Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements


For admission to the doctor of philosophy (PhD) program, a student must have a master's degree in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, mechatronics engineering or a related field, have submitted evidence of capability to undertake substantial original research. See graduate general regulation 1.3 for other PhD program admission requirements.


Residence Requirement

Students will conform to the residence requirements stipulated in graduate general regulation 1.7.

Course Requirements

The minimum course requirements are as follows:

  • MSE 801 (or ENSC 803)
  • Two graduate MSE courses (not directed studies)
  • Two graduate technical courses (at most one course may be directed studies MSE 891/892)

Students may take additional courses to correct any deficiencies in their background upon approval of their senior supervisors.

Transfer from the Master's Program to the PhD Program

Proceeding to a Ph.D. program without completing a Master's degree is discouraged. However, a student may be admitted when all of the following conditions have been met:

  • The application for a transfer is submitted within the first six terms of the MASc program at SFU
  • All the MASc coursework requirements have been completed with a CGPA of 3.67/4.33 or better
  • A recommendation by the senior supervisor indicates demonstrated potential for outstanding research
  • The student's supervisory committee and the graduate program committee approve

Once transferred into the Ph.D. program, the additional course requirements are as follows:

  • MSE 801 (or ENSC 803)
  • Two graduate MSE courses (at most one directed studies course can be taken during the combined Master's/Ph.D. period)

Previous Credit

If the subject matter of a listed course has been previously completed with graduate credit, the course may not be completed again for credit.

Qualifying Examination

To qualify the student will submit a brief written research proposal and defend it orally to his/her supervisory committee within the first 24 months of admission. The proposal's defence will be judged according to the feasibility and scientific merits of the proposed research, and demonstration of a sophisticated understanding of general material in the student's major area of research. This level of understanding is associated with senior undergraduate and first year graduate course material.

The possible outcomes of the qualifying examination are 'pass,' 'marginal' and 'fail.'A student with 'marginal' will be required to resubmit the research proposal and defend it for the second and final time within six months and/or to complete more courses. A 'failing' grade requires withdrawal.


Students define and undertake original research, the results of which are reported in a thesis. An examining committee is formed as defined in graduate general regulation 1.9.3. Students conform to residence requirements (see graduate general regulation 1.7.3). The senior supervisor will be Mechatronic Systems Engineering faculty approved by the graduate program committee.

The student's progress will be reviewed every 12 months by a supervisory committee of three or more faculty members. At each annual review, the student presents a summary of his/her work to date, with the second review normally being the research proposal defence described in the section for Qualifying Examination (see above). Students not making satisfactory progress in their research topics, or failing to demonstrate satisfactory knowledge and understanding of recent publications in their general area of research, or failing to have their revised research proposal approved by the supervisory committee within 24 months of admission, may be required to withdraw as per section 1.8.2 Review of Unsatisfactory Progress of the graduate general regulations.

Optional Industrial Internship

Students in the PhD program may complete an optional internship course of paid practical experience in an appropriate industrial setting to complement their academic studies. The internship will appear on the student's transcript, but does not count towards the student's CGPA and course requirements for the degree. Students require a pre-approval from both their supervisor and the graduate program chair in order to apply for the internship.    For more information about the optional industrial internship,  plese check this link:

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the graduate general regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled, as listed above.