G r a d u a t e.-S t u d i e s
The department offers graduate programs leading to MS and PhD
degrees in mechanical engineering, with areas of concentration
in thermal and fluid sciences conversion (heat and mass transfer,
thermodynamics, combustion, thermal environmental engineering),
in materials/manufacturing (composite and smart materials, mechanical
properties, electrochemistry and corrosion, solid-state ionics,
processing, marine materials), and in mechanics, systems, and
controls (robotics, dynamics, control, continuum mechanics). For
qualified graduate students, teaching assistantships, research
assistantships, and scholarships are available.
Student Learning Outcomes
In general, a student who has successfully completed the graduate degree requirements should be able to:
- Demonstrate mastery of the methodology and techniques specific to the field of study.
- Communicate both orally and in writing at a high level of proficiency in the field of study.
- Conduct research or produce some other form of creative work.
- Perform in their field of study at a professional level.
Applicants for admission to the MS program must have completed
a BS degree in engineering or its equivalent from a reputable
Students are required to follow the Plan A (thesis) program.
However, under special circumstances, a petition to follow Plan
B (non-thesis) may be granted by the graduate faculty. A minimum
of 30 credit hours is required for graduation, including 1 credit
hour for seminar. Plan A students must take 8 credit hours for
thesis, 12 credit hours in the ME 600 course series, and 9 credit
hours in technical electives. Technical elective courses must
be at the 400 level or above, selected from engineering, mathematics,
or physical sciences approved by the student’s thesis committee.
For graduation, each candidate must present an acceptable thesis
(research report for Plan B) and must pass a final oral examination
based on the thesis for Plan A or on the course work and the research
report for Plan B.
Applicants for admission to the PhD program must have completed
the requirements for the MS in mechanical engineering at UHM or
an equivalent degree from a reputable institution.
Intended candidates for the PhD are required to pass an oral
qualifying examination within the prescribed period of time. The
purpose of the qualifying examination is to judge students’ ability
to pursue research. After passing the qualifying examination,
the student will be admitted to the status of “candidate” in the
PhD program. At the discretion of the qualifying examination committee,
students who fail the qualifying examination will be dropped from
Students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 50 credit
hours in course work beyond the BS level. They are required to
select one major and one minor field of study within the following
three areas of concentration: materials/manufacturing, mechanics/systems/controls,
or thermal/fluid sciences.
Students who enter the program may, with the approval of the
graduate chair, be credited with up to 30 credits for equivalent
work to be counted toward their PhD-credit-hour requirement. Up
to 8 of these 30 credit hours may be assigned for prior MS thesis
work. Students who possess a second MS degree may be credited
with up to 9 additional credit hours for equivalent work. Up to
6 credit hours may be assigned for course work taken as an unclassified
graduate student. All courses shall be selected by students but
must be approved in writing by their committees. These courses
must form an integrated education plan. A minimum of 2 credit
hours in ME 691 or its equivalent must be included in every PhD
Students who desire teaching experience may, with the approval
of the PhD committee chair, request that the department chair
assign them teaching responsibility for a particular undergraduate
course. The department chair will determine whether students are
qualified to teach the course in question, and, if they are deemed
qualified, they may be given the teaching assignment.
Students who teach a course or courses will be assigned a maximum
of 3credit hours toward their PhD course work requirements.
PhD candidates must pass an oral comprehensive examination to
demonstrate their comprehension of the chosen areas of study relevant
to their dissertation proposals and basic knowledge of courses
taken in their major and minor fields. Students who fail the comprehensive
examination may, at the discretion of the graduate faculty concerned,
repeat it once after at least six months. Students who fail the
examination a second time will be dropped from the program.
Students are required to complete a satisfactory doctoral dissertation
and to pass an oral final examination based primarily upon the
dissertation. The final examination will be administered by the
respective PhD committee. A student passes the final examination
upon the favorable recommendation of a majority of the PhD committee.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of
Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) offers graduate programs leading to the
MS and the PhD. The following areas of concentration are available: