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Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering

Program Overview

Ph.D. students enrolled in this program will have the opportunity to undertake research projects with the Mechanical Engineering faculty, either based at the Charleston facilities or remotely at Clemson.This includes research in Clemson University's Dominion Energy Innovation Center in Charleston, which is among the world's most advanced energy testing and research facilities. Among other capabilities, the Energy Innovation Center is capable of full-scale highly accelerated mechanical and electrical testing of advanced drivetrain systems for wind turbines.

Program MS Thesis  MS Non Thesis
Total Hours of Courses* 24 Credit Hours (Usually 8 Courses) 33 Credit Hours (Usually 11 Courses)
Written Requirements 6 Hour Thesis (Grad School)
Exams Thesis Defense

*At least half of the courses must be above the 6000 level (i.e., 8000 & 9000 level). 50% or more of the courses must come from ME. At least 50% of ME courses must be above 6000.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering requires that all MS graduate students take three of the following ten courses from the Department Core:

ME 8010 Foundations of Fluid Mechanics ME 8310 Convective Heat Transfer
ME 8100 Macroscopic Thermodynamics ME 8370 Theory of Elasticity I
ME 8180 Intro to Finite Element Analysis ME 8460 Intermediate Dynamics
ME 8200 Modern Control Engineering ME 8610 Material Selection for Design
ME 8290 Energy Methods ME 8700 Design Methodology

Prospective graduate students must have a strong undergraduate background in mechanical engineering. Exemplary applicants with an undergraduate degree in physics or industrial, electrical or civil engineering may become eligible for the degree after taking some additional undergraduate prerequisite courses in order to be prepared to successfully navigate the program. Students should discuss their situation with the mechanical engineering operations liaison.

Transfer Credit
Students with graduate credit earned at another institution, in another department at Clemson University, or earned before admission to this program must have prior work evaluated for transfer credit. Requests for transfer credit to the program must be recommended by your Advisory Committee and approved by the Program Coordinator, the department chair and the dean of the Graduate School. You must make your request in writing for each course or credited activity to be transferred. Each request must be accompanied by an official transcript, catalog description and syllabus or other supporting documentation.

A maximum of 12 credit hours of graduate course work may be transferred. Transfer credits must not have been used to satisfy the requirements of any other degree and must have been completed within the six-year period preceding the date the graduate degree will be awarded.

Graduate School Course Catalog

  • Courses previously taught in Charleston
  • Spring 2015 - ME 6320 – Advanced Strength of Materials
  • Fall 2015 - ME 8180 – Introduction of Finite Element Analysis
  • Spring 2016 – ME 6300 – Mechanics of Composite Materials
  • Fall 2016 – ME 8010 – Foundations of Fluid Mechanics
  • Fall 2016 – ME 8700 – Advanced Design Methodologies
  • Spring 2017 – ME 6320 – Advanced Strength of Materials
  • Spring 2017 – ME 6930 – Selected Topics in Mechanical Engineering (BioDesign)
  • Spring 2017 – ME 8200 – Modern Control Engineering

Students enrolled in this program may optionally have the opportunity to conduct research in Clemson University’s Dominion Energy Innovation Center (EIC), which is among the world’s most advanced energy systems testing and research facilities. The Wind Turbine Drive Train Test Facility at the EIC is capable of full-scale highly accelerated mechanical and electrical testing of advanced drivetrain systems for wind turbines. The EIC also houses the Duke Energy eGRID, a 15-megawatt grid simulator that allows an electrical device to perform as it would under actual conditions anywhere in the world.

Generally, the application process is similar to the main campus applicants. For the non-thesis M.S. program, however, students are not required to take the GRE to be admitted. Instead, students initially register as “non-degree students”. Once a student has successfully passed the first course taught through the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the student applies for transition to regular “part-time graduate student” status. Before moving forward in the application process, prospective students are highly encouraged to contact the mechanical engineering operations liaison to discuss the program requirements, curriculum, expectations and admission process. As of 2017, the Non-Degree Non-Refundable application fee is $60. After the first course is taken, students will submit a Degree Seeking Application. The Domestic Degree Seeking Non-Refundable application fee is $80.

To access the Graduate School application, click HERE.

Cost information can be obtained by visiting the Tuition and Fees section of the Clemson Graduate School website.  Mechanical Engineering is a Tier 2 program.  

For More Information

Irina Kharitonova, Graduate Student Services Coordinator
Department of Mechanical Engineering
102 A Fluor Daniel Building (EIB)



For more information regarding the PhD in Mechanical Engineering, visit the departmental website.