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Automotive Engineering Ph.D. Curriculum

Ph.D. students working with Dr. PruckaBecome a global expert in your field: Rise to new heights with one of the world's most in-depth academic programs in automotive engineering. As a Ph.D. student, immerse yourself in a cutting-edge research environment driven to solve pressing problems facing sustainable mobility. Our research enterprise is world class, as evidenced by the impact of completed research projects, scale of partnerships with R&D groups, and faculty honors.

Innovation and research productivity offer a continuous stream of opportunities for Ph.D. students to engage in novel research addressing the pressing needs of society and supporting the development of transformative technologies. The following research areas are the most common:

Advanced Vehicle Propulsion Systems, both internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric
Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
Design and Integration of Complex Systems
Connected and Automated Vehicles
Human Factors 

Join an elite alumni: In 2009, Clemson University awarded the country's first male and female Ph.Ds in automotive engineering. As one of the country's only dedicated graduate-level automotive engineering program, students join one of the most elite groups of alumni around. With a rigorous curriculum run by some of the world's leading technical experts, Clemson’s state-of-the-art research infrastructure, and our emphasis on solving real-world problems, graduates move seamlessly into employment within the automotive industry or academia.

To learn more about the program requirements, click on the appropriate section below.

Doctoral Degree Requirements for Students with a Bachelor’s Degree

CORE COURSES

Six credit hours (two courses)

AuE 8700: Project management
AuE 8810: Automotive systems overview

AUTOMOTIVE TECHNICAL ELECTIVES

A minimum of nine credit hours (three courses) from one of the following track areas, which include the following:

  1. Vehicle Manufacturing and Materials
  2. Vehicle Performance 
  3. Advanced Powertrains and Drivelines
  4. Vehicle Electronics/Electrical Systems

A complete list of our current course offerings can be found here: COURSE OFFERINGS.

COURSES IN BUSINESS OR RELATED FIELDS

Minimum of three credit hours (one course)  
    
This requirement is intended to prepare students to lead technological change as an independent entrepreneur or as an innovator within a complex organization. A minimum of three credit hours (one course) in a directed non-technical field. The course selection should be approved by the student’s advisory committee.

TECHNICAL MINOR COURSES

A minimum of nine credit hours (three courses)

These classes are to be chosen in a concentration area outside the chosen track area selected to meet the automotive technical electives requirement. This is to be integrated in dissertation work. The purpose of the technical minor is to give the student breadth in the field.

OTHER TECHNICAL COURSES

A minimum of six credit hours (two courses)

Choice of courses depends on the discretion of the student’s advisory committee.

DISSERTATION

18 hours minimum
AuE 9910 Doctoral Research

INTERNSHIP REQUIREMENT

Typically, a six-month residency at a research lab or university is required. However a final decision on this requirement is made by the student’s advisory committee based on the student’s prior experience and the importance of the internship experience to the student’s research agenda.

Detailed internship requirements can be found in the Student - Internships section.
The Department of Automotive Engineering is not responsible for finding internship opportunities for students.

Doctoral Degree Requirements for Students with an M.S. from Another Program

CORE COURSES

Six credit hours (two courses)

AuE 8700: Project management
AuE 8810: Automotive systems overview

If seemingly equivalent courses have already been taken, the requirement may be waived at the request of the student’s advisory committee upon establishment of course equivalency. Course equivalency must be certified by the Graduate Research Committee and approved by the department chair.

AUTOMOTIVE TECHNICAL ELECTIVES

A minimum of nine credit hours (three courses) from one of the following track areas, which include the following:

  1. Vehicle Manufacturing and Materials
  2. Vehicle Performance 
  3. Advanced Powertrains and Drivelines
  4. Vehicle Electronics/Electrical Systems

A complete list of our current course offerings can be found here: COURSE OFFERINGS.

COURSES IN BUSINESS OR RELATED FIELDS

Minimum of three credit hours (one course)       
This requirement is intended to prepare students to lead technological change as an independent entrepreneur or as an innovator within a complex organization. A minimum of three credit hours (one course) in a directed non-technical field. The course selection should be approved by the student’s advisory committee. If the student has already earned at least three credit hours in business courses, the committee may choose to waive this requirement.

TECHNICAL MINOR COURSES

A minimum of nine credit hours (three courses)
These classes are to be chosen in a concentration area outside the chosen track area selected to meet the automotive technical electives requirement. This is to be integrated in dissertation work. The purpose of the technical minor is to give the student breadth in the field.

OTHER TECHNICAL COURSES

There is no minimum requirement.

DISSERTATION

18 hours minimum
AuE 9910 Doctoral Research

INTERNSHIP REQUIREMENT

Typically, a six-month residency at a research lab or university is required. However a final decision on this requirement is made by the student’s advisory committee based on the student’s prior experience and the importance of the internship experience to the student’s research agenda.

Detailed internship requirements can be found in the Student - internships section.
The Department of Automotive Engineering is not responsible for finding internship opportunities for students.

Doctoral Degree Requirements for Students with an M.S. in Automotive Engineering from Clemson

CORE COURSES

Requirement met while earning M.S. – no further requirement

AUTOMOTIVE TECHNICAL ELECTIVES

No requirement unless switching area of study. If so, select a minimum of six credit hours (two courses) from one of the track areas listed below.

  1. Vehicle Manufacturing and Materials
  2. Vehicle Performance 
  3. Advanced Powertrains and Drivelines
  4. Vehicle Electronics/Electrical Systems

A complete list of our current course offerings can be found here: COURSE OFFERINGS.

COURSES IN BUSINESS OR RELATED FIELDS

Requirement met while earning M.S. – no further requirement

TECHNICAL MINOR COURSES

A minimum of nine credit hours (three courses)
These classes are to be chosen in a concentration area outside the chosen track area selected to meet the automotive technical electives requirement. See listing above. This is to be integrated in dissertation work. The purpose of the technical minor is to give the student breadth in the field.

OTHER TECHNICAL COURSES

There is no minimum requirement.

DISSERTATION

18 hours minimum
AuE 9910 Doctoral Research

INTERNSHIP REQUIREMENT

Typically, a six-month residency at a research lab or university is required. However a final decision on this requirement is made by the student’s advisory committee based on the student’s prior experience and the importance of the internship experience to the student’s research agenda.

Detailed internship requirements can be found in the Student - Internships section.
The Department of Automotive Engineering is not responsible for finding internship opportunities for students.

Auditing Courses

Auditors are under no obligation of regular attendance, preparation, recitation, or examination and receive no credit. Participation in classroom discussion and laboratory exercise by auditors is at the discretion of the instructor. A student who has previously audited a course is ineligible for credit by examination. Courses audited are not recorded on the student's academic record.

1. With approval, the following may audit courses without tuition (other fees apply):

  • Graduate assistants
  • Full-time undergraduate and graduate students (12 or more credit hours)
  • Faculty and full-time staff
  • South Carolina residents age 60 or over, provided they are not a full-time employee of Clemson University

2. Other persons who audit pay the applicable tuition rate. Students may not sign up to audit until the first day of class so that priority may be given students taking courses for credit.

3. The deadline to sign up to audit a course is the last day to register or add a class for that term. Normal drop deadlines apply as well.

Students currently registered for courses may add an audit course or change one to audit status in iROAR. Other auditors must obtain a request to audit card from the Registrar's Office, 102 Sikes Hall, Box 345125, Clemson, SC 29634-5125.