SMM Graduate Degree Requirements

Masters Degree Program

The Masters degree in SMM typically takes from one to two academic years to complete. The MS degree may be earned on either a thesis or a non-thesis basis. Thesis option requires a minimum of 30 hours of credit; 24 semester hours of course work plus 6 semester hours of thesis research credit. The non-thesis option requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work. In both options, twelve (12) credit hours must come from the COURSE POOL A below.  Both options require successful completion of a final examination.

Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. degree typically takes from three to five academic years to complete, and prepares graduates for a wide range of careers in academic institutions, research organizations, and advanced applications in various industries. At least fifty-four (54) course credit hours are required for the Ph.D. degree, of which up to twenty-four (24) can possibly be transferred in from a preceding M.S. program. Of the fifty-four (54) course credit hours, twenty-one (21) must come from the COURSE POOL A below and the remaining course credit hours must come from COURSE POOL B below. In consultation with the academic advisor, graduate level courses from other departments, such as Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, and others can be taken.

Ph.D. students are required to pass a written qualifying exam, typically given during the third or fourth semester of Ph.D. study.  The purpose of this qualifier is to insure the student’s mastery of essential graduate level concepts. The requirement is satisfied after the student passes the written exam in three core areas selected in consultation with the academic advisor. The grade on each subject exam must be 70% or above.   Within 24 months after passing the qualifying exam, students must form a Ph.D. dissertation committee consisting of five faculty members.  The dissertation committee conducts the comprehensive examination which consists of an oral presentation by the student of a written dissertation research proposal which contains preliminary results and the plan of study to complete the dissertation.  Upon passing the comprehensive examination a student becomes a Ph.D. candidate.  Lastly, students are required to pass the final dissertation defense examination administered by the candidate’s dissertation committee.  The defense consists of an oral presentation by the candidate of their dissertation work and a critical inquiry by the committee into the purpose, methods, originality, and soundness of the candidate’s research.  The inquiry may include intensive examination in areas related to the dissertation research.

Course Pool A

  • CEE:4511 Numerical Calculations
  • CEE:4512 Engineering Design Optimization
  • CEE:5513 Mathematical Methods in Engineering
  • CEE:4532 Fundamentals of Vibrations
  • CEE:4533 Finite Element I
  • CEE:5540 Intermediate Mechanics of Deformable Bodies
  • CEE:3179 Continuum Mechanics

Course Pool B

  • CEE:4515 Computer-Aided Engineering
  • CEE:4116 Computer-Aided Design for CEE
  • CEE:4535 Design of Steel Structures
  • CEE:3135 Structural Modeling and Health Monitoring
  • CEE:3136 Design of Concrete Structures
  • CEE:4539 Foundations of Structures
  • CEE:5549 Fracture Mechanics
  • ME:5154   Intermediate Kinematics and Dynamics
  • CEE:4160 Introduction to Bridge Engineering
  • CEE:5137 Composite Materials
  • MATH:5800 Numerical Analysis: Nonlinear Equations and Approximation Theory
  • MATH:5810 Numerical Analysis: Differential Equations and Linear Algebra
  • MATH:4820 Optimization Techniques
  • CEE:6310 Analytical Methods in Mechanical Systems
  • CEE:6532 Finite Elements II
  • CEE:6534 Applied Optimal Design
  • CEE:4543 Computational Inelasticity
  • CEE:7549 Multiscale Modeling
  • CEE:7250 Advanced Fracture Mechanics
  • ME:7256 Computational Solid Mechanics
  • ME:7257 Probabilistic Mechanics and Reliability
  • ME:7259 Mechanical Design in Structures