Top 25 Doctorate in Engineering Programs

Engineers use their math and science knowledge to develop practical solutions to technical and mechanical problems. Organizations hire engineers to develop commercial applications based on current and emerging scientific research and discoveries.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most engineers earn higher annual median salaries than the national average for all other workers. The BLS projects average growth rates for many jobs in the engineering sector between 2019 and 2029. In addition to on-campus programs, several universities now offer online Ph.D. in engineering programs. Well-trained engineers can expect to enter a job market that offers robust financial and professional opportunities.

Top 10 Doctorate in Engineering Programs

1Boston University
2Clarkson University
3Clemson University
4Columbia University in the City of New York
5Duke University
6George Washington University
7Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
8Johns Hopkins University
9Lehigh University
10Missouri University of Science and Technology

What Is a Doctorate in Engineering?

A doctorate in engineering allows students to conduct groundbreaking research and devise solutions for problems in a range of fields, including the environment, technology, healthcare, and aerospace. Engineers’ work directly impacts the lives of people from all walks of life.

A doctorate in engineering typically takes 3-5 years to complete. Several factors influence program length, including a student’s enrollment status and work background, the specific engineering field, and the degree’s requirements. Professionals with a doctor of engineering degree often qualify for technical leadership roles in private and public sectors or tenure-track academia positions.

Why Get a Degree in Engineering?

Although a doctorate in engineering requires a significant investment of time and money, the benefits often outweigh the costs. Engineers with a doctoral degree often enjoy several advantages, including the five below.

  • Higher Salary:According to the BLS, professionals who hold doctoral degrees earn roughly 17% more than professionals with master’s degrees and about 30% more than those with bachelor’s degrees.
  • Increased Research Opportunities: Doctor of engineering programs give enrollees ample opportunities to perform in-depth research on a range of topics with far-reaching implications.
  • Improved Employment Opportunities: BLS data reveals that doctoral degree-holders enjoy the second-lowest unemployment rate among U.S. workers at 1.7%. Only holders of professional degrees, such as doctors and lawyers, enjoy a lower unemployment rate (1.5%).
  • Professional Advancement: Companies are more likely to offer leadership positions to engineers with a doctorate because of their extensive training and breadth of knowledge in the field.
  • Job Security: Tenure-track faculty positions in U.S. colleges and universities often require candidates to hold a terminal degree in their field. A doctorate in engineering meets this requirement.


What is the difference between a doctor of engineering and a Ph.D.?A doctorate in engineering emphasizes engineering application and practice. A doctor of philosophy focuses more on theory and research.
How long does it take to get a Ph.D. in engineering?Students can typically earn a Ph.D. in engineering within five years. However, the time frame depends on students’ enrollment status and whether they take courses online or on campus.
What can you do with a doctorate in engineering?Most universities require professors to hold a doctorate to teach college-level courses. Many leadership positions also require a doctorate.
How much does an engineer with a Ph.D. make?

Salaries vary depending on the specific engineering subfield and educational level. However, the BLS lists the annual median salary for engineers as $91,010.

Accreditation for a Doctorate in Engineering

Accreditation attests to the quality of an institution’s academic programs. TheU.S. Department of Education (ED) acknowledges six regional accrediting bodies throughout the United States, each one in charge of a specific section of the country. Most nonprofit degree-oriented institutions seek regional accreditation. The ED also recognizes accrediting bodies that grant national accreditation to career-oriented, for-profit vocational or trade schools.

Accreditation also matters because the ED channels federal financial aid only to accredited institutions. Students who plan to apply for any type of government financial assistance must be enrolled in or accepted by an accredited school or program. Accreditation affects students who plan to transfer credits. Regionally accredited institutions usually accept credits earned only at schools holding the same type of accreditation.

To date, no accrediting body specifically accredits doctoral engineering programs. Therefore, prospective students should explore doctoral degrees offered by regionally accredited institutions since this type of accreditation covers all of a school’s academic programs. TheDistance Education Accrediting Commission accredits schools that offer at least 51% of their programs entirely online.

Courses for a Doctorate in Engineering

Many doctor of engineering programs require learners to complete at least 90 credits beyond a bachelor’s or 60 credits beyond a master’s. Schools offering an on-campus and online Ph.D. in engineering typically maintain the same coursework requirements for all students, regardless of which delivery schedule their program follows.

Each school offers a curriculum that supports their academic objectives and engineering specialization, so students take a variety of classes. The courses below comprise some of the more common classes in a doctor of engineering program.

Engineering Optimization: Methods and Applications

Students learn how to maintain a balance between theory and application when working with complex systems in civil, electrical, environmental, and industrial engineering fields. The course includes different types of optimization methods, such as linear programming, network flow algorithms, mathematical modeling, and interior point methods. The course requires familiarity with Python and MATLAB as computational tools for classwork and course projects. Students can take advantage of built-in tutorials.

Engineering Project and Program Management

Students explore the different aspects of program management as the practice relates directly to highly technical engineering projects. The course covers topics such as risk assessment, costing options, control strategies, and work breakdown structures. Practitioners who are part of or managing a technical team gain additional skills in analyzing and enhancing team efforts, coordinating project requirements, and setting realistic objectives. The class prepares students to sit for the certification exam administered by the Project Management Institute.

Engineering Risk Analysis

This course focuses on identifying and quantifying risks involving engineering systems and projects. Students learn how to reduce system uncertainty and anticipate possible risks by employing proven mitigation strategies. The course includes relevant case studies that demonstrate effective and timely risk response in a variety of industries and scenarios. Students learn how to prioritize and implement risk management measures according to costs and benefits.

Simulation Modeling

Students learn how to use a variety of tools to model different types of engineering applications. The course provides ample opportunities for students to improve their ability to complete engineering and scientific computations for research and design. The course covers topics such as integrated modeling, verification and validation of computational models, synthesis and simulation, and multidisciplinary optimization. Students gain practical experience in enhancing the capabilities of their simulation projects.

Systems Engineering Architecture

This course provides an overview of the principles of object-oriented design and the fundamental aspects of a model-based system architecture process. Students learn how to develop new or optimize existing architecture to support complex information-intensive systems. Topics include enterprise architectures, information assurance, implementable architecture models, and reference frameworks. Degree-seekers must show mastery of course topics by completing an architecture project on a system of their choosing.

How Much Do Engineering Majors Make?

According to the BLS, petroleum engineers are among the field’s highest-paid professionals. They earned an annual median salary of $137,720 in 2019.Marine engineers earned a lower annual median salary ($92,400). Generally speaking, engineers earn an annual median salary that is higher than the national average, no matter their engineering specialization.

Length of professional experience also impacts earning and career potential. Just like in most fields, practitioners with longer work histories usually earn higher salaries. For example, according to PayScale, mechanical engineers at the beginning of their career (less than one year of experience) earn an annual income of about $63,000. Mid-level mechanical engineers with 10 years of experience earn significantly higher salaries ($90,000), and top-level professionals (more than 20 years of experience) earn even more ($101,000).

Career and Salary Outlook for Engineering Majors

Engineers make significant contributions in professional arenas such as agriculture, aerospace, electronics, and computer hardware. Engineers with advanced degrees often qualify for top salaries and leadership positions in addition to access to cutting-edge research in their specialization area. The four engineering jobs below make up a small percentage of possible career choices for well-qualified engineers.

  • Mechanical Engineer: These professionals design and maintain different types of power-producing and power-using machines such as turbines, electric generators, internal combustion engines, refrigerators, and air conditioning systems. They also test mechanical and thermal devices and sensors and implement improvement or maintenance procedures. Mechanical engineering features several subspecialty areas, including automotive, robotics, and HVAC systems engineering.
  • Environmental Engineer: Often working with urban planners, hazardous waste technicians, and scientists, these engineers study and devise solutions to problems such as ozone depletion, carbon dioxide emissions, and climate change. Environmental engineers working for local governments often evaluate the impact of construction projects on the environment, design systems for treating and containing hazardous waste material, and craft long-term sustainability plans.
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineer: These engineers use their knowledge of engineering equipment and design software to solve multiple engineering challenges. They focus on designing electrical equipment such as radar and navigation systems, power generators, and electric motors. Electronics engineers design electronic devices such as communications and recording equipment, GPS instruments, and computer hardware.
  • Postsecondary Teacher: These professionals draft course syllabi, prepare lectures and other classroom activities, and assess students’ progress. They also keep up with their field’s latest research findings and developments. Most postsecondary teachers work with their colleagues in other fields to find common areas of instruction and expose their students to interdisciplinary learning.

CareerMedian Annual SalaryProjected Growth Rate (2019-2029)
Mechanical Engineer$88,4304%
Environmental Engineer$88,8603%
Electrical and Electronics Engineer$101,2503%
Postsecondary Teacher$79,5409%

Source: BLS

Scholarships for a Doctorate in Engineering

Many colleges and universities that offer doctorate in engineering degrees also provide funding for doctoral students, often in the form of fellowships. However, several independent organizations and private philanthropic associations offer a variety of financial assistance packages. The five programs below represent some potential financial aid opportunities for students pursuing a doctorate in engineering.

AAUW Dissertation Fellowship
Who Can Apply: Doctoral candidates who identify as women can apply to this program sponsored by the American Association of University Women. Applicants must be in the final year of writing their dissertation. The program welcomes applicants pursuing a doctorate in any area of study, but doctoral candidates in science, technology, engineering, and math fields are especially encouraged to apply.
Amount: $20,000

AGC Education and Research Foundation Graduate Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Administered by the Associated General Contractors of America, this program accepts applications from students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in construction management or construction engineering. Applicants must submit two completed evaluation forms from an academic advisor and a current (or recent) employer along with other application requirements.
Amount: $3,750-$7,500 per year

ASCE Trent R. Dames and William W. Moore Fellowship
Who Can Apply: The American Society of Civil Engineers accepts applications from practicing engineers and earth scientists currently enrolled in a graduate engineering program. Applicants must be ASCE members in good standing. The fellowship requires applicants to submit a research proposal, preferably addressing the geotechnical engineering aspects of environmental, political, or socioeconomic issues.
Amount: $2,000-$6,000

Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program
Who Can Apply: The program accepts applications from students pursuing a master’s or doctorate related to the transportation industry. Several engineering fields qualify, including civil, environmental, mechanical, and structural engineering. U.S. citizens and international students can apply. Applicants must maintain full-time enrollment status throughout their participation in the program.
Amount: $35,500

The Link Foundation Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation Ph.D. Fellowship
Who Can Apply: The program welcomes applications from doctoral students pursuing a program in ocean engineering and instrumentation full time. Fellowships help doctoral students with living expenses. Recipients cannot use the fellowship award for tuition, overhead research costs, salary for support staff, or compensation for a research advisor.
Amount: $30,000

Top 25 Doctorate in Engineering Programs

1. Boston University

Boston University offers online Ph.D. programs in engineering in six fields: biomedical, computer, electrical, materials science, mechanical, and systems engineering. Admission requires transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE results, a current resume, and a statement of purpose. Each program may require applicants to submit additional documents or meet specific educational criteria.

With the exception of the doctoral program in mechanical engineering, all the programs accept applicants with either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in their specific field. Boston University’s doctoral programs in engineering offer innovative options for students to pursue. For example, the biomedical department offers a dual MD and Ph.D. program that allows students to earn two degrees simultaneously.

Some programs offer areas of concentration, such as the doctorate in materials science and engineering. Students can choose to focus their studies on biomaterials, electronic/photonic materials, nanomaterials, and materials for energy and environment. Boston University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

2. Clarkson University

The doctorate in engineering offered at Clarkson University includes studies in mechanical, environmental science, chemical, and electrical and computer engineering. Applicants must hold a master’s degree or show proof of enrollment in a postgraduate engineering program for consideration. The doctorate in materials science and engineering exempts applicants from this requirement.

The electrical and computer engineering program offers an online delivery option, thus opening enrollment to non-resident doctoral candidates. The materials science and engineering doctoral program offers research and teaching assistantships to qualified students. The assistantship comes with a stipend and full tuition waiver.

The Ph.D. in environmental science and engineering program maintains a strong interdisciplinary component. Delivered by the university’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment, the program draws from other disciplines, including social and natural sciences. Clarkson University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

3. Clemson University

Clemson University offers 12 Ph.D. in engineering programs through the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences. Programs offered include bioengineering; environmental engineering; and earth science, industrial, and mechanical engineering.

