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Degree Options:

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (Ph.D.)

Mechanical Engineering

A thesis based on original research must be presented and defended.

Current Student Inquiries:

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Future Student Information


The minimum course requirements for this degree are two half-courses at the 700 level beyond the Master’s degree, OR six half-courses, at least five of which should be at the 700 level, beyond the Bachelor’s degree. Half of your courses are required to have "MECHENG" in the course code.
A Ph.D. student is also required to pass a Comprehensive Examination designed to test their breadth of knowledge and the ability to synthesize and integrate ideas. A Ph.D. candidate must complete a thesis which embodies the results of original research and mature scholarship. The general University requirements for the thesis and oral defense will apply.

Students holding a Bachelor’s degree should enroll at the Master’s level. Excellent students may be transferred to the Ph.D. program without completing their Master’s degree at the discretion of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and The School of Graduate Studies (SGS).
In addition, all full-time graduate students (except Industrial Ph.D. students) are required to successfully complete 8 offerings of MECH ENG 758 “Graduate Seminars in Mechanical Engineering.” For further details, please see MECH ENG 758 General Information.

Information on direct-to-Ph.D. entry with a bachelor's degree can be found on The School of Graduate Studies website.

Have questions about the program?  

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Admissions Guide

The Department of Mechanical Engineering admits new students for each term (Fall, Winter and Spring/Summer) with our largest intake being in September (Fall term). The number of new students admitted to our graduate programs varies from year to year. Regardless of the term you select, this guide can be used to navigate the admissions process.

  1. You will need to determine if you meet our minimum eligibility requirements; you can do this by reviewing the Admission Requirements tab.
  2. After confirming your eligibility, you should review the Application Deadlines tab for your chosen program.
  3. In preparation for your application, you should decide on a list of prospective supervisors (the application will allow you to indicate up to three). 
    For applicants planning to begin in the Fall term: it is recommended that you review the bios and research of our faculty members before applying to identify Areas of Research and projects that align with your interests and experience. You may wish to reach out to your chosen faculty member(s) by email to generate their interest. In your initial communication with faculty members, you should offer a brief introduction sharing your research interests, and explain how you expect your education and experience will contribute to their research. It is recommended that you attach your resume or curriculum vitae for reference. Electronic transcripts may be attached for further support.
    For applicants planning to begin in the Winter or Spring/Summer terms OR those considering an Industrial Ph.D.: many of the previous recommendations apply, except that you will be required to generate the interest of a faculty member before your application will be reviewed. Our faculty members are very busy year-round, so a lack of response from them typically means that they are not accepting new graduate students for your chosen term. 
  4. After you have decided on a list of prospective supervisors, area(s) of research, and term of study, you can start to prepare your documents for your online application. To ensure that nothing is overlooked, please refer to the Documents Checklist tab.
  5. You are now ready to apply! For instructions on how to complete your application, please see the How to Apply tab. Note that requests to waive the application fee will not be obliged.

Application Status

Within a few days of successfully submitting your application, you will receive a confirmation email from The School of Graduate Studies (SGS). (If you do not receive this email, please email for assistance.)
The confirmation email will contain important information about how to access Mosaic so that you can follow the status of your application and your checklist of required documents. Typically, documents in the "Initiated" stage indicate that your application has not been marked as complete. This should not be immediate cause for concern, as Mosaic checklist updates are performed manually (not automatically); therefore--given the volume of applications received--you may need to wait up to a month to see a status update. 
If after a month from your application submission you notice that some documents have remained in the "Initiated" stage, this could indicate that your application is incomplete. Prior to the application deadline of April 3, 2020, you may email the graduate administrator ( to inquire about documents in the "Initiated" stage; however, any arrangements to receive supplementary documents are at the discretion of the graduate administrator. 

Please note that our department anticipates a review of Fall 2021 applications during the months of April, May and June; however, applicants who have the support of a faculty member from our department may have their application reviewed earlier than April 2021.

The following requests will not be obliged:

  • requests to submit electronic copies of documents after April 2, 2021
  • requests to review your Mosaic checklist after May 2, 2021
  • requests to expedite the review of an application without faculty support

Admissions Questions? Click  Here 

Admission Requirements

NOTE: Admission is very competitive, so meeting/surpassing the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to this program. Many variables are considered when the Department of Mechanical Engineering is making a decision to recommend an applicant for admission, some of which include: research fit; available funding; the applicant's statement of interest; the applicant's specific industry/research experience outlined in their resume/CV; and the applicant's reference reports. GRE scores are NOT taken into consideration for admission.

Academic Requirements

The following are the minimum academic requirements for entry into the Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering program at McMaster University: 

  • Applicants are required* to hold a Master's degree (overall average equivalent to a McMaster B+) in a related field
  • General information pertaining to admission requirements are outlined in Section 2.1.2 Admission Requirements for Ph.D. Degree in the Graduate Calendar.

English Language Requirements (International applicants)

English comprehension and communication (oral and written) are necessary for learning and research at McMaster University, as English is the language of instruction. You will be required to satisfy a certain level of English language proficiency (ELP) to gain admission to this program IF the following points are true for you:
1. English is not your native language; and
2. English is not the language of instruction at your previous institution*.

Proof of English proficiency can be satisfied by providing any of the following tests results from tests taken within 2 years of the application deadline:

TOEFL Scores

  • Minimum 550 - written test
  • Minimum 213 - computer-based test
  • Minimum score of 88

To ensure your TOEFL score is received by this department, please indicate Institution Code 0936 and Department Code 68 when requesting your transcripts from the TOEFL testing centre.

IELTS Scores

Test must be Academic; not General

  • Minimum overall score of 6.5 
  • Minimum score of 5.5 for each section

MELAB Scores

Minimum score of 85

*If English IS the language of instruction at your previous institution, you can be exempted from the ELP requirement by providing either:
1. an official letter from your previous institution stating that the language of instruction is English; OR
2. official transcripts which state that English is the language of instruction. 

Admissions Questions? Click here

Application Deadlines

Our application deadlines are listed below. If you cannot have all of the required materials submitted by these deadlines, we cannot guarantee that a decision concerning your application will be processed by the time of your desired entry date (especially if you need time to obtain a student visa). 

Start Date
Online System Open
Completed Application & Application Fee Deadline
Offers of admission continue until
Fall 2021 November 2020 April 2, 2021(Domestic)
February 12, 2021 (Intern'l)
June 30, 2021
Spring/Summer 2021 By faculty member request April 2, 2021 (Domestic)
January 3, 2021` (Intern'l)
April 9, 2020
Winter 2021 By faculty member request December 1, 2020 (Domestic)
October 18, 2020 (Intern'l)
December 1, 2020

Deferring or Changing Start Dates:

Your offer of admission is only valid for the term of entry indicated; this applies to all details and funding information contained within the offer, as well. If you would like to defer or change your start date, you must obtain approval from your supervisor; this approval needs to be emailed to the graduate administrator who will then initiate the process to produce a revised offer of admission.


Areas of Research

Our department's areas of research are split into 4 specializations (below). Faculty member bios and publications can be viewed by visiting our Areas of Specialization tab.


Biomechanics of Musculoskeletal Systems, Bone Adaptation to Mechanical Stimuli & Injury, Surgical Robotics, Bone Fracture Limits & Injury Tolerance, Design of Artificial Joint Replacements, Surrogates for Biomechanical Research, Bio-Functional Interfaces, Biomaterials & Biosensors, Cardiovascular Mechanics, Medical Imaging.

Research group(s): Biomechanics Laboratory


Casting, Computer Aided Manufacturing, Electrical Discharge Machining, Grinding, Machining of Advanced Materials, Machining Processes and Systems, Materials Processing and Systems, Manufacturing Automation, Manufacturing Processes and Systems, Metal Forming, Cutting and Removal, Metallic and Non-Metallic Coatings for Advanced Steels, Process Modelling & Simulation, Robotics.

Research group(s): Centre for Advanced Micro Electro Fluidics (CAMEF), Machining Systems Laboratory (MSL), McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI), Metal Forming Laboratory (MFL), Micro-machining Laboratory, Robotics and Manufacturing Automation Research (RMAL), Centre for Advanced Polymer Processing & Design (CAPPA-D)

Mechanics & Design

Automotive Applications, Computer aided design, Control Systems, Dynamics and Vibrations, Finite Element Analysis, Flow Induced Vibration and Noise, Hybrid Vehicles, Materials and Microstructural Engineering, Mechatronics, Microelectromechanical (MEMS) Devices, Product Design and Manufacturing, Robotics, Theoretical mechanics.

Research group(s): McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI), McMaster Automotive Research Centre (MARC), McMaster Mechatronics Research Group, Flow-induced Vibration & Aerocoustics Laboratory.

Thermal Fluid Sciences

Aeroacoustics, Combustion, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Flow Control, Turbulence, Heat Transfer, Microfluidics & Micro-fabrication, Modeling in Thermo-Fluid Systems, Multiphase Flow, Reactor Thermal Hydraulics, Thermal Processing of Materials.

Research group(s): Centre for Advanced Micro Electro Fluidics (CAMEF), Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Integrated Community Energy and Harvesting Systems (ICE-Harvest, interdisciplinary), Thermal Management Research Laboratory (TMRL), Thermal Processing Laboratory (TPL).

Documents Checklist

NOTEcomplete application is required for review; applications deemed incomplete will not be reviewed. Department review will not begin until April 2021 (unless a faculty member initiates the early review of a complete application). To ensure that your application is complete, please review this checklist of required documents before you apply. Details on each item are provided below.

  • Official Academic Transcripts and Degree Certificates
  • Statement of Interest
  • Resume/CV
  • ELP (TOEFL/IELTS) Scores (if applicable)
  • Proof of Permanent Resident Status (if applicable)
  • *References (read carefully)
  • Memorandum of Understanding (Industrial Ph.D. applicants only)
    • This document will be issued upon approval from supervising faculty member

Official Academic Transcripts and Degree Certificates

Electronic academic transcripts for ALL post-secondary studies completed or in progress at the time of application must be included in your application. Transcripts must show all courses and marks (where applicable), along with the transcripts' legends/keys/grading schemes. Transcripts from institutions where you completed courses on Letter of Permission and/or as part of Student Exchange Programs must also be included. 
Specific instructions for McMaster documents, documents from other Canadian institutions, and documents from recognized international institutions are detailed below.

Documents from McMaster University

McMaster transcripts are not required for your application; however, you do need to declare your studies at McMaster on your application.

Documents from other Canadian institutions

Transcripts must be submitted in TWO different formats:
1. Electronic (scanned final or in-progress transcripts that are uploaded to your online application); and
2. Paper hardcopy (official, FINAL transcripts indicating degree conferral sent directly to the Department of Mechanical Engineering in a sealed envelope by the issuing institution). These documents are required upon earliest availability. Scroll down past "Documents from recognized international institutions" for the Department's mailing address.

Documents from recognized international institutions

1. Electronic transcripts, degree certificates and ELP (TOEFL/IELTS) results must be uploaded to your application**Please ensure that scans of all original documents AND translations are included in your application; otherwise, your application may be deemed incomplete.
2. Official, FINAL hardcopies of transcripts, degree certificates and ELP results are not required until your arrival to McMaster University. Please do not mail incomplete or unofficial documents to the University.
Your official, hardcopy documents must meet the following conditions in order to secure your study at McMaster University:

  • Original degree certificates and/or transcripts produced in English MUST include the date of degree conferral
  • **Original degree certificates produced in another language MUST be issued by the previous institution, bearing the appropriate seal/signature, and be delivered to our office (JHE-310) in a sealed envelope when you arrive
  • **Original degree certificates produced in another language MUST be translated into English by a certified translator and include the date of degree conferral and the name of degree conferred, along with the translator's seal
  • **Original transcripts produced in another language MUST be issued by the previous institution and be delivered to our office (JHE-310) in a sealed envelope when you arrive
  • **Original transcripts produced in another language MUST be translated into English by a certified translator and include the translator's seal.

