Graduate Education: Materials Engineering and Science

Materials Engineering and Science M.S.

This interdisciplinary degree program works in concert with other colleges and the Ph.D. in materials engineering and science (Ph.D./MES).

The M.S./MES degree offers an education in the broad area of materials. Students pursuing this degree will expand their knowledge and understanding of the science and technology of materials synthesis, behavior, and production. Graduates of the program formulate solutions to materials problems through the use of multi-disciplinary approaches made possible with a broad background in basic materials science and engineering coupled with an area of specialization.

Two options are available in this degree program: one option involves a thesis component and the other option involves coursework only. In the thesis option, 24 hours of coursework and a minimum 6 credit hours of thesis research are required. With the second option, 32 hours of coursework must be taken. In the latter option however, the students are required to undertake a project under the supervision of a faculty member. Because students graduating with this degree are expected to have a broad-based fundamental knowledge in both materials engineering and materials science, every student is required to take the following core courses.

The Materials Engineering and Science (MES) program has an accelerated BS/MS degree option that will enable a student to complete both the B.S. and M.S. degrees in as little as 5 years.  The accelerated B.S./M.S. program is highly selective, for which students must apply for admission.  Students interested in the accelerated program are strongly encouraged to apply at the end of their junior year.  A minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the time the student applies to the program is required.  The MES program may grant exceptions to the GPA requirement under situations approved by the Dean of Graduate Education.  Up to 12 credits of 400/500/600 credits applied toward the B.S. program may also be used to satisfy graduate credit requirements. Dual-counted courses must be taken at the 400/500/600 level as an undergraduate. Only courses taken at SD Mines are eligible for dual credit. No transferred courses will be allowed to count toward the accelerated master’s degree.

Students applying to the MES accelerated B.S./M.S. program must fill out an accelerated B.S./M.S. Advising Plan and find an interim advisor or major professor prior to admission to the B.S./M.S. program. The accelerated B.S./M.S. Advising Plan can be revised at any time, with the concurrence of the interim advisor or major professor and the MES program coordinator. Please contact the program coordinator (Dr. Jon Kellar) for further information.

Materials Engineering and Science Ph.D

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
  • Hydrometallurgical 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.