The doctoral program in civil engineering offers six areas of concentration including construction engineering and management, geotechnical engineering, risk engineering and system analytics and transportation systems engineering. The program accepts applicants holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree

The electrical and computer engineering program offers several research focus areas, including applied electromagnetics, communications systems and networks, computer systems architecture, and digital systems processing. Students pursuing a PhD. in environmental engineering and earth sciences work with their advisors to craft an individualized plan of study. Since the program is interdisciplinary, students enroll in classes in a variety of areas including physics, geology, mathematics, and biology.

Clemson University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

4. Columbia University in the City of New York

Columbia offers two doctoral degrees in engineering — a doctor of engineering science and a doctor of philosophy in engineering. Students pursuing the doctor of engineering degree have several areas of specialization to choose from, including industrial engineering and operations research, earth and environmental engineering, and materials science and engineering.

Both programs require applicants to hold an MS in engineering (or a relevant field) for consideration. Students currently enrolled in an MS in engineering at Columbia may apply for the doctoral program after completing at least 15 credits of coursework.

Working closely with their advisors, doctoral students customize a learning plan that supports their research and career objectives. The university encourages students to craft a cross-program collaborative study plan that takes advantage of Columbia’s rich academic offerings. Departmental requirements for degree completion may vary, but all doctoral students must complete and defend their dissertation to graduate from the program. Columbia is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

5. Duke University

Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering offers doctor of engineering programs in five areas: mechanical engineering and materials science, biomedical, civil and environmental, electrical and computing engineering, and materials science and engineering.

In addition to a doctorate in biomedical engineering, the university also offers a combined MD/Ph.D. program for highly qualified students. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the program typically takes 7-8 years to complete. The civil and environmental engineering program offers five tracks of study: computational mechanics; hydrology and fluid dynamics; systems, risk, and decision; environmental geomechanics and geophysics; and environmental health engineering.

The university provides Ph.D. students with generous financial support throughout five continuous years of enrollment. Students receive a living stipend, health insurance, and full tuition and fees remission. Students still enrolled in a doctoral program after five years can apply for departmental and/or external funding. Duke University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

6. George Washington University

George Washington University offers eight Ph.D. in engineering and computer science degrees through the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Students can pursue a doctor of engineering management and a Ph.D. in systems engineering online.

The Ph.D. program comprises at least 54 credit hours that students complete in two phases. The classroom phase follows a cohort model and consists of eight courses. Students enroll in two classes per 10-week session. Coursework covers topics such as advanced systems engineering, data analysis, discrete systems simulation, and knowledge management. Students must achieve a minimum 3.4 GPA during this phase. Those who receive a grade below a B- are dropped from the program.

The second phase consists of at least 30 credit hours of research, culminating in a dissertation that students must defend before a faculty panel. Students must also pass an oral exam and publish at least one scholarly article in an approved industry journal. George Washington University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

7. Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

Georgia Tech offers a Ph.D. in engineering in 19 fields of study, including nuclear engineering; machine learning; algorithms, combinatronics, and optimization; and engineering science and mechanics.

The industrial engineering doctorate offers three tracks: applied statistics, supply chain engineering, and systems informatics and control. The nuclear engineering program offers a specialization in medical physics and nuclear enterprise management. Students enrolled in the machine learning program enroll in classes at the College of Engineering and across several schools and colleges at Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech participates in the Ocean Visions program, giving students pursuing the ocean science and engineering degree the chance to participate. The program brings together leading scientists and researchers from all over the country to draft actionable solutions to the world’s current and emerging ocean problems. Georgia Tech is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

8. Johns Hopkins University

The Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University offers an off-campus, full-time doctor of engineering degree. The program is a collaboration between the school and the student’s employer. Working closely with school and company advisors, students craft a customized plan of study that directly relates or contributes to their current position or workplace environment.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree in engineering or a closely related area of study and have significant work experience in the field. Applicants must include a research proposal identifying possible faculty advisors and a letter of support from the applicant’s employer or second outside advisor. Current research topics include analytics and machine learning to secure the Internet of Things; cyber resilient autonomy; and wireless security through anomaly detection.

The program requires students (including online enrollees) to attend two conferences in Baltimore per year. Students use these conferences to build their professional network, take oral exams, consult with advisors, and attend social events. Johns Hopkins University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

9. Lehigh University

Lehigh University offers a Ph.D. in engineering through the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science. Students can pursue doctoral studies in areas such as environmental engineering, bioengineering, industrial and systems engineering, and polymer science and engineering.

