How To Get A Ph.D. In Automotive Engineering In USA, | Schools, Requirements, And Cost

Earning a bachelor’s degree is the first step in starting an automobile engineer career. However, to advance, you will need to get a Ph.D. degree in Automotive Engineering. A Ph.D. in Automotive Engineering gives you access to limitless opportunities.

Wikipedia defines Automotive engineering as a branch of vehicle engineering that integrates the elements of mechanical, electrical, software, and safety engineering in the design, manufacture, and operation of vehicles, trucks, and automobiles.

It is a research-intensive field involving mathematical models and formulas to create and assemble different automobile parts.

Since automobiles are an integral part of human life, it is important to get advanced knowledge and skills to keep up with their increasing need.

In this article, we will guide you on all you need to know to get a Ph.D. in Automotive Engineering.

Here is a table of what to expect:

What Degrees Are Available In Automotive Engineering

Getting a bachelor’s degree is the first step in kick-starting your automotive engineering career. However, to climb the ladder, you must acquire other degrees like Master’s and Ph.D.

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Hence, the degrees available in Automotive Engineering are as follows:

  • Bachelor of Science degree
  • Master of Science degree
  • Ph.D./ Doctorate

Bachelor of Science Degree

This is an entry-level degree in Automotive Engineering. Unfortunately, most schools do not offer A bachelor’s degree in Automotive Engineering. Students who want to study Automotive engineering opt for Mechanical engineering at the entry level and afterward specialize in Automotive Engineering.

Typical coursework for a bachelor’s degree program looks like this.

  • Automobile dynamics
  • Automotive electronics
  • Fuel cell systems
  • Powertrain dynamics
  • Engine parts
  • Diesel engine theory
  • Alternative energy sources

A bachelor’s degree program in Automotive engineering can be completed in 4 years.

Furthermore, during the last semester, most programs cover senior design projects and internships in Automotive work experience. These programs, in turn, contribute to securing a full-time position shortly after graduation.

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Master of Science Degree

In the Master’s degree program, students can specialize in any aspect of Automotive Engineering they choose. Some areas of specialization include manufacturing processes, electrical and computer systems, mechanical systems, and materials science.

For a Master’s degree program, typical coursework includes:

  • Design and manufacturing
  • Energy and environment
  • Materials
  • Noise and vibration
  • Electronics and computer software
  • Ergonomics
  • Powertrain
  • Dynamics and Control

It takes about two years to complete a master’s degree in an Automotive engineering program. In addition, students must present a final project or thesis paper to complete the degree.

We will discuss the Ph.D. degree in a much broader sense below.

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What Is A Ph.D In Automotive Engineering

A Ph.D. is a doctorate-level program where students are taught the challenges in the Automotive industry and solutions to how to solve them.

Earning a Ph.D. makes you intellectually challenged and teaches you to develop and nurture research and management skills and become an expert in your chosen field.

You’ll also learn how to conduct literature reviews, develop ideas, verify them with experiments, and collaborate and perform interdisciplinary research. Over time, you’ll develop your skills and become an independent researcher.

Some coursework that may be required as part of this program includes:

Those with a Ph.D. in Automotive Engineering would normally be able to find jobs in the automotive field. Potential career choices may include Systems and Components engineer, Automotive plant manager, Senior engineer, or Automotive-quality engineer.

Other graduates may decide to go into the academic field either as a professor or lecturer in a higher-education setting training future automotive engineers.

To complete this degree program, students may be required to take an exam and conduct research that ensues in a dissertation.

Why Pursue A Ph.D. In Automotive Engineering?

A Ph.D. in Automotive engineering allows you to employ leading-edge science to make discoveries. It opens you to limitless career opportunities depending on experience and in which direction the automotive industry works.

A Ph.D. degree also gives you direct access to key players in the automotive engineering industry, including; Rolls Royce, Land Rover, and Jaguar.

Ph.D. graduates are usually very skilled in Automotive composition and dynamics, improving automotive efficiency and, most importantly, problem-solving.

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How Long Does It Take To Get A Ph.D. Degree?

It normally takes about three years to get a Ph.D. in Automotive engineering. You’ll be assigned a minimum of two supervisors who’ll guide you through your studies. However, if it’s a part-time Ph.D. program, you may complete it in longer than three years.

What Is The Cost Of Getting A Ph.D. In Automotive Engineering?

The cost of getting a Ph.D. in Automotive engineering in the USA is between $28,000 to $40,000 per year, depending on the institution.

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How To Get A Ph.D. Degree In Automotive Engineering -Requirements?

If you are wondering how to get a Ph.D. degree in Automotive engineering, these are the requirements:

  • Choose your preferred school.
  • Ensure you have a first or upper-second-class degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent overseas qualification), a lower second plus a good Masters’s degree (distinction normally required).
  • Proof of proficiency in English for international students whose first language is not English.
  • Then apply online as directed by your preferred choice of school.

You can also get a Ph.D. in Automotive engineering online if you cannot commit to a normal schedule.

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Which Schools Offer A Ph.D. In Automotive Engineering?

Not all schools offer a degree in automotive engineering. However, If you want to earn a Ph.D. in automotive engineering, some schools offer the best Ph.D. programs in the world.

Do well to click on them to learn more about their programs.

You need to see 13 Best Automotive Engineering Schools in the World


Getting a Ph.D. in Automotive engineering is an important step for those who desire to advance in their career as an Automotive engineer.

Good luck with your decision!



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