Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

The Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (Ph.D. in Engineering) degree is awarded to candidates who successfully complete the taught courses and research components of the program. The students are required to complete a program of advanced courses in engineering. They are also required to carry out an independent investigation of a specialized area in engineering. Candidates for this degree are supervised by experienced researchers and are expected to demonstrate initiative in their approach and innovation in their work. The Ph.D. Candidates prepare and present a thesis in their chosen area. Research may be undertaken in a variety of topics corresponding to the areas of focus identified by the University.

A candidate applying to the program may opt to apply for a Ph.D. in Engineering with concentration/specializations in one of the engineering areas listed below or for an interdisciplinary/ multidisciplinary Ph.D. in Engineering (i.e., with no one specialization):

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Engineering Systems and Management
  • Material Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Robotics

The title of the degree and the selected concentration will be specified on the diploma (certificate) and academic record (transcript) of the students who opt for a particular specialization. However, for students who prefer to pursue an interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary form of research, which is highly encouraged as it allows them to expand the boundaries of their research across multiple fields, only the title of the degree will be stated on the diploma and transcript of the student.


Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) are broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that graduates are expected to attain within a few years of graduation. The Ph.D. in engineering program aims to produce graduates with the disciplinary preparation and ability to:

  1. Synthesize scientific and technical engineering knowledge to identify, formulate and solve research challenges, and effectively disseminate the results to a variety of audiences.
  2. Work across multiple disciplines and develop their individual academic, professional and career focus.
  3. Keep abreast of the latest advances in science and engineering that contribute to the advancement of knowledge for the benefit of society.

Student learning outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are comprehensive, broad statements pertinent to the knowledge, skills, and aspects of competence that a learner is expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation. Students graduating with a Ph.D. in Engineering will have the ability to:

  1. Demonstrate appropriate breadth and depth of knowledge that is at the frontier of their disciplines and areas of specialization.
  2. Conduct and defend original independent research that results in significant contributions to knowledge in the field and leads to publishable quality scholarly articles.
  3. Understand and value diverse methodologies and techniques for solving critical problems in research.
  4. Verify, justify and evaluate the various aspects of the solution to a complex engineering problem.
  5. Communicate effectively and professionally, in written and oral forms, the major tenets of their field and their work to a variety of audiences.
  6. Demonstrate a commitment to ethical behavior in research and professional activities.
  7. Contribute effectively in multidisciplinary collaborative environments.


Structure and requirements

The Ph.D. in Engineering degree program consists of two main components:

  • Taught Courses Component: the student is required to complete a program of advanced study.  This consists of a minimum of 24 credit hours (8 courses of 3 credit hours each).
  • Research Component: the student is required to carry out an independent investigation in a particular area of engineering.  This consists of a minimum of 36 credit hours.

For the award of the Ph.D. in Engineering degree, the student must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Courses: The student must satisfy the taught course requirement of the program, which consists of a minimum of 24 credit hours that must be passed with a minimum CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) of 3.00 out of 4. This also includes two zero-credit Ph.D. Research Seminar courses.
  2. Written Qualifying Exam (WQE): The technical background of the student will be assessed by a written qualifying exam, which is administered no later than the end of the 2nd regular semester after a full-time student admission into the Ph.D. program, and before the end of the 4th semester in the case of a part-time student.
  3. Research Proposal Examination (RPE): In addition to satisfying the taught courses and WQE requirements of the program, the student is required to prepare and submit a research proposal and to pass the oral RPE before being allowed to progress further in the program. This oral exam should be completed before the end of the 4th semester for full-time students and before the end of the 6th semester for part-time students.
  4. Dissertation:  The student who passes the Research Proposal Examination must then complete a dissertation on original research and defend it successfully in a viva voce Dissertation Defense examination.

Admission requirements

  • Completion of a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline with a minimum CGPA of 3.25 out of 4.0, or equivalent (e.g. upper second-class honors in UK-style Master by taught courses with a minimum average of 63% or a Pass in a Master by Research/MPhil) from a reputable accredited institution.
  • A minimum level of English proficiency in the form of either:
    • iBT TOEFL (internet-based test) score of 91 or equivalent, or
    • overall academic IELTS score of 6.5, or
    • 1550 EmSAT English score.
  • A minimum quantitative score of 150 in the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for admission to all Doctorate programs. Applicants for all programs should attempt all three sections of the GRE.
  • A minimum of two referee recommendations (provided via online form).
  • Statement of purpose (500-1,000 words).
  • Research statement (500-1,000 words).
  • Admission interview.
Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

The internationally top-ranked Khalifa University is the one university in the UAE with the research and academic programs that address the entire range of strategic, scientific and industrial challen ... Read More

The internationally top-ranked Khalifa University is the one university in the UAE with the research and academic programs that address the entire range of strategic, scientific and industrial challenges facing the UAE’s knowledge economy transformation and our rapidly evolving world. Its world-class faculty and state-of-the-art research facilities provide an unparalleled learning experience to students from the UAE and abroad. The university brings together the best in science, engineering and medicine in the UAE, to offer specialized degrees that can take promising high school graduates all the way to top-rated doctorate degree holders. Read less