Materials Science PhD

Materials Science and Engineering

PhD Degree Information

View the Materials Science Ph.D. Program catalog information.
View the Graduate School catalog information.

Montana Technological University participates in the Materials Science Ph.D. program with The University of Montana and Montana State University. The collaborative program pools the resources of three campuses, including multiple departments, faculty, courses, and research infrastructure. Core courses are coordinated and shared by the three campuses, to give the advantage of online instruction.

metal pouringStudents in the PhD program for materials science obtain a broad and strong understanding of the theory, experimental techniques, current challenges, and socioeconomic impacts of materials science and engineering. They learn how materials derive their properties from the atomic to the macroscopic level and become familiar with the growing set of materials fabrication, assembly, processing and characterization tools and techniques. Through dissertation research, students demonstrate their abilities to conceive, conduct, analyze, and communicate original and creative research. Program requirements include the coursework, qualifying exam, candidacy exam, and dissertation.

Full-time students are expected to complete the 20-credit core curriculum and pass the qualifying examination in their first year. Each student must also earn at least 12 credits of electives within or related to the chosen specialty.

Up to 24 semester-credits from a master’s degree may be accepted toward the minimum degree requirements. These credits must be applicable to the materials science curriculum, and their acceptance is subject to review. To ensure that students benefit from the collaborative, three-campus nature of the program, at least 9 credits must be earned from courses offered away from the home campus. No more than 9 credits may be from 400-level courses.

To be eligible for admission to the Ph.D. program, the student must have earned a B.S. degree or equivalent in materials science, materials engineering, physics, chemistry, metallurgy, or a related science or engineering field. The student’s academic record must provide evidence of a strong background in the fundamentals of science and/or engineering principles. A student with such a background who has not passed certain undergraduate courses that are prerequisites for their required or elective graduate courses must remedy this gap as expeditiously as possible, either by taking the prerequisite undergraduate course or through independent study and “credit by examination.”

Admissions Information for the Materials Science and Engineering PhD Program

Students with a bachelor’s degree (minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA) or a master’s degree in a STEM discipline are encouraged to apply.

To be eligible for admission to the Ph.D. program here at Montana Tech, the student must have earned a B.S. degree or equivalent in materials science, materials engineering, physics, chemistry, metallurgy, or a related science or engineering field. The student’s academic record must provide evidence of a strong background in the fundamentals of science and/or engineering principles. A student with such a background who has not passed certain undergraduate courses that are prerequisites for their required or elective graduate courses must remedy this gap as expeditiously as possible, either by taking the prerequisite undergraduate course or through independent study and credit by examination.

Students in the Masters of Materials Science and Engineering Program who wish to enter the Materials Science Ph.D. program must apply to and be admitted to the Ph.D. program as the transition is not automatic.

The MTSI Ph.D. program generally accepts new students only for the Fall Semester. Applicants should plan to submit a complete application package by January 1. Late applications may receive consideration in the event that funded graduate research assistantships are or become available prior to the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester.

The application must include an officially verified Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. GRE scores of 158 quantitative, 158 verbal, and 4.0 analytical are representative of students previously accepted for the program.

The minimum acceptable scores for international students are 90 for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and 7.0 for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). International students with an earned bachelor’s or master’s degree from an ABET-accredited U.S. college or university are not subject to this requirement.

Admitted students receive a tuition waiver and a $26,400 per calendar year stipend. Upon entering the program, students will either be assigned a Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) or a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA). GRAs are reserved for students who are engaged in funded graduate level research. In the event that no funded research opportunities exist, the student will be assigned a GTA and assigned to serve one of our science or engineering departments. Such students are expected to transition to a GRA no later than the start of their second year.

Dissertation and Thesis Archive

The complete Ph.D. dissertations and M.S. theses are available at the Montana Tech Digital Commons.