Doctoral Degree

Mechanical Engineering (Ph.D.)

Basic Degree Information/Description

The University of Texas at San Antonio offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering program. The degree program is a collaborative educational and research endeavor between the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Southwest Research Institute. The program has four concentrations: Thermal and Fluid Systems, Design and Manufacturing Systems, Mechanics and Materials, and Biomechanics/Bioengineering. The Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering will be awarded to candidates who have displayed an in-depth understanding of the subject matter and demonstrated the ability to make an original contribution to knowledge in their field of specialty.

Why pursue a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering?

The program will produce graduates with expertise in areas that are vital to the interests in San Antonio, the state, and the nation, such as Thermal and Fluid Systems, Mechanical Systems and Design, Mechanics and Materials, and Biomechanics/Bioengineering. In conjunction with the Southwest Research Institute, a world renowned nonprofit research institute in San Antonio excelling in applied sciences and technology developments, this program offers unique opportunities for advanced coursework and cutting-edge research programs that lead to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Admission Requirements and Prerequisites

Admission Requirements and prerequisites: The majority of students accepted must hold a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering or closely related field. Exceptionally qualified students may enter this program on a provisional status directly upon receiving a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering or a closely related field with the approval of the Mechanical Engineering Department and the Graduate School. Applicants who already hold a Master's degree must have a GPA of 3.2 or better in the graduate coursework. Applicants without a Master's degree must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the last 60 hours of their undergraduate coursework.

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all institutions attended. All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English.

Specific Degree Requirements: The degree requires 90 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree or 60 semester credit hours beyond the master’s degree, passing the Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations, Dissertation Prospectus, and Dissertation Defense and acceptance of the Ph.D. dissertation.

Graduate Studies Application: Yes

Department Application: No

Test Scores: GRE is required

Resume or CV: Required

Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required

Statement of Purpose: Statement of purpose is required

Minimum TOEFL Score (for International Applicants): 550 paper/79 internet

Minimum IELTS Score (for International Applicants): 6.5

Additional Requirements: International students and those with international degrees may be required to submit additional documents per our admissions policies and procedures. The Graduate School reserves the right to request any additional documents needed to fairly and consistently evaluate applicant credentials.

Full-Time or Part-Time Attendance Requirement: Full-Time or Part-Time


Application Deadline Dates

Contact Information

Graduate Advisor of Record: F. Frank Chen, Ph.D.
Email Address:
Telephone: (210) 458-5382

Degree Website:

Graduate Catalog Coursework Link:

UTSA Advanced Visualization Laboratory Tour

Career Options

Alumni are employed as engineers or researchers in research firms industries or positions as faculty in higher education.

Funding Opportunities

Course Scheduling and Offerings

This program is housed on UTSA’s Main campus.

Concentration Areas

  • Design and Manufacturing Systems
  • Mechanics and Materials
  • Thermal and Fluid Systems
  • Biomechanics and Bioengineering

Research Labs/Facilities

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (Dr. Kiran Bhaganagar): Developing large scale and high performance computing tools for fluid dynamic applications in the natural systems such as atmosphere, ocean and biological applications.

  • Building Performance and Diagnostics Laboratory (Dr. Bing Dong): Energy systems/informatics, controls and diagnostics, indoor environment quality, probabilistic graphical models, numerical optimization, and uncertainty analysis.

  • Flexible Manufacturing and Lean Systems Lab (Dr. F. Frank Chen and Dr. Adel Alaeddini): Technological advancement and tools of flexible manufacturing systems and lean enterprise systems.

  • Computational Bioengineering and Control Laboratory (Dr. Yusheng Feng): Mathematical modeling of biological systems in the areas of bioheat transfer, model-based real-time control, multi-scale modeling of cancer, haptic device enabled surgical simulation, and medical devices design.

  • Multiphase Flow Simulation Laboratory (Dr. Zhigang Feng): Developing meshless computational models in simulating the mechanical and dynamic behaviors of materials and cells.

  • Impact Dynamics Laboratory (Dr. John Foster): Dynamic behavior of materials/impact dynamics, computational mechanics, and failure modeling with peridynamics.

  • Cardiovascular Biomechanics Laboratory (Dr. Hai-Chao Han): Determining the role of mechanical stress in the development and remodeling of the cardiovascular system and thus to improve the understanding, treatment, and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

  • Computational Reliability Laboratory (Dr. Harry Millwater): Developing effective computational tools to evaluate the reliability of engineered structures/components, thus ameliorating time-consuming and expensive physical testing.

  • Robotics and Intelligent Machines (RIM) Lab (Dr. Brent Nowak): Design, simulation, testing, and analysis of intelligent devices, such as but not limited to mechatronics, robotics (AUV, ASV, serial manipulators), medical devices, and end-effectors through sensing and heuristic control methods.

  • Manufacturing Systems and Automation Lab (Dr. Can Saygin and Dr. Krystel Castillo): Effective and efficient integration and synthesis of automation technologies, human resources, and decision-making models for design, planning, scheduling, and control of production of goods and delivery of services.

  • Sustainable Manufacturing Systems Lab (Dr. Hungda Wan): Evaluation and enhancement of sustainability of manufacturing systems in three major areas: Lean Operations, Digital Factory, and Green Processes.

  • Hard Tissue Biomechanics Laboratory (Dr. Xiaodu Wang): Elucidating the nanomechanics and ultrastructural origins of bone fragility, thus improving prediction and prevention of aging and disease induced bone fragility fractures.

  • Multiscale Computational Mechanics Laboratory (Dr. Xiaowei Zeng): Developing multiscale computational methodologies in understanding of materials response.