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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 to the program is limited and competitive. Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Competitive applicants often exceed minimum requirements.

For more specific requirements, please visit the Online Graduate Catalog.

Admission Prerequisites:

  • Required Degree: A bachelor’s or master’s degree in mechanical engineering or a closely related field.
  • Other Degree Requirements: Outstanding students, who do not hold a Master’s degree, may enter the Doctor of Philosophy program on provisional status directly upon receiving a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or a closely related field, with the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee.

Application Requirements:

Admission to the program is limited and competitive. Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Competitive applicants often exceed minimum requirements.

For more specific requirements, please visit the Online Graduate Catalog.

  • General University Requirements: A degree seeking applicant must meet university wide requirements.
  • Application: A complete Graduate School application.
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all institutions attended. All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae: None.
  • Letters of Recommendation: None.
  • Statement of Purpose: None.
  • Test Scores: General GRE, not older than five years.
  • Other: None.
  • Evaluation of Foreign Credentials: U.S. Citizens (Domestic) or permanent residents who have earned university level credit from foreign institutions are required to submit all official transcripts from foreign institutions along with an evaluation of the transcripts from an approved Foreign Credential Agency.
    • Approved evaluation companies are listed at the following: foreign credential agencies.
    • An approved evaluation requires a detailed course-by-course evaluation. Summaries will not be accepted.
    • The Foreign Credentials Service of America (FCSA) is a private corporation that provides evaluations of foreign school credentials. The application is available at: Application for Credentials Evaluation.
  • International Applicants:
    • IELTS: Minimum score of 6.5.
    • TOEFL: Minimum scores of 79 or 550 for Internet or paper versions, respectively.
    • Additional Requirements: A degree seeking applicant must meet international graduate student admission requirements. 

Career Options

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

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.

Contact Information

Graduate Advisor of Record: Hung-da Wan, Ph.D.
Email Address:
Telephone: (210) 458-6325

Degree Website:

Graduate Catalog Coursework Link:

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Funding Opportunities

Course Scheduling and Offerings

This program is housed on UTSA’s Main campus.

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