Doctor of Philosophy in Material Science and Engineering

Designed to prepare engineers to enter careers in industry, government, or academia, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) emphasizes the creation and discovery of new knowledge through extensive independent research, including the formulation of hypotheses, the interpretation of phenomena revealed by research, and the extraction of general principles upon which predictions can be made. An important part of this process is presenting and defending the results.

Each Doctoral student's research is guided by a faculty advisor and a dissertation committee with incorporated milestones allowing graduation within five years. The milestones and expectations for doctoral students are as follows: Identify Faculty/Research Advisor (1st Semester), Qualifying Exam (3rd Semester), Establish Committee (4th Semester), Submit Degree Plan (5th Semester), Proposal and Preliminary Exam (6th Semester), and Final Defense (4th or 5th year). A custom coursework plan is created for each student based on their goals, interests, and current expertise and knowledge to best prepare them for their desired career path.

The final basis for granting the degree shall be the candidate’s grasp of the subject matter of a broad field of study and a demonstrated ability to do independent research. In addition, the candidate must have acquired the ability to express thoughts clearly and forcefully in both oral and written language. The degree is not granted solely for the completion of coursework, residence and technical requirements, although these must be met.

Steps to Fulfill a Doctoral Program