Welcome, prospective PhD students! We hope you'll consider joining our community of mechanical engineers at Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering.

With a mechanical engineering graduate program ranked 18th among public university peers by U.S. News & World Report, our program is one of the top-ranked in the nation. We offer paths to customize your degree in support of your unique interests and career goals, a variety of specialty courses taught by experts in the field, entrepreneurship resources and events like New Venture Challenge, and opportunities for high-impact research in air quality, biomedical, materials, mechanics of materials, micro/nanoscale, robotics and systems design, and thermo fluid sciences. 

Be sure to check out our Research Overview Slides and view virtual research presentations recorded by faculty members for our fall 2020 GEARRS event. These resources will help you get to know our faculty members and their unique capabilities and areas of expertise. 

Research Overview Slides

Our Community

As part of our graduate student community, you will join MS and PhD students who come to Boulder from across the world. You will have the opportunity to participate in community gatherings organized by graduate students and department-organized networking and mentorship events to support students and in their unique experiences. You will also have access to seminars, colloquia and workshops delivered by notable engineering leaders in education, research and industry through the Professional Development Program (PDP). These seminars will allow you to grow in knowledge, network with professionals and peers beyond the classroom and lab, and gain exposure to diverse styles of research presentation in support of your future career. 

We make it our mission to establish an environment of respect and inclusive excellence where high-quality instruction, project-based learning and cutting-edge research are leveraged to educate and nurture the next generation of socially conscious, deeply knowledgeable engineers, scientists and problem-solvers. 

PhD and Certificate Programs

Mechanical engineering PhD students take part in cutting-edge, tier-one research, learning from nationally and internationally recognized faculty. Our research harnesses state-of-the-art experimental, theoretical and computational approaches to expand the frontiers of technology while advancing fundamentals. Our PhD program will prepare you for a career in industry or academia. You do not need a master's degree to be admitted to this program. Many of our students enroll directly from their undergraduate institution. If you do already have a master's degree, up to 21 hours of coursework may be transferred to meet PhD course requirements. 

Either degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking students can enroll in four-course certificate programs offered by our department. These certificates indicate expertise in a focused topic area and are intended primarily for continuing education and non-traditional students, though they can also be pursued as a supplement to the MS or PhD programs. The department currently offers a certificate in Biomedical Engineering, designed to train next-generation professional engineers to interface engineering and medicine with design and problem solving to improve human health. Additional certificate options are in development.

Tier-One Research Opportunities

As a mechanical engineering graduate student at CU Boulder, you will also have the opportunity to conduct groundbreaking tier-one research. Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering is home to over 60 faculty members conducting both fundamental and applied research in the following areas: 

Boulder is also home to a variety of well-known companies and labs doing research and development. Our faculty researchers and their research groups, for example, often collaborate with scientists at federal research labs including National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).