Engineering (PHD)


Engineering, PhD

On Campus 90 cr

Earn a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering through one of the participating departments.


This is an interdepartmental program. See specializations for more information.


  1. Computer Engineering - Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • On Campus

    The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers graduate programs in Telecommunications and Computer Engineering leading to master's and doctoral degrees. The graduate program prepares students for professional and research careers in industry and academia through providing a strong breadth of knowledge and depth of expertise in telecommunications engineering and computer engineering.

    Graduate students have the opportunity to experience and contribute to innovative engineering research in areas of wireless communications, wireless sensor networks, multimedia processing, network security, optical communications, biomedical communications engineering, and other related research areas. Students are able to participate in interdisciplinary studies with other departments and programs at the University of Nebraska including the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

    The ECE Department has extensive state-of-the-art research and computing facilities for all areas of active research including access to the Holland Computing Center which has over 5,600 processors and is capable of a sustainable computation rate of more than 20 trillion floating-point operations per second (20 TFlops).

    The ECE Department is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln program located in the Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha. The Peter Kiewit Institute was established to support high-quality research by faculty and students coupled with business and economic development initiatives to generate unity-of-effort among academic, industry and local, state and federal government organizations in solving local, regional and national problems.

    See Computer and Electrical Engineering for complete information.

    Admission Requirements

    • Entrance exam(s): GRE (optional)
    • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 90, IELTS 6.5
    • Resume
    • Personal Statement: Why did you choose our program? Tell us about your research interests and/or previous research and your qualifications, along with your career goals. Do you have a faculty member that has research in your area of interest that you would like to work with or have contacted? (1-2 pages)
    • Faculty and Research:  Review current faculty and their research areas, and indicate your interests in the application form.
    • Three recommendation letters

    For full financial consideration, students must apply by January 15 for Fall or by October 1 for Spring.

    Graduate Chair

    Hamid Sharif-Kashani

    Support Staff

    Ronda Wiebe

  2. Computer Engineering - Computer Science
    • On Campus

    This specialization aims to increase graduate students' breadth of knowledge and develops depth of specialization in a subfield of computer engineering with a strong supporting foundation in computer science. 

    The School of Computing offers opportunities for students to develop teaching skills in support of undergraduate instruction and to enhance research skills in support of the department's active research programs. The goal is to build a foundation for future scientific discovery, engineering innovation, and scholarly and professional achievement.

    Areas of research include: (faculty bios)

    • Systems and Networking: Computer networks; cyber-physical systems; wireless networking; Internet of Things; molecular communication; synthetic biology; deep learning architectures; security and privacy; robotics; embedded systems; sensors and sensor networks.
    • Software Engineering: Eye tracking; empirical software engineering; program analysis and verification; programming languages; and software testing and reliability.
    • Informatics and Algorithmics Foundations: Algorithms; artificial intelligence; bioinformatics; computational complexity; computational game theory; computer vision; computing education; constraint processing; data mining; databases; geoinformatics; machine learning; multiagent systems; simulation and modeling; and visualization.

    The School of Computing is home to advanced computing research infrastructure, including the Holland Computing Center, with over 121 trillion floating-point operations per second (121 TFlops) computation rate and over 7 petabytes of storage. Graduate students have access to state-of-the-art research facilities, including unmanned aerial vehicle testbeds, a city-wide gigabit wireless network testbed, advanced embedded systems facilities, and dedicated research labs.

    See the School of Computing for complete information.

    Program-Specific Admission Requirements

    • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 600, Internet TOEFL100, IELTS 7.0, Duolingo 120
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Statement of purpose, including research interests, objectives, and potential SoC faculty names.
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • GRE is not required

    Admission Deadlines

    For Financial Consideration: Apply by December 1 for Fall, by August 1 for Spring.

    Otherwise: March 1 for Fall, October 1 for Spring.


    Computer Science

    Graduate Chair

    Mehmet Can Vuran

    Support Staff

    Larita Lang

  3. Construction Engineering and Management
    • On Campus

    Degree programs in construction are offered at the two University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering sites, Lincoln's City Campus and the Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha.

    The Durham School's Construction Management Department (Lincoln) and Construction Systems Department (Omaha) are approximately 50 miles apart within the metropolitan area of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. Students on both campuses work closely with faculty and with professionals working in the field and industry. These graduate programs offer a unique blend of courses and graduate research in business, construction management, construction engineering, engineering, architecture, law, and related disciplines. The emphasis is on advanced studies in construction with application to a broad range of construction activities and applied research.

    See Construction Engineering and Management for complete information.

