Eligibility requirements 

1. The student must identify a ME faculty member who will act as his/her advisor. 

2. The Ph.D. Qualifying exam should be taken within one year of starting in the Ph.D. program if the student has a MSME degree, and within two years otherwise. 

3. The student will be allowed to the take the Ph.D. Qualifying exams at most two times. The second attempt must be made in the semester following the first attempt. The student may petition to waive this requirement under extenuating circumstances. 

Standard of performance: Students are expected to demonstrate graduate understanding of undergraduate material. 

Written Exams over Academic Material 

M&D students are required to take three one-hour academic written exams. These exams are administered approximately one week before each long semester begins. Each student will choose three topics from the following menu. The book titles listed with each title are suggested study materials. 

  1. Dynamics
    • R. C. Hibeler, Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics, 13th ed. 
  2. System Dynamics and Controls
    • D.C. Karnopp, D.L. Margolis, and R.C. Rosenberg, System Dynamics, 5th ed. 
  3. Thermal/Fluids
    • B. R. Munson, D. F. Young, T. H. Okiishi, and W. W. Huebsch, Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics
    • T. L. Bergman, A. S. Lavine, F. P. Incropera, and D. P. DeWitt, Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer
    • M. J. Moran, H. N. Shapiro, D. D. Boettner, and M. B. Bailey, Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics
  4. Design Methodology
    • K. Otto and K. Wood, Product Design: Techniques in Reverse Engineering and New Product Development
  5. Manufacturing Processes
    • S. Kalpakjian and S. Schmid, Manufacturing Engineering and Technology
  6. Engineering Education
    • A. Johri and B. M. Olds, Cambridge Handbook of Engineering Education Research
    • G. P. Wiggins and J. McTighe, Understanding by Design
    • S. A. Ambrose, M. W. Bridges, M. DiPietro, M. C. Lovett, and M. K. Norman, How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching
  7. Machine Elements
    • R. L. Norton, Machine Design: An Integrated Approach 

Exams are closed-book, closed-notes exams. All materials needed to complete the exam (equations, tables of data, etc.) will be provided with the exam. Students may use calculators approved by the exam proctor. Exams will be administered approximately one week before the beginning of classes in long semesters.

Oral Exams over Academic Material 

After completing the written exams (nominally the day before classes start), the student will meet with the M&D faculty for a one hour oral examination. The student will be examined over the same three topic areas chosen for the written exams. 

Results of Exams 

After completion of all exams, M&D faculty will meet to discuss each student’s performance for a final determination. The results of this meeting will be reported to the students immediately after the meeting. 


Students must register their intent to take the exams with the Area Coordinator (currently Dr. Richard Crawford, rhc@mail.utexas.edu) by the end of the previous semester. Students should provide the name of their advisor and list the three exams they wish to take. 


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