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Graduate Studies

The graduate program has two major aims:
  • Provide an education which encompasses both the breadth and depth of the most recent knowledge base in the Materials Engineering field in a format suitable for individuals seeking careers in education and/or industry.
  • Provide students with research training through thesis research at the MS and PhD levels.
In order to assist you in this process, please read the following documents.

Ph.D. Timeline

Starting a graduate program can be intimidating, especially if you're not familiar with the applicable university guidelines. Below are the significant milestones that must be adhered to by all Ph.D. degree candidates. Some forms are only applicable to MSE graduate students, while others are University requirements).

Before you arrive...

When you are assigned a desk...

By the end of your first quarter...

By the end of your second quarter...

By the end of your sixth quarter...

  • (3 Weeks Prior to Grad Candidacy Exam) Ph.D. Candidacy Committee Appointment & Exam Schedule (previously D-3) must be completed and filed with the Office of Graduate Studies
  • (3 Weeks Prior to Grad Candidacy Exam)
    Students must submit a title and abstract (300 words or less) and a list of the Candidacy Examination Committee members to the MSE Graduate Program Chair (Dr. Caroline Schauer) via email, CC'd to the appropriate office staff member (Keiko Nakazawa), for review and approval
  • Complete your Graduate Candidacy Exam

    The Exam is designed to improve and assess the communication skills and the analytical abilities of the student. The seminar period should be 45 minutes presentation, followed by a question session. Questions should be designed to evaluate the depth and breadth of the student’s knowledge about the subject matter. After the seminar session, the committee should fill out the Candidacy Examination Forms (Form D-4 and Form D4-A) and give its recommendation to the student in private. There are three possible outcomes of the exam: Pass (entry into PhD program), Marginal (entry into MS program), and Fail (not accepted into graduate studies program).

By the end of your second year...

  • (4 Weeks Prior to Grad Proposal) Dissertation Proposal Registration Form must be completed and returned to the Graduate Advisor.
  • (2 Weeks Prior to Grad Proposal) All required forms and proposal documents must be sent electronically to the Thesis Committee members, and send abstract to the appropriate office staff member (Keiko Nakazawa)
  • You must complete your Gradate Proposal, and have the Dissertation Proposal Evaluation Form completed by the members of your committee.

6 Months Prior to Defense...

4 Weeks Prior to Defense


Just three more forms and you're done!
  • (Within 48 hours ater completion of the final oral exam) The Report of the Final Oral Defense Committee (D-7) must be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies
  • The Thesis Approval Form should be printed on 100% cotton paper, completed, and submitted to be bound with your thesis
  • The Completion Form finalizes the process of completing all requirements for the doctoral degree. The supervising professor and graduate adviser must sign this form along with the Library and Office of Graduate Studies. It is the final form to be submitted for degree completion and students are not officially finished their degree until is has been filed.

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Last updated Thursday, March 14, 2013