PhD Programs

Doctoral students in mechanical and industrial engineering develop their own research agendas in one (or more than one) of our 22 research labs, working alongside faculty mentors who are pursuing investigations with National Science Foundation funding and other grants. Our doctoral programs are highly selective and turn out top-tier candidates for high-level industry jobs, postdoctoral research positions, and tenure-track faculty roles at universities around the world.

UIC MIE offers two PhD programs:

  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering

    Conduct research on the forefront of biomedical engineering, computational mechanics, energy, microscale and nanoscale science and engineering, and other areas.

  • PhD in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

    Develop expertise in core disciplines in industrial engineering, such as data-driven decision-making and design, controls, and manufacturing.

Program Overview

The PhD requires 108 semester hours, beginning with coursework and culminating in the research, writing, and defense of an original dissertation. UIC MIE welcomes applicants who are completing (or who have already completed) a master’s degree in their field as well as applicants with only an undergraduate degree.

For students admitted with a prior master’s degree in their field of study, the degree requirements for the PhD in mechanical engineering or the PhD in industrial engineering and operations research include 24 credit hours of traditional coursework, 52 credit hours of doctoral-level research, and semesterly enrollment in the zero-credit ME 595 or IE 595 Departmental Seminar, which builds students’ current knowledge of the field by exposing them to presentations from UIC scholars and external researchers.

For students who are directly admitted after a bachelor’s degree in their field of study, the degree requirements for the PhD in mechanical engineering or the PhD in industrial engineering and operations research include 48 hours of traditional coursework, 60 credits of doctoral-level research, and semesterly enrollment in the zero-credit ME 595 or IE 595 Departmental Seminar.

Please expand the sections below to learn about the requirements in more detail.

PhD Degree Requirements

Preliminary Examination

PhD students must pass a preliminary examination before they begin the final phase of their doctoral study. Visit the Preliminary Examination page for full details.

Dissertation Process

Upon completion of all degree requirements and the dissertation, students must orally defend their work before their committee.

Additional Resources for PhD Students in MIE