The college accepts students either as regular or associate enrollees. Regular students meet all admission requirements and are admitted as degree candidates. Associate graduate students must meet certain requirements before becoming degree candidates or regular enrollees. Many programs require associate enrollees to complete the first nine credits with no more than one grade below a B-. Students who earn a grade of C or below are dropped from the program.

Doctoral students can take advantage of the university’s resources for their research and coursework requirements. For example, the Institute for Cyber Physical Infrastructure and Energy gives engineering students the chance to collaborate with experts in sociology, psychology, and economics. Together, they explore complex issues like the effect of humans and society on existing energy systems and surrounding infrastructure.

Lehigh University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

10. Missouri University of Science and Technology

The College of Engineering and Computing at the Missouri University of Science and Technology offers a Ph.D. in engineering. Students can pursue doctoral studies in traditional engineering arenas such as civil, aerospace, chemical, and mechanical engineering. The college also offers doctorates in less common sub-fields such as geological, metallurgical, and explosives engineering. The explosives engineering program is the only one of its kind offered at the doctoral level.

Although admission requirements vary, most doctoral programs in engineering require the following: a bachelor’s in engineering, GRE scores no older than five years, a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.5, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Some programs accept students on a probationary status. Ph.D. students must pass a qualifying exam, a comprehensive exam, and complete all degree requirements within eight years from the date of initial enrollment.

Missouri University of Science and Technology is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

11. New Jersey Institute of Technology

New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Newark College of Engineering offers a Ph.D. in engineering in 10 areas of study. The college requires all doctoral candidates to pass a qualifying exam taken at the end of their second semester. Students needing to retake the exam must do so by the end of their third semester in the program.

The biomedical engineering program is jointly offered by NJIT, Rutgers University, and the New Jersey Medical School. Students gain access to each university’s facilities and resources as well as the chance to engage in collaborative research.

The environmental engineering program only accepts applicants holding an MS in engineering or a closely related field. On rare occasions, the program accepts exceptional applicants with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Bachelor’s-trained enrollees must complete an additional 36 credits of coursework (the equivalent of a master’s degree) prior to enrolling in doctoral classes. New Jersey Institute of Technology is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

12. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

The College of Engineering at North Carolina State University at Raleigh offers a Ph.D. in engineering in 12 areas. These include nuclear, industrial, environmental, and biomedical engineering.

Faculty and doctoral students in the industrial engineering program pursue research in several areas such as advanced manufacturing, systems analytics and optimization, and supply chain logistics. Doctorate in mechanical engineering students can select from six areas of specialization, including aerodynamics, fluid mechanics, propulsion, and space exploration systems.

The Department of Nuclear Engineering crafted the first educational curriculum in the nuclear engineering field. It currently offers four focus areas: reactor systems engineering, radiation interactions and detection, plasma science and engineering, and nuclear fluids and materials.

The university offers several financial aid opportunities to outstanding doctoral students. Doctoral fellowships typically include tuition and health insurance coverage as well as a living stipend. North Carolina State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

13. Purdue University-Main Campus

The College of Engineering at Purdue University offers several Ph.D. in engineering programs in fields like agricultural and biological, environmental and ecological, industrial, and materials engineering.

The Wheldon School of Biomedical Engineering offers a doctoral program with four major research areas: imaging, engineered biomaterials and biomechanics, instrumentation and quantitative cellular, and systems engineering. Students enrolled in the doctoral program in biomedical engineering can apply for financial assistance in the form of fellowships from the NIH, the College of Engineering, and the Indiana University School of Medicine.

The doctoral program in electrical and computer engineering accepts applications from bachelor’s and master’s degree-holders. The College of Engineering recently established the Dean’s Fellowship, a new financial assistance program specifically for doctoral students in electrical and computer engineering.

Purdue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

14. Stevens Institute of Technology

The Schaefer School of Engineering & Science at Stevens Institute of Technology offers a Ph.D. in engineering in nine diverse fields of study. Students can pursue a doctorate in electrical, chemical, materials science, and ocean engineering, among others.

The ocean engineering program currently supports five active research areas: coastal engineering, naval architecture, living shorelines, physical oceanography, and computational fluid dynamics. The chemical engineering program offers courses on topics like biofuels, pharmaceutical manufacturing, nanotechnology, and biomedical applications of processed polymers.

