Direct Path from B.S. to Ph.D.

The MAE department gives admission directly into the PhD program from the BS degree for those who are highly qualified.  A minimum GPA of 3.5 is a strict requirement for this path.  Those who are admitted to this path will be required to take the PhD qualifying exam at the end of the second semester of study.

A Plan of Work should completed by the end of the student’s first semester.

Credit Requirements (72 Total Hours)

The following table shows the recommended schedule for the direct-to-PhD path.

First Semester 2nd Sem 3rd Sem 4th Sem 5th Sem 6th Sem 7th Sem 8th Sem
Graded Course Graded Course Graded Course Graded Course Graded Course Graded Course MAE895 MAE895
Graded Course Graded Course Graded Course Graded Course Graded Course Graded Course MAE895 MAE895
Graded Course MAE895 MAE895 MAE895 MAE895 MAE895 MAE895 MAE895
  • Graded courses: 13 – 16 letter-grade courses (39 – 48 credit hours) are required.
    • A maximum of 5 of these courses (15 hours) can be approved non-MAE courses.
  • Doctoral dissertation: 24 – 33 credit hours of doctoral research (MAE 895) are required to reach a total of 72 hours for graduation.
  • A minor is optional but requires that 3 courses be in the same program. Students pursuing a minor should also contact the department of the minor for additional requirements.
  • The student has an option of applying for the MS degree “en route” to the PhD when the following conditions are met:
    • 30 credits from letter-grade courses are completed.
    • The qualifying examination is completed.
    • Doctoral Prelim exams (written and oral) are scheduled.

Qualifying Examination (QE)

New Qualifying Examination rules will be published soon for students who began their program Fall 2017 and later. 

Starting Fall 2013 until Spring 2017, any student entering our PhD program without the MS degree must take the QE under the following guidelines:

  • QE will be administered by the student’s PhD committee, preferably at the end of the second semester but no later than the end of the third semester.  (This means the student needs to form his/her PhD committee prior to taking QE.)
  • A minimum of three committee members must be involved in administering the exam.  If the student declares a minor, a minor representative of the committee must be involved.
  • The format of the exam will be determined by the student’s PhD committee.  Exam problems are to be sent to the student one week prior to the time of the exam.  On the day of the exam, the student will orally present the solutions before the committee.
  • The student who does not pass the exam will be given a second chance in the semester immediately following the first one.

PhD Committee Selection

Without a Minor

  • Your Academic Advisor, 2 MAE faculty members, and 1 non-MAE faculty member from NCSU
    OR
  • Your Academic Advisor, 3 MAE faculty members, and 1 Graduate School representative

With a Minor

  • Your Academic Advisor, 3 MAE faculty members, and 1 minor representative