15 Best Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. Programs In 2022

With several schools producing graduates in mechanical engineering, a doctorate degree here will definitely put an engineer who wants to secure jobs in management or research ahead of others. To help you get the best of the program, we have compiled the best mechanical engineering Ph.D. programs in 2022.

Mechanical engineering (ME) is the broadest of the engineering disciplines. It combines principles from mechanical systems, thermal systems, manufacturing, and design.

Mechanical engineers are seen as leaders in energy systems, working on efficient power generation, and developing alternative energy sources to minimize environmental impacts. 

So, as an engineer who wants to advance your career in the mechanical engineering field, a doctoral degree will do you more good.

In line with this, this article will give you the necessary information you need regarding the best mechanical engineering Ph.D. programs as well as the schools that offer them. You will also get to know more about the field, what mechanical engineers earn, and why you need a doctoral degree.

Here is a breakdown of what to expect:

Before we look at the schools, let’s get an overview of what mechanical engineering is.

What Is Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical engineering is the application of the principles and problem-solving techniques of engineering from design to manufacturing to the marketplace for any object.

To be more precise, mechanical engineering is basically an indispensable course as engineers who graduate from this course continuously create technologies to meet human needs.

In fact, due to their creativity and multidisciplinary skill set, mechanical engineers work in virtually every industry. They are very important to the transportation industry, working on everything from the development of hybrid and electric cars to autonomous cars and underwater vehicles.

Basically, to become a mechanical engineer, you need to get a degree in a mechanical engineering program or a related field.

Mechanical Engineering Degree Programs

There are several academic programs for those who want to become mechanical engineers. For instance, students can earn a bachelor’s degree in a comprehensive knowledge of the field for an entry-level.

As students progress from bachelor’s through doctoral-level programs, they build their mechanical engineering knowledge and experience with every degree they earn.

In fact, each degree provides more detailed and in-depth information about specialized topics in the field, while preparing them for advancement in their careers.

The major mechanical engineering degree programs include:

  • Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering Program
  • Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering Program
  • PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering Program

Is A PhD Degree Program In Mechanical Engineering Worth It?

The simple answer is yes, a PhD degree in mechanical engineering is definitely worth it.

The first reason being that if you pursue a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, you’ll gain a great amount of experience and education in the area of research and data analysis.

Secondly, you will have a better understanding of pneumatics and fluid mechanics and dynamics, and also take classes in mathematical physics, advanced engineering, and mathematical methods. This, in turn, will allow you to expand on your career choices.

In an ever-changing field, recent graduates will have hands-on experience with cutting-edge tools and technology, and be able to understand more complex mechanical and electrical systems. 

Ph.D Degree Program In Mechanical Engineering

Generally, mechanical engineering doctoral programs put a heavy emphasis on research and theory. Therefore, most engineers who enroll in this degree program do so with an eye toward becoming an industry researcher or a college professor.

Typical coursework in doctoral programs in mechanical engineering include:

  • Continuum and fluid mechanics
  • Material science
  • Micro-electromechanical systems design and design optimization
  • Heat and mass transfer
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Computational modeling and robotics

Also, when students complete their degrees, they can expect to have the following skills:

  • Research skills
  • Advanced mathematics skills
  • Communication skills
  • Up-to-Date knowledge

Basically, doctoral students are required to take the knowledge they have accumulated throughout their educational and professional careers and also apply it to an engineering problem or question.

For this reason, PhD students learn advanced research skills that allow them to understand scientific literature, construct, and execute a research study, as well as analyze, interpret, and communicate findings.

Mechanical engineering involves some mathematical problems. So, by the time students have completed a doctorate, their math skills (both in theory and application) will be excellent.

In addition, students in Ph.D. programs gain an advanced understanding of the principles of calculus, geometry, and differential equations, and understand how to apply them to practical problems.

Engineers are mostly seen as being solitary or introverted, but in reality, they spend much of their time working with clients and colleagues.

So, verbal and written communication skills are vital to function effectively in a team and to write reports and technical guides explaining their projects.