    Admission Requirements

    For full financial consideration, apply by January 15 for Summer or Fall, or by September 15 for Spring.
    • GRE
    • Resume/CV
    • Personal Statement:  In 1-2 pages, this statement should highlight academic and work-related history, state your short-term and long-term professional goals, describe personal strengths that will help you achieve those goals, and describe how this degree or certificate would help you achieve those goals.

    Graduate Chair

    Terry Stentz

    Support Staff

  4. Engineering Education Research
    • On Campus

    This is a research intensive program focused on students' development and demonstration of an ability to create knowledge through rigorous independent and collaborative research practices.

    Course List
    Course NumberCourse TitleCredit Hours
    ENGR 824 Unique Concerns of Engineering Education 3
    ENGR 833 STEM Teaching 3
    ENGR 834 Framing Engineering Education Research 3
    Total 9

    Admission Requirements

    For full funding consideration, apply for Fall by January 15.

    • Resume/CV
    • Personal Statement: Submit a statement of 750-1000 words that includes descriptions of each of the following: (1) Your interests in pursuing a PhD focused on engineering education research; (2) How such a degree will enable you to pursue your career goal; (3) Why this PhD program at UNL is a good fit for you; (4) Past evidence of your personal skills, attributes, and/or traits that will enable you to complete this UNL PhD degree.
    • Essay: Anchored Research Statement.  Select a research article that interests you from an American Society for Engineering Education's Annual Conference and Exposition published within the last 5 years. Use this article to complete the tasks below to prepare and submit a statement of 750-1000 words: (1) Provide a complete formatted citation for the article; (2) Briefly summarize the article in your own words, highlighting the research purpose; (3) Describe what you find interesting about the article; (4) Develop two questions for the author(s) that you have after reading this article and describe why you are interested in the response to these questions; (5) Describe how this article aligns with your own research interests.

    Graduate Chair

    Heidi Diefes-Dux

  5. Materials Engineering
    • On Campus

    The Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM) program provides a comprehensive graduate education at both the M.S. and Ph.D. levels supported by over 30 faculty and 140 graduate students working to solve a broad range of problems. The program boasts expertise in fundamental areas such as solids, fluids, heat transfer, dynamics, vibrations, materials, manufacturing, and design with applications from medical robotics to rehabilitation, magnetic levitation to energy applications, 3D printing to nano-machining, tissue engineering to advanced fibers for composites, materials characterization to nondestructive evaluation, and computational analysis and simulation to computational materials optimization.

    The faculty and students in the program work on a range of problems focusing frequently on a mix of experimental understanding and characterization, theoretical modeling and simulation, numerical analysis, and modeling and simulation. These activities are supported through a broad range of experimental facilities including laboratories for computational fluid and solid mechanics and thermodynamics; micro-mechanics, fabrication and combustion; robotics and mechatronics; rapid solidification; thin films; x-ray diffraction and electron microscopy; atomic force microscopy; biomaterial and mechanotranduction; tissue and arterial mechanics; nontraditional manufacturing; dynamics and vibrations; nondestructive evaluation and ultrasonics; organic and nano-electronics; polymer composites and advanced fibers; polymer mechanics and 3D printing; power systems; surface mechanics and tribology; trauma mechanics.

    Students entering the program with a B.S. degree can either enter an M.S. program or directly start a Ph.D. program, with the option of obtaining an M.S. on the way to completing their Ph.D. Students in the program at the M.S. level can also select from a broad range of specializations.

    See Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics for complete information.

    Admission Requirements

    • Entrance exam(s):
      • Domestic Applicants: None, unless the previous program is not ABET accredited then a GRE score is required.
      • International Applicants: GRE
      • Note: Department recommends a minimum GRE score of 305 with a quantitative score of 155.
    • Personal Statement: This statement of purpose should include your research interests and objectives.
    • Resume or CV
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Research Interest: Review current faculty and their areas of research.

    Support Staff

    Kathie Hiatt

Applying for Admission

Standard requirements for all graduate programs

  • Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
  • Transcripts (unofficial): Uploaded as part of application form.

    If International: Uploads must include all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certificates, diplomas, and degrees plus certified English translations.

    After admission: Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certified records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certified copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.

  • If applicant’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required.

    When sending TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

  • If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
  • Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.

Additional requirements specific to this program

See Specializations section above for program-specific details.

Admission Application Deadlines

For full financial consideration, students must apply by January 15 for Fall.

Support Staff

Kayla Person

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UNL Graduate Chairs and staff please complete the program update form to provide edits. Updates to graduate program pages are made on an annual basis in conjunction with the Graduate Application for Admission.