What Is the Course Curriculum of an Engineering Doctoral Degree?

With a doctorate in engineering, you can take your innovation, imagination and technological skills and advance into management or research. Read on to learn more about the typical curriculum for a doctoral degree in this field. Schools offering Computer Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Doctor of Philosophy vs. Doctor of Engineering

The type of engineering doctoral degree program you choose depends on your interests and career goals. A Ph.D. degree program may be the right fit for careers in research or academia. If, however, you're more interested in managerial, industrial or administrative applications of engineering, the D. Eng. program may be the best match. Programs can vary, so check with the school you plan to attend to find out details about their program requirements.

Important Facts About Courses for an Engineering Doctoral Degree

Common Courses Graduate-level math, science and engineering; independent study, research and electives
Prerequisites Generally, a minimum of a master's degree is required, but a bachelor's degree in engineering may apply; experience in engineering
Concentrations Manufacturing, Bioengineering, Materials Science, Mechanical
Possible Careers Public sector, industry and business

Course Work

The number of hours or units of required courses can vary greatly among universities and engineering specialties. If you are a Doctor of Engineering candidate, your classes could include a business track featuring marketing, finance and management topics.

Qualifying Examinations

Students in most programs are required to pass a qualifying examination, also called a preliminary or comprehensive examination, which tests your knowledge of your area of specialization. This test - or a combination of tests - usually consists of written and oral portions and determines if you will become a doctoral candidate.


Once you become a doctoral candidate, you will then be expected to begin working on your dissertation. In some programs, your dissertation, sometimes called a thesis, can account for up to 50% of your grade. There are basically three parts to this portion of your doctoral degree requirements:

  • Development of a dissertation plan and defense of it before your doctoral committee
  • Research, writing and submission of your dissertation
  • Oral defense of your dissertation project before your doctoral committee

Other common requirements of engineering doctoral degree programs include maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher, spending at least one year as a full-time resident of the university and completing your doctorate within 4-8 years.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools