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    Dec 05, 2022  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Materials Science and Engineering with a concentration in Biomedical Engineering, PhD

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The Doctor of Philosophy degree represents the attainment of a high level of scholarship and achievement in independent research that culminates in the completion of a dissertation of original scientific merit. Hence, it cannot be prescribed in terms of a fixed semester credit hour requirement.

Generally, the degree consists of 72 semester credit hours beyond a bachelor’s degree and 42 hours beyond the master’s degree, with 12 and 9 semester credit hours allocated for the dissertation, respectively. It is expected that the candidate will have published at least two original research articles in refereed journals prior to graduation.

Admission to the doctoral program

Departmental admission to doctoral candidacy in materials science requires a satisfactory score on the written and oral sections of the qualifying examination (see Examinations section below). Contact the Toulouse Graduate School or the program for current admission requirements, or see information posted on the graduate school web site at

Approximately a year after the candidate is admitted to candidacy, the student is examined on the chosen area of specialization, in this case, biomedical engineering (see Examinations section below for details). Enrollment in MTSE 6950 is not allowed until the student has been admitted to candidacy and has successfully passed the examination on the chosen specialization.


A student in this program will have two co-advisors; one from MTSE and one from BMEN. Faculty with joint MTSE/BMEN appointments may serve as either the MTSE or BMEN advisor. A student’s graduate program will be constructed with the advice and consent of the two co-advisors within the framework described below.

Dissertation committee

The dissertation committee will consist of five members: two must be from MTSE and two must be from BMEN, including one each from MTSE and BMEN as co-advisors. The committee should be made up with a majority of MTSE or MTSE majority joint appointment faculty.


  1. A written qualifying examination is taken after completion of the core curriculum courses and consists of two sections: section one is on the general knowledge of material science and engineering based on the book by Callister (Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering); section two is a specialty exam on one of the following areas: metals and intermetallics; ceramics/composites; electrical/optical materials; polymers; biomaterials; tissue engineering.
  2. After passing the written exams, students are will propose and defend a topic that is expected to lead to their PhD dissertation. The topic must therefore be approved by the PhD advisor.
  3. Upon passing the written and oral examination by the examination committee, the applicant is admitted to candidacy.
  4. A pre-dissertation presentation must be conducted between 6 and 12 months prior to final dissertation defense. This presentation is to the PhD committee members only. Committee members will identify weaknesses and shortcomings in the research and will make specific, actionable recommendations to strengthen the dissertation. It is expected that all recommendations would have been implemented by the student at the time of final dissertation defense. 
  5. Details of the examination schedule, expectations and criteria for successful completion are available in the Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Student Handbook available in the department office and posted to the department web site.

Final examination

This oral examination is primarily a defense of the dissertation, which must be submitted in final form to the final examination committee at least seven days prior to the scheduled oral examination.

Course work

For the student who has a BS degree, and for the student who has a MS degree, the approximate requirements follow:

Electives, 24 hours

For students with a BS degree, a minimum of 12 credit hours may be chosen from biomedical engineering, and further 12 credits hours from materials science or biomedical engineering fields, as approved by the major professor and the advisory committee. For students with an MS degree, a minimum of 9 credit hours may be chosen from biomedical engineering. Examples of biomedical engineering electives include:

Individual research, 10-22 hours

Students entering with a BS degree will take 22 credit hours of individual research; students entering with an MS degree will take 10 hours of individual research.

Additional course work may be taken in lieu of individual research hours.

Seminar in Materials Science and Engineering, 2 hours

Dissertation, 9-12 hours minimum

Students entering with a BS will take a minimum of 12 hours of dissertation; students entering with an MS with take a minimum of 9 hours of dissertation.

Seminar in current topics in materials science and engineering

All doctoral students are expected to attend MTSE 5700  during each term/semester of full-time graduate study. A seminar based on the student’s dissertation research must be given during the regularly scheduled class time prior to and in addition to the formal defense of the dissertation.

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