Master's thesis/report committees must consist of three members, of which at least two must be tenure or tenure-track UA faculty members from AME. The thesis/report advisor serves as the chair of the committee.
All PhD students must pass the Qualifying Examination on the following timeline before registering for dissertation units (AME 920):
- UA AME MS to PhD: no later than second semester in residence for PhD (second semester of first year)
- Non-UA/Not Recent MS to PhD: no later than third semester (first semester of second year)
- BS to PhD: no later than fifth semester (first semester of their third year)
Test material is at the Master’s level, and no more than two attempts to pass are permitted. Each student must choose Engineering Mathematics and one other exam area from among the following subjects:
- Fluid Mechanics
- Kinematics and Dynamics
- Solid Mechanics
- Thermal Sciences
Qualifying Examinations are given Monday-Friday the second week of classes in the fall and spring semesters.
During the final year of study as early as possible in the semester, each PhD student should schedule a class date for the roughly 45-minute AME 696G seminar presentation.
Written and Oral Comprehensive Exam
Passing the Written and Oral Comprehensive Exam is required for admission to candidacy for a PhD. The exam should be taken approximately one year after the Qualifying Examination, normally during the fifth semester when the student has completed most of the Doctoral Plan of Study coursework and made a substantial start toward dissertation.
The written portion of the exam for the major consists only of the dissertation proposal, a technical document that describes the proposed PhD research, unless the committee determines a student has not demonstrated sufficient knowledge in all areas of the Doctoral Plan of Study. In this case, the student will also be required to pass a written examination, formulated by the committee, addressing identified deficiencies. Students should check with the appropriate minor department for further requirements.
Students will have two weeks to revise and resubmit proposals deemed unsatisfactory for minor reasons. Students with substandard proposals rejected outright will have six months to reformulate and rewrite their proposals. Only one revision is permitted. When the proposal is deemed satisfactory, and if necessary, the written comprehensive examination passed, a student can schedule the oral portion of the exam.
The oral examination must be held between two weeks and six months after the written examinations.
The PhD comprehensive examination committee consists of three faculty members from the major department and one from the minor. If the minor department waives participation, a fourth member from AME must be approved by the minor department to participate and cover material related to the minor area. The fourth member may be tenured or tenure-track, or a special member.
The examining committee awards a grade of pass or fail based on the student’s combined performance in the written and oral portions. The Graduate College advances passing students to candidacy. A student who fails must take the entire examination over at a later date, if so recommended by the examining committee. No more than two attempts at this examination are permitted within AME, even if the student transfers between aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering.