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Doctorate Degree Programs in General Engineering

Doctoral degree programs in general engineering build upon existing knowledge regarding engineering principles and practice, while providing a platform for focus on a particular subject.

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Essential Information

Like lower-level engineering offerings, doctoral degree programs in general engineering are concerned with the application of science and scientific principles to the solution of real-world problems in the built environment. Engineering doctoral programs usually feature a mix of core classes and independent research for a dissertation on a chosen topic. Biotechnology, engineering physics, green engineering and nanotechnology are common specialization options.

To begin a doctoral engineering program, a master's degree in engineering is usually required, but some programs may allow applicants with only an engineering bachelor's degree.


Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Biomedical and Medical Engineering
  • Ceramic Sciences
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Drafting and Design Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering and Electronics
  • Engineering - Architectural
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Engineering Physics
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Forest Engineering
  • Geological Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Math
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metallurgical Engineering
  • Mining Engineering
  • Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Plastics Engineering
  • Surveying
  • Systems Engineering
  • Textile Technologies

Doctorate in General Engineering

Doctorate programs in general engineering can prepare students for upper-level research and development positions within industry and government, as well as university-based teaching and research careers. These programs tend to be interdisciplinary collaborations among various departments in a college or university's school of engineering. An engineering license is required to practice if providing a public service.

A Ph.D. in Engineering candidate spends the majority of credit hours devoted to researching their dissertation. However, students may also have to complete core courses on the following topics:

  • Computation engineering
  • Experimental and advanced design
  • Linear systems
  • Optimization of engineering designs
  • Systems analysis

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipated that jobs for engineers would grow by 3% overall in the decade spanning 2014-2024; however, job growth forecasts varied greatly by engineering discipline. For example, biomedical engineers were expected to see a 23% increase in jobs, while aerospace engineers could see a 2% decrease in employment.

2015 reports by the BLS indicated that those working in engineering fields saw a range of salaries, depending on their specialties. For example, agricultural engineers had a median annual salary of $75,090, while petroleum engineers earned a median of $129,990.

Graduates with a doctoral degree in engineering might also work as college or university professors. Engineering post-secondary teachers could anticipate a 13% increase in jobs from 2014-2024, according to the BLS. Post-secondary engineering teachers earned a median annual salary of $95,060 as of May 2015.

Licensure Information

All 50 states require engineers to obtain a license if they offer direct services to the public. In general, licensure requires a degree from an accredited engineering program, passage of a state exam and four years of engineering-related work experience. Students who earn a doctorate degree in engineering meet the first qualification and likely have sufficient training to meet the second.

Engineering is a vast field, with many different practices. Engineers with a particular interest in an aspect or issue within the field have the space focus on it when pursuing a doctorate degree in engineering.

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