Department of Automotive Engineering

Why Should I Choose Clemson for my Automotive Engineering Degree?

students with Dr. Zoran FilipiWhy should students consider Clemson's automotive engineering program?

We offer both master’s (M.S.) and doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees in automotive engineering. Any number of reputable universities will allow you to get an advanced degree in engineering with an automotive concentration. What we offer is an entire program devoted to automotive engineering.  It’s more than a concentration area; it’s our sole purpose for existence.

By narrowing our focus, we can give students deep knowledge in a particular area like powertrains, vehicle electrification, or hybrid propulsion while helping them understand the breadth of the automotive industry. We are creating engineers with both technical skills and business sense. This approach was recommended by the automotive industry leaders who sit on our advisory board. We aren’t just guessing about what the industry wants and needs, we actively involve OEM’s and suppliers in the design of our program.

We used industry feedback to create Deep Orange, the vehicle prototyping program that is a centerpiece of our curriculum.  Starting with nothing more than ideas, our Deep Orange students build a vehicle prototype in two years. Not only is this unique in the academic world, it’s also the sort to experience that working engineers only dream about.

We mentioned the role of our automotive partners in designing our curriculum. You might be wondering what kind of presence the automotive industry has in Greenville and the surrounding area. Since 1994 BMW and automotive suppliers have invested over three billion dollars and created more than 7,000 jobs in the region. In fact, more than 150 automotive-related companies are located in South Carolina's Upstate region. Our location puts students in the center of a burgeoning industry where they have the opportunity to network and ultimately start a career.

The U.S. Department of Energy saw something special here when they made us one of the country's seven Graduate Automotive Technology Education (GATE) Centers of Excellence.

For prospective students, the real proof of our success is in the achievements of our graduates. Since our first students graduated in 2009, we have awarded over 100 degrees, including both M.S. and Ph.D. graduates. We are proud to report that 92 percent of these graduates are using their degree in either industry or academia. These alumni are working at companies like BMW, Tesla, Michelin, Proterra, and FEV just to name a few.

If our approach and results interest you, please review the sections regarding the admissions process and curriculum. If you would like more information about the program please use the contact form. We will be in touch to address your specific questions.