Automotive Systems Engineering

The Automotive Systems Engineering degree program aims to achieve the following educational goals:

  1. Provide depth in the area of automotive systems engineering.
  2. Provide breadth across the engineering disciplines of electrical, industrial, mechanical, materials, and manufacturing engineering and provide this breadth from an engineering systems perspective.

A candidate for the Master of Science in Engineering in Automotive Systems Engineering must meet the requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree at this campus or the equivalent of these requirements. Undergraduate degrees must be from an accredited program, and for regular admission must be with an average of B or better. Each applicant should present complete, official transcripts of all prior college work.

The candidate must then complete at least 30 semester hours of graduate work approved by the program advisor/graduate advisory committee with a grade of at least a B covering all courses elected. No more than one B- will be allowed under any circumstances. Applicants who meet the general admission criteria but do not have adequate preparation in required areas of engineering would be asked to take appropriate undergraduate courses as a condition for full admission to the program. Such courses, when elected, will not count towards the degree requirements.

The automotive systems engineering degree program is made up of three components:

  1. Core courses of 12 credit hours.
  2. Concentration courses of 18 credit hours.

Core Courses

The core is intended to provide a unified graduate-level preparation in interdisciplinary topics that will allow students to elect courses in departmental, systems, or general concentrations. It consists of six credit hours of required courses and six credit hours of elective core courses based on the applicant’s background.

Required Core Courses
AENG 500Automobile: An Integrated Syst3
AENG 587Automotive Manuf Processes3
Elective Core Courses
Select from the following:6
Modeling of Automotive Systems
Intro to Embedded Systems
Vehicle Electronics I
Vehicle Ergonomics I
Automotive Powertrains I
Materials Sel in Auto Design
Fundamentals of Program Mgt
Project Management and Control
Managing Global Programs
Internal Combustion Engines I
Total Credit Hours12

Concentration Courses

The program offers several concentration areas to meet the needs of  individual students. The student may select the concentration based on his/her interest and background. The following concentrations are currently offered. Each student is required to take at least four courses (12 credit hours)  in the concentration area.

Select at least four courses from an area of concentration:12
Vehicle Electronics II
Energy Storage Systems
Intelligent Vehicle Systems
Auto Sensors and Actuators
Active Automotive Safety Sys
Elec Aspects of Hybrid Vehicle
Digital Control Systems
Digital Signal Processing
Adv Elec Drive Transportation
Industrial and Manufacturing:
Quan Meth in Quality Engin
Intelligent Manufacturing
Tot Qual Mgmt and Six Sigma
User Interface Des & Anlsis
Vehicle Package Engineering
Vehicle Ergonomics II
Auto Assembly Systems
Automotive Air Conditioning
Vehicle Dynamics
Acoustics and Noise Control
Automotive Powertrains II
Powertrain NVH of Elect Veh
Internal Combustion Engines II
Engine Emissions
Design of Automotive Chassis
FEM in Auto Structure Design
Vehicle Stability & Control
Vehicle Thermal Management
Energy Sys for Auto Vehicles
Anyls&Des for Veh Crshwrthnss
Lightweight Automotive Alloys
Design & Mfg: Ltwt Auto Mat
Design&Manufac for Environment
Adv Auto Mfg Processes
Injection Molding
Mechanical Behav of Materials
Mechanical Behavior of Polymer
Automotive Composites
Composite Materials
Degradation of Materials
With the approval of the advisor, a general concentration of twelve credit hours may be satisfied by selecting courses in more than one concentration
Total Credit Hours12

Students may elect AENG 698, a 3 credit hour or a 6-credit hour project, or AENG 699, a 6-credit hour master’s thesis, in lieu of equivalent credit hours of courses. This will require prior approval of a faculty advisor and the program director.

The Ph.D. program in Automotive Systems Engineering is designed to meet the need of engineers who intend to follow a career of technical specialists and serve as technical leaders, innovators and research mentors. It is a 50 credit hour postgraduate program and can be pursued either on a full-time or a part-time basis. The classes are held in the evenings for the convenience of working engineers. The areas of specialization available in the program include materials and materials processing, energy systems and thermal management, dynamics and controls, power electronics, vehicle design, manufacturing and systems integration, and vehicle informatics and communication.


The following are the minimum requirements for admission in the Ph.D. program.

  1. A bachelor's degree in engineering or computer science from an accredited program with an expected GPA of 3 or higher on a 4-point scale
  2. A master's degree in engineering or computer science from an accredited program with an expected GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4-point scale or 6.5 or higher on a 9-point scale
  3. GRE taken within 5 years prior to admission
  4. TOEFL for international students (minimum score of 84 in internet-based test)
  5. At least one advanced mathematics course at the master's level (If the student has not taken an advanced math course at the master's level, an appropriate math course will be recommended as a prerequisite. This course must be successfully completed within the first year of the program.)
  6. Three recommendation letters from faculty and/or employer (The recommendation letters must be on official letterhead and indicate the student's research potential.) Each recommender must also complete the Recommendation for Admission form.
  7. A Statement of Purpose describing academic and research background, career goals and educational objectives and research interest

Applications are accepted for Fall  term only.

Degree Requirements

A student must complete a minimum of 50 credit hours (beyond master’s) for graduation. Out of the 50 credit hours, 24 credit hours will be based on coursework (beyond  master’s) and 26 credit hours will be based on Ph.D. dissertation.  For good academic standing, the student must maintain a minimum 3.3 GPA.

Course Requirements

The course curriculum will consist of one required core course, four specialization courses, three elective courses, and a seminar course. Each student must submit a course plan with specified specialization area within one semester after starting the program. All Ph.D. courses must be 500 level and above. However, not all 500-level courses may be accepted in the Ph.D. program. Up to nine credit hours of courses from another university will be accepted as transfer credits; however, the Doctoral Program Council must approve the acceptance of transfer credits.