As you know, the engineering field is constantly evolving. So, by the time students complete a doctoral program, they have a deep understanding of classic mechanical engineering concepts, as well as the latest techniques and tools that are moving the field forward.

RELATED:  List of Low Tuition Universities in Canada with Tuition Fees and Contact Information

How Long Does It Take To Complete A Ph.D Degree Program in Mechanical Engineering?

Basically, a PhD degree program in mechanical engineering takes about three to five years to complete.

What Does It Cost to Earn a Ph.D. Degree In Mechanical Engineering?

Basically, the tuition costs for a graduate degree program in engineering are determined by the type of engineering program, as well as the type of academic institution. 

So, students are advised to check the school’s website before the application.

Read on to see the tuition fees of the best mechanical engineering program.

How Much Do Mechanical Engineers With a PhD or Doctorate Degree Earn?

In the United States, Engineers with a Doctorate (PhD) in Mechanical Engineering (ME) Degree earn an average salary of $109,735. That is, mechanical engineers with a PhD degree earn $52.37 per hour.

This report is as seen on PayScale.

Which Schools Offer the Best Mechanical Engineering Phd Programs?

There are several universities in the world that offer PhD degree programs in mechanical engineering. However, to effectively rank these schools we used some factors. These factors include:

Basically, Mechanical engineering degree programs should be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) for USA schools, Institution of Mechanical Engineers for the UK, Engineering Accreditation Board (EAB) of Singapore. 

This is all about how top-ranking websites see the school’s mechanical engineering program.

Schools that have dedicated facilities for their mechanical engineering Ph.D. program.

So, based on the ranking factors above, below are the top universities that offer the best mechanical engineering programs in the world:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
  • Stanford University, USA
  • University of Cambridge, UK
  • Harvard University, USA
  • The University of California, Berkeley (UCB), USA
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Imperial College London, Uk
  • University of Oxford, UK
  • Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, USA
  • Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)
  • ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
  • Cornell University, USA
  • National University of Singapore (NUS)

#1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA

Accreditation: ABET

Tuition: $53,450

Reputation:
USNEWS – #1
QS RANKING – #1

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT is a private research university that was founded to accelerate the nation’s industrial revolution. In fact, the School of Engineering is a popular destination for MIT students and faculty.

Basically, the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering researches and teaches at the interfaces of ideas, where several disciplines such as physics, math, electronics, and computer science, and engineering intersect in the nimble hands of broadly trained MIT mechanical engineers.

With top-notch facilities, the school prepares students for careers involving technological innovation and leadership. They do this by bringing their signature passion, creativity, and rigor to bear on the world’s greatest challenges.

To apply for MIT’s doctoral program, you must first complete a master’s degree in engineering by the time you enroll for the PhD.

Furthermore, MIT is currently ranked as the best university for mechanical engineering programs in the world by both USNEWS and QS Ranking.

#2 Stanford University, USA

Accreditation: ABET

Tuition: $55,905

Reputation:
USNEWS – #2
QS RANKING – #2

Founded in 1885, Stanford University is a private research university in Stanford, California. It is currently ranked as the #2 in top university for mechanical engineering programs in the world by both USNEWS and QS Ranking.

At the graduate level, the Stanford’s Mechanical Engineering program aligns academic course work with research to prepare scholars in specialized areas within the field.

The areas of specialization range from automatic controls, energy systems, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and solid mechanics to biomechanical engineering, MEMS, and design. 

Here, the Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. degree is intended primarily for students who plan for a career in research or teaching.

For these reasons, a broad background in mathematics and engineering, along with intensive study and research experience, is necessary.

Note that students entering the ME Ph.D. program are admitted either with or without prior arrangements for funding and supervision by a specific faculty member (who serves as the research and dissertation advisor).

Incoming graduate students will basically work one-on-one with faculty who are at the forefront of technological innovation.

#3 University of Cambridge, UK

Accreditation: Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Tuition:
Home/EU – £8,589
Overseas – £30,813

Reputation:
QS RANKING – #3

Founded in 1209, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. It is a collegiate research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom and offers one of the best mechanical engineering programs in the world.

The University of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering is one of the few truly integrated engineering departments in the world.

