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The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University offers the Doctor of Philosophy (PHD) and Master of Science (MS) degrees in mechanical engineering. Enrollment in the PHD and MS programs is open to students with degrees in physics, applied mathematics, or any branch of engineering. Additional coursework may be required for those without an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Admission to the MS program in mechanical engineering at Clemson University typically requires applicants to have a minimum B+ average in their last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework, two letters of recommendation, and the average Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores for the Fall 2016 incoming students where 150 (verbal), 162 (quantitative) and 3.5 (analytical). The requirements for admission to the PHD program are higher than those for a MS degree.

After being accepted students may be offered support through fellowships, as graduate research assistants (GRA), graduate teaching assistants (GTA), graduate laboratory assistants (GLA), or graduate grading assistants (GGA). The fellowships are offered through the University or College typically and are offered for exceptional candidates. Additional fellowships are available to students who directly apply to the programs, such as NSF, NASA, or DOD. Individual faculty hire GRAs to work on sponsored research projects. These positions may or may not align the with the thesis/dissertation research of the student. Typically, the hiring faculty member will serve as the student’s research advisor. The GTA, GLA, and GGA positions are departmental positions that are used to support the educational activities of the department. GTAs are hired to help in course instruction, typically being supervised by the faculty who is the instructor of record for the course. GLAs are hired to help in delivering the laboratory courses in the undergraduate program. GTA and GLA assignments are made based on both engineering experience and English proficiency. GGAs are hired for semester assignments to specific courses. All departmental hires are selected based on priorities given to level of the student (PHD/MS), satisfactory progress in their degree program, and recommendations of the faculty.

Students entering the program without an advisor are classified initially as non-thesis and are expected to take four courses in their first semester. Students who are able to convince faculty to serve as their research advisors may transition from the non-thesis to thesis option at the request of the advisor. Students who are in a research program (MS thesis or PHD dissertation) are required to register for research hours each semester. Students in the MS thesis program take a minimum of eight courses (24 credit hours) and six research hours. Students in the non-thesis program must complete eleven courses (33 credit hours) of course work. The department has arranged to offer graduate courses during the summer semester so that students can complete a non-thesis degree within one year. In the PHD program, students must complete a minimum of four courses (12 credit hours) and eighteen research hours. Full details on the requirements can be found in the Graduate Manual.

Application packages are should be submitted according to the following deadlines:

  • For Fall admission - February 15th
  • For Spring admission - September 15th

All supporting materials required by the Graduate School can be uploaded to the online application for admission except GRE scores and TOEFL/IELTS scores. All scores MUST be submitted via ETS. Copies will not be accepted. Other supporting materials, such as portfolios or research papers are NOT required by our department. Please note: Official transcripts are only required of those applicants who are offered admission.

Assistantships are limited and awarded based on a highly competitive basis. For detailed information about tuition, fees, financial aid, and other details of admission and to apply online, please visit The department cannot offer advice on the potential for acceptance to interested parties.

For full details on the Department of Mechanical Engineering graduate programs, see the Graduate Manual.

Fast Facts
  • Around 190 total graduate students
  • 70% MS
  • 30% PhD
  • Application Deadline
    • Fall - February 15th
    • Spring - September 15th

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