Core Course (3 credit hours)

The student must complete the core course titled “Modeling of Automotive Systems” in the Automotive Systems Engineering program.

Specialization Courses (12 credit hours)

Four courses must be selected in an area of specialization with prior approval from the director of the doctoral program.

Elective Courses (9 credit hours)

The student must take three elective courses, at least two of which must be from outside the student’s specialization area.

Seminar Course (0 credit hours)

The student must register for and participate in the seminar course each semester after attaining candidacy and until the completion of the dissertation. The seminar course will be of pass/fail type and will not carry any credits.

Qualifying Examination

The Qualifying Examination must be taken in one major area and two minor areas. The proposed three examination areas must be approved by the Doctoral Program Council. The major area will require both a written and an oral examination. The other two areas, designated as minor areas, will require only written examinations.

  1. The qualifying examination must be taken within 24 months after admission in the program. This will typically occur after finishing the core course, at least two specialization courses, and two courses outside the specialization area.
  2. The student must be in good academic standing at the time of the qualifying examination.
  3. The student must select three areas for the qualifying examination and declare one of the areas as the specialization area, typically the area of the student’s research. There will typically be two examiners in the major area (in the area of    student’s research). The other two areas will be minor areas (of the student’s choice, but approved by the Doctoral Program Council) and will have one examiner each.
  4. The major area will require both written and oral examinations. Examination in minor areas will be written only.
  5. The student will select the examination areas, which must then be approved by the Doctoral Program Council. The Doctoral Program Council will assign the examiners for each of the areas selected.
  6. The Doctoral Program Council will review and approve the examination results.
  7. A student failing the qualifying examination the first time will be allowed to take it again; however, if the student fails it the second time, he/she will be terminated from the program.

Preliminary Examination

Following  successful completion of the required coursework and the qualifying examination, the student is required to take a Preliminary Examination to test his/her knowledge of the research area. The Preliminary Examination will typically be an oral examination  administered by the dissertation committee following a presentation (in both written and oral forms) of the student’s dissertation proposal. A student is not permitted to take the Preliminary Examination before he/she passes the Qualifying Examination. The student must also be in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B+ or better) in order to be able to take the Preliminary Examination.

  1. The student must submit a written dissertation proposal (which will be prepared in consultation with the dissertation advisor) to the Doctoral Program Council at least 15 days and the dissertation committee at least 10 days in advance of open oral presentation in defense of the proposal.
  2. The Doctoral Program Council must approve the dissertation topic, the proposal outline, and the dissertation committee prior to the preliminary examination.
  3. The entire dissertation committee must be present during the preliminary examination and approve the dissertation proposal. The oral presentation will be open to other interested faculty and students.


A student will become a candidate for the Ph.D. degree after completing the required coursework with a minimum 3.3 GPA and after passing both qualifying and preliminary examinations. At this point, the student will be allowed to pursue the dissertation work.


Dissertation Committee

The dissertation committee will include a minimum of four faculty members. One of these members must be from outside the department of the dissertation faculty advisor. The faculty advisor will serve as the chair of the dissertation committee. Depending on the dissertation topic, other members, including a qualified industry member, may be added to the dissertation committee. The industry member’s curriculum vitae must be submitted to the Doctoral Program Council for approval.

All members of the dissertation committee are responsible for reading the dissertation and submitting their written evaluations on the dissertation to the Doctoral Program Council at least one week prior to the oral dissertation defense.

Dissertation and Dissertation Defense

The dissertation must include original research work of archival quality. The student must submit a written copy of the dissertation to the dissertation committee for review and approval at least a month before the oral defense. Conformity with format will be checked by the Office of the Graduate Board in the Provost’s office.  The work must be defended at a final oral examination open to other faculty, students, and interested public. The dissertation committee members must be present at the dissertation defense.

Other Requirements

While there will be no formal residency requirements for the part time students, it is expected that they will spend sufficient time on campus for conducting research, interacting with other graduate students, and fostering intellectual activities. All students in the Ph.D. program will be required to attend graduate seminars in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. After attaining candidacy, each Ph.D. student will be required to present at least one seminar per year on his/her research until the dissertation is completed. All Ph.D. students will be required to attend these research seminars. After attaining candidacy, each Ph.D. student must spend at least 12 hours per week on campus working on his/her research and discussing research issues with faculty and fellow students.

Additional Information

Additional information on Ph.D. programs can be found at:

ASE 798     Doctoral Seminar     0 Credit Hours

After attaining candidacy every Ph.D. student is required to attend and actively participate in seminars each semester until graduation. In addition, each Ph.D. student is required to present a one hour seminar about his/her research or an a pre assigned research topic, and lead a follow-up discussion on the future trends in his/her field.

Corequisite(s): ASE 990

Can enroll if Class is Doctorate
Can enroll if Level is Doctorate
Can enroll if College is Engineering and Computer Science
Can enroll if Major is Automotive Systems Engineering

ASE 990     Doctoral Dissertation     1 to 9 Credit Hours

Dissertation work by a Ph.D. student who has been admitted to the candidacy status. The student must be registered during the semester of the dissertation defense. (1 to 9 credit hours per semester)

Can enroll if Class is Doctorate
Can enroll if Level is Doctorate
Can enroll if College is Engineering and Computer Science
Can enroll if Major is Automotive Systems Engineering


Frequency of Offering

The following abbreviations are used to denote the frequency of offering: (F) fall term; (W) winter term; (S) summer term; (F, W) fall and winter terms; (YR) once a year; (AY) alternating years; (OC) offered occasionally