax: 248-204-2576