Stevens Institute of Technology was the first school in the country to offer a degree in mechanical engineering. This doctoral program gives students the chance to participate in cutting-edge research in fields like robotics, sustainable energy systems, and bioengineering.

Most doctoral engineering programs consist of 84 credits beyond a bachelor’s degree, or 54 credits beyond a master’s degree. Core coursework and approved electives make up at least 30 credits and dissertation research accounts for the rest. Stevens Institute of Technology is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

15. SUNY Polytechnic Institute

SUNY Polytechnic Institute offers a Ph.D. in nanoscale engineering with tracks in nanoelectronics, optoelectronics and photonics, nanobiology engineering and technology, and four other areas. The program requires applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering, mathematics, computer science, or a related science field. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Although applicants are encouraged to submit their most recent GRE scores, it is not a requirement.

SUNY Poly also offers a combined MD/Ph.D. in medicine and nanoscale science or engineering. The seven-year program requires students to enroll in doctoral coursework between the didactic and clinical years of medical school. Students apply simultaneously at SUNY Poly and the SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. Applicants must hold at least a bachelor’s degree (preferably in a science or pre-med field) with exceptional academic performance. However, the program also accepts applications from nontraditional students with diverse training and professional experience.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

16. Syracuse University

The College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University offers a Ph.D. in engineering in six areas of study including computer/information science and engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering, and electrical and computer engineering. Students must take a qualifying exam after completing a certain number of credits before they can proceed with the remainder of the program. This minimum credit requirement varies among programs.

The college maintains several financial assistance packages for qualified doctoral students including fellowships, research grants, and teaching assistantships. Many of these programs cover tuition and also provide a living stipend. Students must show satisfactory progress in their program to qualify for assistance each year. Doctoral engineering programs require the completion of at least 42 credits of coursework. With few exceptions, the college gives students up to five years to earn their Ph.D.

Syracuse University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

17. University of Denver

The University of Denver offers Ph.D. in engineering degrees through the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science. Students can pursue a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering, mechatronic systems engineering, and mechanical engineering.

The doctoral programs accept applications from master’s degree-holders, preferably in engineering or a closely related science or technology field. Bachelor’s degree-holders can apply, but they must be willing to enroll in preparatory classes. Preparatory courses do not carry credit toward the doctoral degree.

The mechatronic systems engineering program currently supports research in robotics and unmanned systems. The robotics research focuses on service robotics, actively addressing problems such as autism and Alzheimer’s disease. Current research in the mechanical engineering program focuses on biomedical devices and technologies. The university allows mechanical engineering students to craft an individualized plan of study that supports specific career objectives.

The University of Denver is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

18. University of Florida

The University of Florida offers Ph.D. in engineering programs through the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. The doctoral programs cover several fields of study including aerospace, chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineering.

The college requires applicants to submit their most recent GRE scores along with a statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a resume. Specific programs may have additional requirements. The college offers several fellowship opportunities and assistantships that include full tuition, fees waivers, and a stipend. Applicants are automatically considered for any financial aid package for which they qualify.

The doctoral program in agricultural and biological engineering offers four specialization areas: agricultural production, information systems, biological engineering, and land and water resources. The coastal and oceanography engineering program supports several research focus areas, including estuarine and coastal physics, inlet morphodynamics and wave-current interactions, and storm surge and inundation.

University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

19. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers several Ph.D. in Engineering programs through the Grainger College of Engineering. The college provides guaranteed financial assistance for doctoral students through a funded appointment such as a research or teaching assistantship. Students who meet the minimum eligibility requirements receive financial assistance for the first five years of enrollment. The financial aid provides a stipend and full or partial tuition waiver.

The bioengineering program offers optional specializations in biomechanics, cancer nanotechnology, and computational science and engineering. Students can apply to the program with a master’s or bachelor’s degree. The doctoral program in environmental engineering offers 10 areas of specialization including construction management, sustainable and resilient infrastructure systems, societal risk and hazard mitigation, and structural engineering.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

20. University of Massachusetts-Amherst

UMass-Amherst offers a Ph.D. in engineering in six areas: industrial engineering and operations research, polymer science and engineering, and chemical, civil, mechanical, and electrical and computer engineering.

