Materials Science PhD

Materials Science and Engineering

Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.) in Materials Science

Montana Tech 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, taking advantage of on-line instructional technologies.

metal pouringStudents obtain an exceptionally 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. The timing of these requirements is summarized in the following table.


Full-time students are expected to complete the 20-credit core curriculum and pass the qualifying examination in their first year. In addition to the core curriculum, each student must 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, but these credits must be applicable to the Materials Science curriculum, and their acceptance is subject to the review and approval of the student’s committee and the Program’s Leadership Council. 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.”