**International students: you should be prepared to provide one original degree certificate (only if transcripts do not indicate a date of degree conferral) and one set of original, final transcripts to McMaster University when you arrive, along with a separate translation package. The translation package will NOT satisfy admission conditions on its own. Failure to provide all required documents upon arrival will jeopardize your admission to McMaster University.

Department of Mechanical Engineering Mailing Address
For students who elect to have official, final documents mailed to the University, please use the following address:

Department of Mechanical Engineering
c/o Nicole McLean
John Hodgins Engineering Building (JHE) 310
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L7

Statement of Interest

The statement of interest should be uploaded to your application as a PDF file; without it, your application will be deemed incomplete. This document should be a maximum of 2 pages and clearly communicate:

  • your research interests/focus, especially within the context of mechanical engineering and any of our 4 areas of specialization
  • how your education and experience aligns with research areas in the Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • any contributions you hope to make to research initiatives during your study and how you plan to make them (methods, approach)
  • evidence of your ability to work collaboratively and independently


Like with the statement of interest, your resume/CV should be uploaded to your application as a PDF file; without it, your application will be deemed incomplete.

English Language Proficiency Scores (if applicable)

Your ELP scores should be uploaded to your application as a PDF file. If you are an international student who would NOT be eligible for admission without these scores, your application will be deemed incomplete if these scores are not included. (Please refer to the Admission Requirements tab if you are unclear about your eligibility.)

*Note during the COVID-19 pandemic: Duolingo scores can be accepted for use during the application review process; if an applicant is issued a conditional offer of admission based on a Duolingo score, they will need to submit an official IELTS/TOEFL score to clear their condition before they arrive in Canada.

Proof of Permanent Resident/Landed Immigrant Status (if applicable)

For permanent residents/landed immigrants only: if your VISA STATUS lists "Permanent Resident of Canada" or "Landed Immigrant", you must upload a scan of your permanent residence card (front and back) or Record of Landing (IMM1000) to your application.


Before beginning your application, you should obtain the consent of two instructors who are familiar with your academic work to provide confidential reference reports. You are not required to submit reference letters as part of your application; however, you must list your references and their contact information on your application. By entering the email addresses of your references through your online application, McMaster's Electronic Referencing (e-Reference) system will send your references an e-Reference request on your behalf.
IMPORTANT: the system will send the e-Reference request to your references ONLY AFTER YOU SUBMIT your online application. This means that you will need to have completed AND uploaded your scanned transcripts, degree certificates (if applicable), Statement of Interest, CV/resume, ELP results (if applicable), and proof of permanent residence (if applicable) to your online application BEFORE you can click “Submit”. 
References may require 3-4 weeks to complete a reference report. References should be allowed time to complete their reference report by April 3, 2021. 

If, for some reason, you are unable to use the Electronic Referencing System, you can download the reference form and send to your references for completion. Downloaded reference forms must be sent by the reference DIRECTLY to Nicole McLean through e-mail (

How to Apply

The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) at McMaster University uses an online graduate application system; for instructions on how to apply, please visit

DEGREE: after applying filters under Program Search Criteria, please select "Mechanical Engineering - PhD".

POST DEGREE: if you have been given permission to take a MECHENG graduate course outside of our degree programs, please input the following filters under Program Search Criteria

  1. Select "Part-time";
  2. Select term in which the course is available (speak to graduate administrator if unsure);
  3. Leave degree type blank;
  4. Select "Graduate Studies Post Degree" (beside Academic Program)
  5. Select "Post Degree - Engineering" from the list of programs.

Application Fee:

Applications must be accompanied by the required $110 application fee. This fee is non-refundable and must be paid in Canadian dollars by means of a credit card, cheque, or money order, drawn on a Canadian bank and made payable to McMaster University.  Cheques/money orders should be mailed to: 

School of Graduate Studies
McMaster University
Gilmour Hall, Room 212
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8



Faculty members in the Department of Mechanical Engineering may offer financial support to their Ph.D. students for up to four years of study. The following are examples of funding that have been offered to some of our domestic Ph.D. students and international Ph.D. students for the 2018-2019 academic year:

A domestic student who began their studies in Fall of 2018 received $26,390 in funding (comprised of a research scholarship, a graduate scholarship, a teaching assistantship, and a bursary from The School of Graduate Studies to bolster domestic doctoral scholarship)

An international student who began their studies in Fall 2018 received $23,760 in funding (comprised of a research scholarship, a graduate scholarship, and a teaching assistantship)

A note about Teaching Assistantships (TAships): due to availability, if a teaching assistantship was not provided in your offer letter, then the financial support decreases by $5,453. 
If you are a student who was promised a TAship and you started in January (Winter term), you will be given a portion of your TAship for the Fall term of that year, or the entirety of your TAship for the Fall term of that year.
If you are a student who was originally admitted for the Fall term and needed to defer to the Winter term, any TAship connected with your first offer may change.

A graduate funding package may be constructed from a variety of other sources, including external awards from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program (OGS), and other McMaster University funding. Some researchers will provide larger funding packages to students, consistent with academic priorities and availability of funding. The funding guarantee does not prevent students from taking more time to complete their degree; however, support for overtime students is not guaranteed.

Tuition: both full-time domestic and full-time international Ph.D. students are charged $7,008 per annum.

Financial Matters:

For further information regarding financial matters, including fees, please refer to Section 5: Financial Matters outlined in the 2020-2021 Graduate Calendar.

Resources for New Students

Welcome to the Mechanical Engineering department!

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is the second largest department in the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University. As a student-centered, research-intensive department, we are creating tomorrow’s leaders and developing knowledge and engineering solutions that address many of society’s challenges and opportunities. Mechanical Engineering has profoundly impacted many aspects of our lives. It has been a critical field for our industries and economies for many centuries and yet it continues to evolve and remain relevant. Our Department is committed to provide the highest quality of education and training. We strive to provide an up-to-date, flexible, and comprehensive educational experience.

Graduate Student Life

Academic Services

Engineering Graduate Society - New Student Intro Sheet and New Student Guide

The Engineering Graduate Society (EGS) was formed in 2015 with the mandate of representing the voice and concerns of Engineering graduate students to the GSA and the University.  They are comprised of engaged departmental representatives who are tasked with opening up a two-way line of communication to their students as well as organizing valuable events and workshops which are tailored to improving the engineering graduate student experience.  These representatives sit on many Faculty and University Councils and Committees and work hard to ensure that the concerns of the engineering graduate students are considered when implementing new policy.

For students who have been awarded a Teaching Assistantship (TA), please review your CUPE collective Agreement, which is accessible at There is also a department bulletin board containing CUPE information in the hallway between JHE-312 and JHE-313.

Industrial Ph.D. Option


An option for interested applicants who currently hold a Master's degree in the STEM disciplines, wishing to remain employed full-time at their company or research institute while pursuing a doctoral degree. These mature doctoral students have access to often comparable or superior laboratory resources, are situated within a dynamic and technological environment, and are highly motivated to succeed. Their main limitations to completing a doctoral degree are often related to the difficulties coming onto campus regularly. To expedite degree completion, the applicant as an enrolled student would have the ability to carry out research in their company’s labs that can be used towards their thesis requirements. This option is meant to outline a framework whereby research will be done off-campus, in the labs of the employer, yet deemed suitable for use towards the thesis requirements of a Doctoral degree in Engineering. All technical course requirements must still be fulfilled, which is 2 courses (at least one course being MECHENG) for industrial Ph.D. students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering; however, these students are exempt from any seminar requirement that might require repeated attendance on campus. A student completing all program requirements under the option shall receive a Doctor of Philosophy with no distinctive difference in the degree from a comparable student under the regular program.

Request more Information

Thank you for your interest in McMaster University Faculty of Engineering. Please fill out the form below, and we will connect with you to answer all of your questions. 

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