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Materials Science Ph.D.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree


The Materials Science Ph.D. leads to a degree in five years. Students must engage in research and defend a dissertation. Successful completion of a comprehensive exam within the first two years of the program is required.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

An accredited master's degree (or equivalent) in physics, chemistry, metallurgy, engineering, mathematics, or materials science.

Minimum Degree Requirements

In addition to the above, the following are required:

  • A minimum of seventy-five graduate credits including a minimum of twenty in dissertation research. An overall grade point average in graduate courses of 3.25 or better
  • Completion of at least one three-credit course in each of the following five categories:
  • Solid state theory
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Applied mathematics
  • Thermodynamics and kinetics
  • Materials properties of solids
  • Satisfactory completion of a Ph.D. dissertation including its defense at an oral examination

Comprehensive Examination

Full-time Materials Science Ph.D. candidates are required to pass a written Comprehensive (Qualifying) Exam with a score of 50% or better, no later than four semesters after joining the program. Failure to pass the test will result in dismissal from the program. The deadline for part-time students is the semester they complete 24 credits.  All students (full and part-time) are allowed a maximum of two attempts to pass the exam. Offered annually, the three-hour exam requires students to solve a minimum of four problems that cover the following topics: quantum mechanics, mathematical physics, mechanical behavior of materials, thermal physics, solid state physics, advanced inorganic chemistry or equivalent core course requirements.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Successful completion of a comprehensive examination in Materials Science.