At the department’s Division of Applied Mechanics, Biomechanics, Materials Engineering, and Engineering Design always looking for bright Ph.D. students.

Basically, the research in Applied Mechanics is directed at many challenging dynamics and vibration problems associated with the design of modern engineering structures at all length scales – from atomic structures and MEMS devices to the largest man-made structures.

The school uses top-notch research facilities ranging from those for testing the dynamics of heavy goods vehicles to those for micro-electromechanical systems and cellular biomechanics.

Furthermore, the University of Cambridge is currently ranked as the #4 in top university for mechanical engineering programs in the world by QS Ranking.

#4 Harvard University, USA

Accreditation: ABET

Tuition: $49,448

Reputation:
QS RANKING – #4

Founded in 1636, Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It offers one of the best mechanical engineering PhD programs.

Basically, Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering at Harvard School of Engineering ranges from fundamental work in solid and fluid mechanics to diverse studies in materials, mechanical systems, and biomechanics.

Mechanical engineering here covers a wide range of activities, including research in dynamics, fluids, materials, solids, and thermodynamics.

To apply for the mechanical engineering PhD program, prospective students are to meet uo with the admission re

Furthermore, Harvard University is currently ranked as the #4 in top university for mechanical engineering programs in the world by QS Ranking.

#5 The University of California, Berkeley (UCB), USA

Accreditation: ABET

Tuition:
In-state – $11,442
Out-of-state – $26,544

Reputation:
USNEWS – #4
QS RANKING – #6

Berkeley Mechanical Engineering is one of the top-ranked public mechanical engineering programs in the nation and is consistently ranked as one of the top mechanical engineering departments in the world. In fact, the school’s teaching and research laboratories are among the most active, innovative, and productive worldwide.

RELATED:  15 Best Laptops for High school Students in 2022 | Full Review

Berkley Mechanical Engineering offers two degrees to students at the doctoral level: a PhD or a D.Eng. Though the vast majority of students in our program earn the PhD, the D.Eng can also be earned in rare cases.

Also note that degrees here are granted after completion of programs of study in professional engineering emphasizing technical, sociological, environmental, and economic problems involved in the design, construction, and operation of engineering structures, processes, and equipment. 

#6 California Institute of Technology

Accreditation: ABET

Tuition: Not Available

Reputation:
USNEWS – #4

The California Institute of Technology is a private research university in Pasadena, California. It is one of the schools that offer the best mechanical engineering PhD programs.

Like all graduate programs at Caltech, the PhD program in Mechanical Engineering is small, highly selective, and research-oriented. Admission is preferentially granted to MSc applicants who ultimately intend to pursue a PhD degree.

Note that Caltech Ph.D. graduates in Mechanical Engineering have gone on to successful careers both in industry and in academia. Among recent graduates, approximately 30% entered tenure-track academic positions upon graduation, 50% went into industry, and 20% entered postdoctoral research programs.

Furthermore, Caltech is currently ranked as the #4 in top university for mechanical engineering programs by USNEWS.

#7 Imperial College London, Uk

Accreditation: Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Tuition:
Home/EU – £4,407
Overseas -£25,250

Reputation:
QS RANKING – #7

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London is one of the world’s leading centers for the study of Mechanical Engineering. It has a distinguished tradition of excellence in teaching, research, and practice, bringing together internationally leading staff, exceptional students, and state-of-the-art facilities.

Basically, the department recruits an average of about 60 Ph.D. students each year who benefit from an exceptional level of industrial support that the department enjoys. With their state-of-the-art facilities, the department carries out researches that have a real-world impact.

Imperial College London is currently ranked as the #7 in top university for mechanical engineering programs in the world by QS Ranking.

#8 University of Oxford, UK

Accreditation: Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Tuition:
Home/EU – £7,730-17,745
Overseas – £22,600-26,960

Reputation:
QS RANKING – #7

Founded in 1096, the University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. It is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation. It offers one of the best mechanical engineering PhD programs in the world.

The DPhil (Doctor of Philosophy) in Engineering Science offers students the opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge, understanding, and expertise in your chosen field of engineering research.

To support your research here, you will develop broad skills in relevant areas of mathematical and computational modeling, in the design and build of apparatus, in the development of software, and in data analytics and visualization.

As part of mechanical engineering, DPhil students majorly focus on solid mechanics and materials.  Here, students will join their supervisor’s research group and laboratory and enjoy day-to-day contact with their supervisor, post-doctoral researchers, and other research students working on broadly similar research themes.

Furthermore, note that the University of Oxford is currently ranked as the #7 in top university for mechanical engineering programs in the world by QS Ranking.

#9 Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Accreditation: Italian Ministry of Education

Tuition: N/A

Reputation:
QS RANKING – #9

Founded in 1863, the Polytechnic University of Milan is the largest technical university in Italy. It is currently ranked as the #9 in top university for mechanical engineering programs in the world by QS Ranking.

The mission of the Department of Mechanical Engineering is basically to promote and develop culture, research, and innovation in its sectors of reference, but also in new fields doomed to become more and more important in society and in our present background.

The PhD Program in Mechanical Engineering here covers a number of different disciplines, being devoted, in particular, to innovation and experimental activities.

Politecnico di Milano Department of Mechanical Engineering basically trains highly skilled profiles, qualified to meet academic and industrial most challenging demands. Ph.D. graduates here are also prepared to embrace careers at the forefront of technology, responding to a call for innovation and top-level research efficiently.

#10 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, USA

Accreditation: ABET

Tuition: $51,126

Reputation:
USNEWS – #5
QS RANKING – #10

Founded in 1817, the University of Michigan, often simply referred to as Michigan, is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It offers one of the best mechanical engineering Ph.D. programs in the world.

At Michigan, mechanical engineers don’t just react to society’s needs; they innovate and lead. They also set the agenda and guide the conversation.

The Michigan Mechanical Engineering prepares students to make an impact in the world, through a robust curriculum, meaningful research opportunities, and rich design experiences.

Furthermore, Michigan is currently ranked as the #10 in top university for mechanical engineering programs in the world by QS Ranking and #5 by USNEWS.

#11 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)

Accreditation: EAB

Tuition:
Citizens – S$17,900
Permanent Residents – S$25,050
International Students – S$38,300

Reputation:
QS RANKING – #11

The Nanyang Technological University, Singapore is the second oldest public autonomous research university in Singapore. It is currently ranked as the #11 in top university for mechanical engineering programs in the world by QS Ranking.

In fact, the NTU School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) boasts comprehensive state-of-the-art facilities and a faculty comprising more than 130 professors, making it one of the largest mechanical engineering schools in the world.

In recent years, the school’s research capacity has been greatly increased in line with the intensifying pace of research. Also, many advanced research and development projects have been undertaken in collaboration with local industries and internationally renowned institutions. 

#12 ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland

Accreditation: ABET

Tuition: CHF 660 per semester

Reputation:
QS RANKING – #12

Founded in 1854, ETH Zurich is a public research university in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. It was founded by the Swiss Federal Government with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists, the school focuses exclusively on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

RELATED:  Study in Iceland: Tuition Fees, Cost of Living, Admission Requirements and List of Universities In 2022

ETH Zurich is currently ranked as the #12 in top university for mechanical engineering programs in the world by QS Ranking.

At ETH Zurich, the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering (D-​MAVT) offers doctoral students an excellent program of studies with international accreditation.

Basically, doctoral studies at D-​MAVT are characterized by independent and original scientific research conducted under the supervision of a professor.

This mechanical engineering PhD program introduces highly qualified students to research and constitutes some of the most important research work conducted at ETH Zurich.

#13 Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Accreditation: ABET

Tuition:
In-state – $14,064 per year
Out-of-state – $29,140 per year

Reputation:
USNEWS – #5
QS RANKING – 13

The Georgia Institute of Technology, also known as Georgia Tech or, in the state of Georgia, as Tech, is a public research university and institute of technology in Atlanta, Georgia. It is one of the top schools that offer the best mechanical engineering PhD programs in the world.

In fact, the mechanical engineering program at Georgia Tech is the largest and one of the most highly rated ME programs in the USA, consistently ranked in the top five nationally.

Georgia Tech’s program is noteworthy in that it combines engineering fundamentals with hands-on design opportunities.

The mechanical engineering doctoral program is designed with great latitude to capitalize on variations in the experience and interests of individual students. The PhD degree basically recognizes proficiency and high achievement in research.

So, to apply for the Doctor of Philosophy degree, you must earn a graduate grade-point average of at least 3.3.

Georgia Tech is currently ranked as the #13 in top university for mechanical engineering programs in the world by QS Ranking and #5 by USNEWS.

#14 Cornell University

Accreditation: ABET

Tuition: $29,500 per year

Reputation:
USNEWS – #8

Founded in 1865, Cornell University is a private and statutory Ivy League research university in Ithaca, New York. It is one of the top schools that offer the best mechanical engineering PhD programs.

The Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering offers PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. It is one of the top ten Mechanical Engineering departments in the U.S.

With top-notch facilities, students here experience extensive opportunities for hands-on learning combined with scientific and mathematical rigor.  

Furthermore, Cornell University is currently ranked as the #8 in top university for mechanical engineering programs by USNEWS.

#15 National University of Singapore (NUS)

Accreditation: EAB

Tuition:

Reputation:
USNEWS –
QS RANKING –

Founded in 1905, the National University of Singapore is a national research university in Singapore. In fact, NUS is currently ranked as the #15 in top university for mechanical engineering programs in the world by QS Ranking.

Studying for a PhD/MEng at NUS can be a very rewarding and exciting experience. However, it will mean dedication and work.

Doctoral research here represents a unique, individual contribution to a discipline, so each student’s work is different. It also provides an opportunity for you to chase ideas, seek new knowledge, and turn your ideas into reality.

NUS mechanical engineering PhD program includes taking a number of modules (or courses) that lay the foundations for research. In addition, students also attend and deliver seminars where current research is presented.

FAQs On The Best Mechanical Engineering Phd Programs

What is Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical engineering is the application of the principles and problem-solving techniques of engineering from design to manufacturing to the marketplace for any object.

Is a PhD Degree Program in Mechanical Engineering Worth It?

The simple answer is yes, a PhD degree in mechanical engineering is definitely worth it.

The first reason being that if you pursue a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, you’ll gain a great amount of experience and education in the area of research and data analysis.

How Long Does it Take to Complete a PhD Degree Program in Mechanical Engineering?

Basically, a Ph.D. degree program in mechanical engineering takes about three to five years to complete.

How Much do Mechanical Engineers with a PhD or Doctorate Degree Earn?

In the United States, Engineers with a Doctorate (PhD) in Mechanical Engineering (ME) Degree earn an average salary of $109,735. That is, mechanical engineers with a PhD degree earn $52.37 per hour.

Which Schools Offer the Best Mechanical Engineering Phd Programs?

Here is the list of schools that offer the best mechanical engineering PhD programs in the world:

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
2. Stanford University, USA
3. University of Cambridge, UK
4. Harvard University, USA
5. The University of California, Berkeley (UCB), USA
6. California Institute of Technology
7. Imperial College London, Uk
8. University of Oxford, UK
9. Politecnico di Milano, Italy
10. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, USA
11. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)
12. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland
13. Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
14. Cornell University, USA
15. National University of Singapore (NUS)

Conclusion

Basically, a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering will put an engineer who wants to secure jobs in management or research ahead of others.

As a mechanical engineer, getting a PhD degree from one of the best mechanical engineering schools will definitely be a plus.

I hope this article helps you in your decision-making.

Good Luck And Success!!!

References

  • US BLS – Occupational Outlook Handbook of Mechanical Engineers
  • TopUniversities – Top Mechanical Engineering Schools
  • USNEWS – Best Mechanical Engineering Programs
  • LearnHowToBecome – How To Become A Mechanical Engineer

AUTHOR’S RECOMMENDATION

Does this article meet your immediate needs? If yes, click the SHARE button to share with your friends. If no, leave a response on the comment box to express your concern or ask a question and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

You May Also Like