University General Course Catalog 2015-2016 
    Sep 22, 2020  

Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Programs in the College of Engineering

I. Contact Information

Henry Fu, Asst. Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Graduate Program Director
(775) 784-1690

II. Brief Introduction

The department currently offers the master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in mechanical engineering. The department does not have a language requirement for the Ph.D. degree.
The program of courses and research for both the master’s and doctoral degrees is tailored to the background, needs and interests of the individual student.

Current areas of research include:

  • Nuclear Waste Transportation Safety
  • Heat Transfer Augmentation
  • Fluid-Solid Interaction
  • Viscoelasticity
  • Biofluid/Solid Mechanics
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Temperature Control of Electronic Devices
  • Thermodynamics
  • Solar Energy Collection and Systems
  • Mechanics of Fiber-reinforced Composites
  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Gas Turbine Engine Heat Transfer
  • Sports Biomechanics
  • Dynamics of Ground Vehicles
  • Computer Aided Design
  • Intelligent Materials and Systems
  • Active Structural Control
  • Geothermal Heating and Power Production

Current areas of research can be found on the department website

III. Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes

Our program is directed towards preparing motivated students to become professionally competent and capable of independent, self-directed research in one of several sub-disciplines of mechanical engineering, including solid mechanics, materials, biomedical engineering, and the fluid/thermal sciences.

IV. Admission Requirements

We expect applicants to have a grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) or better for the B.S. degree program or the last two years of course work for MS program applicants; and a minimum GPA of 3.25 (4.0 scale) for Ph.D. program applicants.

We expect the GRE scores of Verbal + Quantitative to be 300 (1100 in old 800 point scale) or higher. We especially encourage applicants with scores above 70th percentile in the Quantitative GRE exam (>155, or >700 in old 800 point scale) to apply.

Students whose native language is not English, must take the TOEFL or IELTS unless they have completed BS/MS degrees at an English speaking university. The minimum acceptable score for applicants is 550 for TOEFL (213 computer based or 79 internet based), or 6.5 for IELTS.

For PhD program applicants, research and/or industrial experience, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose are important parts of the application package.

V. Program Requirements

Students must complete coursework fulfilling the UNR Graduate School’s requirements for a Ph.D. degree.  The degree requires a minimum of 72 graduate credits, comprising 48 credits of coursework and 24 credits of dissertation research. 

In addition to coursework, Ph.D. candidates work closely with a thesis advisor to determine a course of study for their dissertation topics.  Near the end of the first year of formal coursework, each candidate must pass a qualifying examination to demonstrate mastery of a wide range of topics in mechanical engineering. An individual dissertation committee is then established to aid progress toward the successful defense of the Ph.D., during which the candidate is examined on both the dissertation itself and on related topics.

Current areas of research can be found on the department website at

VI. Total Units (72 units)

VII. Notes

For more information, refer to the Graduate Study Admission Requirements  section of this catalog or contact the graduate program director.

VIII. Undergraduate Prerequisites

Incoming students should have a background in the core areas of Mechanical Engineering, including Statics, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Dynamic Systems and Control, Fluid Mechanics, and Solid Mechanics.  For students lacking in this background, the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Committee will specify undergraduate and graduate courses that must be taken before completion of the degree program.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Graduate Programs in the College of Engineering