Graduate Program in Engineering Mechanics (2024)

One Program, Many Applications

The Engineering Mechanics (EM) program is strongly rooted in physics and mathematics, the basis of all mechanical sciences, and provides unique, interdisciplinary opportunities for research on design projects with far-reaching impact.

We offer aPh.Din engineering mechanics as well as a Master's of Science (M.S.) degree with athesis optionandanon-thesis option.

Ph.D.

Ph.D. Areas of Study

For our engineering mechanics doctoral students, BEAM offers concentrations in the following areas:

  • Biomechanics
  • Dynamics, control, and vibrations
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Solid mechanics

Each graduate student selects an area of interest and designs a program of study in consultation with a graduate committee.

Ph.D. Requirements

Students must earn a minimum of 90 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree is not required for admission to the program.

Core Courses

  • ESM 5014: Intro to Continuum Mechanics (three credits)
  • ESM 5314: Intermediate Dynamics (three credits)
  • ESM 5024: Intro to Solid Mechanics (three credits)
  • ESM 5054: Intro to Fluid Mechanics (three credits)
  • ESM 5004: Scientific Communication in Engineering Mechanics (two credits)

Math Courses

  • MATH 5000-6000 level courses (See Graduate Manualfor approved courses) (three credits)

ESM Courses

  • Additional ESM coursework, ESM 5000-6000 level courses (SeeGraduate Manualfor approved courses) (six credits)

Additional Coursework

  • 5000-6000 level courses supporting area of Ph.D. research (12 credits)

Seminar

  • ESM 5944 (minimum of four, one-credit hour seminars) (four credits)

Program-specific credits from above: 39 hours

Additional coursework

  • Agreed upon by student and advisory committee: 21 hours

Dissertation Research

  • ESM 7994 (Research/Thesis) (30 hours)

Minimum total credits: 90

Restrictions

  • No more than three credits of 4xxx-level coursework can be counted toward the required minimum 34 credits of coursework.
  • No more than three credits of Independent Study (5974 or 6974) can be counted toward the required minimum 34 credits of coursework.
  • A maximum of 15 credits of transfer coursework can be counted toward the required minimum of 34 credits of coursework.

Additional Requirements

  • Attend orientation in August. Information will be shared upon your admission to the program.
  • Satisfy the scholarly ethics and integrity requirement
  • Submit the plan of study
  • Pass qualifying exam (students can be exempted from this exam based on their performance in core courses)
  • Pass preliminary exam
  • Pass
  • final defense

M.S. Thesis Option

Students pursuing the M.S. thesis degree option must complete at least 30 credit hours, including at least 21 graded course credit hours, and satisfactorily prepare and defend a thesis. The final transcript will designate the degree as the thesis option.

Plan of Study

The M.S. thesis option plan of study must include at least 30 credit hours that satisfy the following requirements:

  • ESM 5994 Research and Thesis (at least six credits)
  • ESM 5014 Introduction to Continuum Mechanics (three credits)
  • Two ESM 5xxx/6xxx courses in two of the following areas:
    • Dynamics (three credits)
    • Solid mechanics (three credits)
    • Fluid mechanics (three credits)
  • One course satisfying the mathematics requirement (three credits)
  • Graded elective courses (at least nine credits)

M.S. students must register for 2 semesters of ESM 5944 Seminar. These credits do not count toward the 30 required credit hours but are required for program completion.

The M.S. plan of study may contain a combination of 5xxx and 6xxx-level courses and a maximum of six hours of approved 4xxx-level courses.

  • A minimum of 12 course credits must be labeled ESM (not including 5944 or 5994).

Final Examination

All M.S. students must pass an oral examination upon completion of the degree requirements. Administered by the student’s advisory committee, the examination is expected to cover all mechanics course work as well as the research completed by the student.

See theEngineering Mechanics Graduate Manualfor more detailed information.

Thesis

The thesis should be a scholarly discourse on a topic approved by the student’s advisory committee. Detailed guidelines for publication of theses are specified in theGraduate Catalog.

M.S. Non-thesis option

Students pursuing the M.S. non-thesis degree option must complete at least 30 graded course credit hours and satisfactorily pass a comprehensive oral examination. The final transcript will designate the degree as a non-thesis degree.

Plan of Study

The M.S. non-thesis option plan of study must include at least 30 credit hours that satisfy the following requirements:

  • ESM 5014 Introduction to Continuum Mechanics (three credits)
  • Two ESM 5xxx/6xxx courses in two of the following areas:
    • Dynamics (three credits)
    • Solid mechanics (three credits)
    • Fluid mechanics (three credits)
  • One course satisfying the mathematics requirement (three credits)
  • Graded elective courses (at least 18 credits)

M.S. students must register for 2 semesters of ESM 5944 Seminar. These credits do not count toward the 30 required credit hours but are required for program completion.

The M.S. plan of study may contain a combination of 5xxx and 6xxx-level courses and a maximum of six hours of approved 4xxx-level courses.

  • A minimum of 12 course credits must be labeled ESM (not including 5944 or 5994).
  • A maximum of nine credit hours of independent study (IS) or special study (SS) courses can be used to complete the plan of study, with the total for both IS and SS courses not exceeding nine hours.

Final Examination

All M.S. students must pass an oral examination upon completion of the degree requirements. Administered by the student’s advisory committee, the examination is expected to cover all mechanics course work as well as the project completed by the student.

See theEngineering Mechanics Graduate Manualfor more detailed information.

The EM program supports extensive and robust research activities in a number of distinct areas. The four core research areas of our program are biomechanics, dynamics and control, fluid mechanics, and solid mechanics.

EM Info Sessions

The EM information sessions provide an overview of the Engineering Mechanics program, Virginia Tech's Graduate School, and the application process. Each session is from 10:00-11:00 am (Eastern Standard Time) and hosted via Zoom by Engineering Mechanics’ Graduate Program Coordinator, Renee Cloyd (rcloyd@vt.edu).

Multiple sessions are available.Registration is required.

EM Graduate Manual

The EM graduate manual provides a detailed description of current policies and processes for all EM graduate degrees.

EM section in VT Graduate Catalog

The EM specific section of the VT Graduate Catalog summarizes program Information, lists all active EM faculty, gives brief overviews of many EM research labs and provides descriptions of ESM labeled graduate level coursework.

VT Graduate Catalog

The EM graduate manual is intended to supplement, not replace, the policies and procedures in the Virginia Tech Graduate Catalog.

EM Graduate Admissions

EM Graduate Financial Support

EM Forms

Graduate Program in Engineering Mechanics (2024)
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