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
- Mechanical Engineering
- Metallurgical Engineering
- Mining Engineering
- Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
- Nuclear Engineering
- Ocean Engineering
- Petroleum Engineering
- Plastics Engineering
- 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.
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.