The doctorate in industrial engineering and operations research accepts applications from master’s and bachelor’s degree-holders. The Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department administers the program. Current research fields supported by the department include biomedical and healthcare engineering, fluid dynamics, robotics and mechatronics, and renewable energy.

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department offers four areas of specialization: environmental and water resources, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering and mechanics, and transportation engineering. The Chemical Engineering Department offers Ph.D. enrollees a full graduate research assistantship, which typically includes a full tuition waiver, health care coverage, and a living stipend. The assistantship requires no additional work beyond regular coursework and dissertation research.

University of Massachusetts-Amherst is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

21. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and in environmental sciences and engineering. The university administers the doctorate in biomedical engineering jointly with North Carolina State University. The program requires applicants to submit their most recent GRE scores. To be competitive, applicants must achieve at least 50%, 70%, and 30% respectively on the verbal, quantitative, and written components of the test. Applicants must also submit a 1-2 page statement about their research background and interests.

The doctoral program in environmental sciences and engineering currently supports active research in many critical issues and concerns. Students can explore topics such as molecular approaches to addressing diseases caused by toxic substances, engineering and policy solutions to environmental risks, and developing practical solutions to health problems in developing countries. Designed as an interdisciplinary degree, the doctorate draws from three main areas of study: air quality and atmospheric process, sustainable water resources, and human exposure and health effects.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

22. University of Southern California

The Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California offers Ph.D. in engineering degrees across 11 subfields including aerospace, petroleum, computer, and mechanical engineering. The majority of doctoral students at USC receive some type of financial support through fellowships and assistantships.

The doctorate in aerospace engineering offers several research areas, including in dynamical systems and controls, robotics, computational engineering, and fluid mechanics and aerodynamics. The program accepts applications from students with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, math, or a related hard science field. Admission also requires GRE scores from an exam taken no longer than five years prior to the date of application.

The environmental engineering program offers four areas of specialization: sustainable development; water quality, access, and distribution; disasters and extreme events; and coupling of complex systems. Students gain access to several research labs and centers, including the Air Quality Lab and the Tsunami Research Center. The University of Southern California is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

23. Villanova University

Villanova University offers a Ph.D. in engineering program in eight subfields, including mechanical, civil, biochemical, and computer engineering. Many of the programs accept full- and part-time enrollees and are delivered both on campus and online.

The College of Engineering receives funding from institutions like the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and various local businesses and private foundations. Students reap several benefits from these partnerships in terms of funding, knowledge exchange, and future employment opportunities.

Every doctoral program in engineering at Villanova performs research in specific arenas within an engineering subfield. For example, research areas in mechanical engineering include topics such as thermal science, nanotechnology, and dynamics and controls. This research generally revolves around four major areas: water, energy, and food security; materials for a sustainable future; smart and resilient infrastructure systems; and better medicine and improved healthcare delivery systems.

Villanova University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

24. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech offers a Ph.D. in engineering across 15 areas of study. These include biological systems engineering, industrial systems engineering, and aerospace engineering.

The College of Engineering partners with federal agencies, private organizations, and local industries to help fund graduate research and special projects. The college offers numerous research and teaching assistantships, fellowships, and grants to support doctoral students. Many of these funding opportunities include a tuition and fees waiver, health insurance coverage, and a living stipend.

The college maintains several research centers and laboratories for its students, including the Center for Space Science and Engineering Research and the Innovative Particulate Materials Laboratory. Doctoral students also have access to several research institutes located on the university campus. Engineering students often access the facilities of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

25. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

The College of Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers 12 Ph.D. in engineering programs. Students can pursue a doctorate in fire protection engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and robotics engineering, among several others.

Along with the University of Massachusetts Medical School, WPI jointly offers the doctorate in computational biomedical sciences and engineering. Students enrolled in this highly individualized program craft a plan of study that reflects and supports their career and educational objectives. Students must demonstrate expertise in three core competency areas: computational biology and physiology, math and statistics (including integral/differential calculus), and molecular techniques and algorithms.

The College of Engineering offers most of the courses for the doctorate in systems engineering online. Courses follow a synchronous delivery schedule, and professors conduct classes in a virtual classroom at specific times. Applicants with an MS in systems engineering and a minimum 3.5 GPA have the best chance of admission to the Ph.D. program.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.