Master of Science Degree
The master of science degree is designed to introduce the student to research at the graduate level. Conferment of a Master of Science degree requires successful completion of 24 semester hours of graduate level courses and completion, including the four core courses, and approval of a written thesis. The research described in the thesis will be directed by a faculty advisor on one of the research projects in the department. Up to six (6) semester hours of transfer credit for graduate courses completed at another university may be included in the course of study. At least one semester of residency at the University is required for the master of science degree. The program may be completed in one year in exceptional cases; most students complete this program within 1 1/2 to 2 years.
Master of Materials Science and Engineering
The master of materials science degree is a professional, non-research program intended to enhance a bachelor's degree in engineering by providing deeper understanding of materials science topics. Students admitted to the master of materials science program may take courses broadcast to remote locations or attend classes on-grounds. Sufficient courses for completion of the master of materials science degree are offered at remote locations through the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP) . However, courses of a specialized nature may be broadcast infrequently, and some students may desire to commute to the University to take such courses when they are offered in a normal classroom.
Conferment of the Master of Materials Science degree requires successful completion of 30 semester hours of graduate level courses, including the four core courses, at least 18 semester hours of which must be courses within the materials science department. Up to 12 semester hours of transfer credit for graduate courses completed at another university may be included in the course of study. An additional three transfer credits from another participating cooperative graduate engineering education institution may be included for those pursuing the degree through the CGEP. There is no residency requirement for this degree. The time required to complete the degree varies, depending to some extent on the schedule of classes broadcast to remote locations and whether the degree is pursued on-grounds or through the CGEP.
Doctor of Philosophy
The doctor of philosophy degree program is designed to develop the student's capability to conduct independent original research. The doctoral student works in close collaboration with one or more faculty advisors. Selection of the research advisor is normally arrived at by mutual consent of the student and the advisor, after the student has had an opportunity to discuss research programs with the faculty. At least one year of residency at the University is required for the Ph.D. degree.
The program of formal courses required for the Ph.D. degree consists of a minimum of 38 semester hours of graduate course work beyond the B.S., which must include the four core courses and two semesters of graduate seminar (1 credit each). In addition to the core courses, twelve additional semester hours of MSE courses must be taken, six of which must be at the advanced 7XX level. Remaining courses may be selected from graduate-level courses in other engineering and science disciplines. Transfer of course credit from other universities may be included in the course of study. Students entering with a M.S. degree must demonstrate mastery of the material covered in the four core courses and are required to take 12 semester hours of course work, at least six hours of which must be at the 7XX-level in MSE.
In the third or fourth semester of Ph.D. study, students are required to take the Ph.D. comprehensive examination. This examination consists of written and oral components which are designed to test synthesis of core material, research practice, ability for self-learning necessary for conducting research, and understanding of the MSE knowledge base as presented in formal course work.
After successful completion of the formal course work and the comprehensive examination, the student prepares a written document for an original, independent research program. The proposed dissertation work consists of a literature survey and the rationale for the proposed work, research progress to-date, a plan for future research, expected accomplishments, and a time-line to completion. This proposal is then presented publicly and is evaluated by the student's thesis committee. After all research has been completed, the dissertation is defended publicly.
MSE Core courses:
All M.S., M.M.S.E., and Ph.D. students are required to take the following four core courses. Students are urged to complete the core courses as early as possible in their studies. Upper-level courses and some 6XX-level courses require one or more or these core courses as prerequisites. Syllabi for the core courses appear below.
MSE601 Electronic and Crystal Structure of Materials (3 credits, Fall semester)
MSE602 Defects and Microstructure in Materials (3 credits, Spring semester)
MSE623 Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria of Materials (3 credits, Fall semester)
MSE624 Kinetics of Transport and Transformation in Materials (3 credits, Spring semester)