Doctor of Engineering: General Engineering Degree Overview

Doctor of Engineering programs teach students to develop the problem-solving and research skills needed to create new design processes or transform new technologies into finished products. These degrees are available in different engineering areas.

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Essential Information

Doctor of Engineering programs provide students with knowledge and skills related to advanced engineering techniques, including design and various technologies. These programs differ from Doctor of Philosophy programs in that they prepare graduates to practice engineering, rather than perform research in an academic environment. Specializations may include software, civil, chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering, as well as engineering management. 63-78 credit hours of graduate study commonly required.


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

Doctor of Engineering Degree

Admissions requirements for this program will vary by specialty. Some programs require applicants to have a bachelor's degree in engineering, mathematics or one of the applied sciences. A related master's degree is also required. Other schools limit admission to students who have either an undergraduate or graduate engineering degree in the same field of study as the doctoral program.

Curriculum in an engineering doctoral program varies by specialization, but most programs require students to take core and elective coursework that will culminate in a dissertation or research project. Interdisciplinary courses in math or business may also be required. Coursework may include the following:

  • Statistical design and analysis
  • Operations research
  • Chemical process design
  • Bioprocessing
  • Nanotechnology
  • Structural dynamics

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a four percent increase in employment opportunities for all engineers was projected for the years 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Salaries for engineers vary by specialty. For example, as of May 2015, chemical engineers earned a mean annual salary of $103,960, while civil engineers earned a mean salary of $87,940. Electrical engineers earned a mean annual salary of $97,340 in the same reporting year.

Licensure and Certification Information

The BLS explains that all states require engineers to be licensed. To gain licensure, an engineer usually needs to have completed a degree program approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Engineers will also need four years of work experience and passing scores on state examinations.

Engineers can also earn voluntary professional certifications to enhance their marketability. These certifications are awarded by organizations such as the International Council on Systems Engineering and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

A Doctor of Engineering degree can lead students to a wide variety of careers in different engineering fields. Students in these programs will get practical education and experience for applying engineering principles in different careers.

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