I am a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering and almost done with my thesis. My bachelors was in Physics. Although the initial research plan fit into mechanical engineering - vibrations, thanks to the freedom my supervisor gave me, I gradually moved into dynamical systems theory, complex systems and networks, computing, neural networks, optimization, etc. Looking at my thesis, it is a stretch to call myself a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. It would make more sense to obtain a Ph.D. in Physics or Applied Mathematics rather than mechanical engineering

Has anyone faced such a situation? Can I request the university for this? If yes, how would I go about this?

  • 1
    In which country are you doing your PhD?
    – Anyon
    Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 11:28
  • 1
    I am a scientist with a PhD in Medicine, because I studied in a Department of Medicine in a School of Medicine. I can’t tell mumps from measles, and never get asked to. No one cares about the label on your framed degree certificate. They care about what you have published and what skills you have. Don’t give it a second thought. In your CV, describe the topic of your thesis, and what kind of specialist you regard yourself as. Your department is just a line in the section listing your previous affiliations and educational achievements. Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


Talk to your supervisor. This probably differs from country to country (maybe federal state to federal state) and university to university.

However my experience is that people either want to know if I have a PhD or not, or, if they need more details, then they want to know the topic of my dissertation. The intermediate level of the discipline has never come up. So I would not worry too much about it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .