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    Jul 24, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Materials Science and Engineering with a concentration in Mechanical and Energy 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 semester credit hours allocated for the dissertation. 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, mechanical and energy 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 MEEN. Faculty with joint MTSE/MEEN appointments may serve as either the MTSE or MEEN advisor. A student’s graduate program will be constructed with the advice and consent of the two co-advisors within the framework described below.

Thesis committee

The thesis committee will consist of five members: two must be from MTSE and two must be from MEEN, including one each from MTSE and MEEN as co-advisors. The fifth member can be from either of these departments or another department if the co-advisors agree that is appropriate.


  1. A written qualifying examination consisting of a “general exam” that tests core MTSE concepts and a “specialty exam” in a mechanical or materials area, such as thermal/heat transfer, fluid mechanics and solid mechanics.
  2. After passing the written exam, students are required to complete and defend an original research proposal that, if executed, would lead to a PhD dissertation.
  3. Upon passing the written and oral examination by the examination committee, the applicant is admitted to candidacy.
  4. A comprehensive oral exam related to the area of specialization of the student (mechanical and energy engineering), not to be confused with the student’s PhD dissertation defense, is taken by doctoral candidates approximately one year after they have completed the oral and written qualifying exam.
  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, the approximate requirements follow.

Core courses, 12 hours

Must be selected from the following in consultation with the thesis/dissertation advisor.

Electives, 24 hours

Twenty-four credit hours may be chosen from materials science or mechanical and energy engineering fields, as approved by the major professor and the advisory committee. Example of mechanical and energy engineering electives include MEEN 5110 , MEEN 5410  and MEEN 5420 . Of the 24 elective hours, no more than 9 can be MEEN courses.

Individual research, 22 hours

Seminar in Materials Science and Engineering, 2 hours

Dissertation, 12 hours minimum

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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