Graduate Education: Materials Engineering and Science

The doctor of philosophy program in materials engineering and science (MES) offers a student the opportunity to expand his/her knowledge and understanding of the science and technology of materials production, behavior, and applications. The student will undertake multidisciplinary approaches, combining the basic elements of both engineering and science, to the solution of materials-related problems. Because such problems are found in every science and engineering discipline, the degree applicant has considerable flexibility in the selection of the department in which to pursue dissertation research, within the confines of the applicant‘s academic preparation and interests. Candidates will study either a science or engineering emphasis within the MES Ph.D. program. For example, research emphasis may be placed on improving processes for the production of metallic, polymeric, ceramic, or other structural or electronic materials. Alternatively, the degree candidate may investigate mechanisms for improving material properties, which in turn, could lead to new or better applications. Classroom and individualized instruction will provide the necessary theory to complement such creative activities.

Example areas of specialization include but are not limited to

  • Cold Spray Processing
  • Computational Modeling
  • Corrosion Inhibition
  • Development of Multiphase Materials
  • Direct Write Technology
  • Fiber Reinforced Composites
  • Friction Stir Welding
  • Geotechnology
  • Hydro Metallurgical Extraction
  • Magnetic Nanocomposites
  • Nanoscale Electronic Materials
  • Polymer Matrix Composites
  • Polymer Synthesis
  • Security Printing
  • Semiconductor Materials and Devices
  • Strengthening Mechanisms
  • Surface Chemistry of Flotation
  • Thermophysical Properties
  • Thin Films

The program is administered directly by the Dean of Graduate Education and sponsored programs, with the head of the MES Ph.D. advisory council serving as program coordinator. The advisory council currently comprises faculty members from the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, and the Departments of Physics, and Chemistry.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE), three letters of recommendation, and a GPA of 3.00 or better are required of all applicants for the MES Ph.D. program. The TOEFL exam is required for students whose native language is not English.

All candidates for the MES Ph.D. program are required to successfully complete the following minimum credits and earn a grade of “C” or better, except for a final grade of “S” in MES 898:

Category Credits
Analytical Mathematics 3
Numerical Mathematics 3
Program Major Emphasis (Engineering or Science)    44-54
Dissertation Research 20-30
Total beyond the B.S. degree 80


General Program Requirements are available at the SDSM&T Catalog.