Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Knizley, Alta

Committee Member

Liu, Yucheng

Committee Member

Mohammadi-Aragh, Mahnas J

Committee Member

Turner, John

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Mechanical Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical Engineering


Students who graduate with an advanced degree in mechanical engineering are a diverse group in their path to post-baccalaureate degree attainment. Some students choose to obtain their master’s or Ph.D. post bachelors, but before they enter the workplace. Others enter the workforce and return as full-time students or progress on their advanced degrees while maintaining part- or full-time employment. Current accreditation standards for undergraduate degree programs are part of a changing landscape of standards and professional requirements that have adapted and continue to adapt as programs prepare students to work in professional engineering fields. Advanced degrees do not have the same set of standards as accredited undergraduate programs that are modified and examined for continuous improvement of the preparation of students for professional and academic careers. Without this overall agreement, what are advanced degree programs offering students and what skills should the programs be addressing the most? This research develops an understand of what the technical, professional, and academic requirements are expected for students seeking employment or continuing to advance in their chosen careers.