Ph.D. Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. requirements include the completion of a minimum of 10 course units of graduate level work beyond the undergraduate program with a grade-point average of at least 3.0, satisfactory performance in the Ph.D.-related exams, presentation of a departmental seminar, completion of the teaching practicum, and the submission and successful defense of an original and significant dissertation. The milestones in the Ph.D. program are noted in the Ph.D. Handbook.

Course requirements for MEAM PhD students:

  • Two core mathematics courses listed below:
    • ENM 5200 Principles and Techniques of Applied Math I*
    • One course selected from this list:
      • ENM 5210 Principles and Techniques of Applied Math II
      • ENM 5220 Numerical Methods for PDEs
      • ENM 5310 Data-driven Modeling and Probabilistic Scientific Computing
      • MATH 5000 Topology
      • ESE 5000 Linear Systems Theory
      • ESE 6050 Modern Convex Optimization
  • Three core MEAM courses chosen from the list of six courses below:
    • MEAM 5190 Elasticity and Micromechanics of Materials
    • MEAM 5300 Continuum Mechanics
    • MEAM 5350 Advanced Dynamics
    • MEAM 5610 Thermodynamics: Foundations, Energy, Materials
    • MEAM 5700 Transport Processes I
    • MEAM 6200 Advanced Robotics
  • One graduate course in MEAM beyond the core MEAM courses (depth requirement)
  • One graduate course outside MEAM (not ENM 5200/5210) related to student’s research (breadth requirement)
  • Three additional graduate courses related to student’s research
  • Three semesters of Teaching Practicum (MEAM 8950; normally taken in 3rd, 4th and 5th semesters)
  • Six semesters of the MEAM seminar (MEAM 6990)
  • Responsible Conduct of Research in Engineering (EAS 9000; mandatory in the first year)

Neither MEAM 8990 (Independent study) nor MEAM 9990 (Research) can be used to satisfy the above course requirements.

* Students should check their preparedness for ENM 5200 by reviewing the syllabus before registering for the course.  If this material is unfamiliar, the student should take ENM 5100 prior to taking ENM 520.

Course Selection Approval:

No courses shall be taken without the prior approval of the student’s advisor. Each student must prepare a tentative course plan and obtain the approval of his/her advisor and the Graduate Group Chair before the end of the second semester after his/her matriculation. A copy of the course plan will be maintained in the student’s file. Any deviations from the course plan must be documented and approved by the Graduate Group Chair.


The Ph.D. program, culminating in a successful defense of the doctoral dissertation, must be completed within a period of 10 years from the year of matriculation as a graduate student in the School of Engineering and Applied Science of the University of Pennsylvania.

Teaching Practicum

This course provides training in the practical aspects of teaching. The students will work with a faculty member to learn and develop teaching and communication skills. As part of the course, students will participate in a range of activities that may include: giving demonstration lectures, leading recitations, supervising laboratory experiments, developing instructional laboratories, developing instructional material, preparing homework assignments, and preparing examinations. Some of the recitations will be supervised and feedback and comments will be provided to the student by the faculty responsible for the course. At the completion of the 0.5 c.u. of teaching practicum, the student will receive a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grade and a written evaluation from the faculty member responsible for the course. The evaluation will be based on comments of the students taking the course and the impressions of the faculty.

Doctoral Program:

Staff Contact:

Peter Litt
Associate Director of Graduate Programs
229 Towne Building
Phone: 215-746-6737
Current Student Appointments