As part of our series How to Fully Fund Your PhD, here is a list of universities that fully fund PhD students with a mechanical engineering focus. PhDs in mechanical engineering can lead to a variety of exciting careers in academia, research, and engineering firms.
“Full funding” is a financial aid package for full-time students that includes full tuition remission as well as an annual stipend or salary during the entire program, which is usually 3-6 years. Funding usually comes with the expectation that students will teach or complete research in their field of study. Not all universities fully-fund their doctoral students, which is why researching the financial aid offerings of many different programs, including small and lesser-known schools both in the U.S. and abroad, is essential.
The ProFellow database for graduate and doctoral study also spotlights external funding opportunities for graduate school, including dissertation research, fieldwork, language study, and summer work experiences.
Boston University (Boston, MA): The College of Engineering is committed to five full years of financial support for graduate students in the CoE PhD program who maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Entering PhD students are fully funded in their first year. During the first year, incoming PhD students have to pursue research and funding discussions with the research faculty. At the end of the first academic year, PhD students must move to RA funding, while others continue on their external fellowship if applicable.
Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA): The majority of full-time Ph.D. students accepted through the standard application process receive fellowships that cover full tuition, the technology fee, and a stipend for living expenses for up to five years, as long as sufficient progress is made toward degree completion. These awards are sufficient to cover all expenses for the year (including summers).
Columbia University (New York, NY): At the time of admission to a terminal doctoral program, the Department of Mechanical Engineering guarantees a minimum of five years of financial support, contingent on maintaining Good Academic Standing within both the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Financial support comes in the form of teaching assistantship, graduate research assistantship, or fellowship, and may change from year to year or semester to semester.
Duke University (Durham, NC): The Graduate School at Duke provides a competitive package that should provide PhD students with financial support for the majority of the time they are registered and working toward their degree. PhD students are supported in a variety of ways, including funding from their departments, The Graduate School, or other governmental and private sources.
Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering (Tallahassee, FL): The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Ph.D. programs offer competitive funding packages for newly admitted students. These may include research assistantships and/or teaching assistantships, tuition waivers, student health care coverage and/or monthly living stipends.
Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD): All PhD students are fully funded with tuition, stipend, and benefits (including healthcare) for the entire duration of the program.
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI): Students admitted to the PhD program will be offered a full funding package for their studies. The offer entails 4 years of funding for students that come into the program with a master’s degree in a relevant area of study; or 5 years of funding for students that enter the program after receiving a bachelor’s degree. Financial support includes a stipend, tuition and registration fees, as well as health and dental benefits.
University of Michigan-Dearborn (Dearborn, MI): Our Ph.D. program adheres to the CECS full-funding model for Ph.D. students. All Ph.D. students receive full-funding in the form of an appointment as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI), Research Assistant (GSRA), or a combination of both which covers: a monthly stipend, health insurance, and tuition waiver.
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA): All Ph.D. students who are in good academic standing are provided with financial aid that covers full tuition, a stipend, and health insurance throughout their program of study in the department. The financial aid is funded by research grants of faculty members, endowments, and other fellowships. The selection process is competitive and is based on merit.
Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO): Our PhD students are fully funded, including full tuition support and health insurance. As a doctoral candidate, you will also receive a generous stipend to cover living expenses. This support is guaranteed as you continue to make satisfactory progress towards your degree.
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