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Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science Engineering

The University's basic requirements for the Ph.D. degree are outlined in the "Graduate Degrees"section of this bulletin.

Degree requirements for the department are as follows:

  1. Students must submit a Ph.D. program plan consisting of at least 135 units,* which contains a minimum of 48 core, approved technical and seminar units.† For these 48 units:
    1. 30 units Materials Science and Engineering required core courses (MATSCI 201**, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210) must be taken, with at least six core courses (including MATSCI 203, 204, 207) during the first year
    2. 15 elective graduate technical units directly relevant to Materials Science and Engineering must be taken (units not to include MATSCI 300, Ph.D Research, MATSCI 400, Participation in Materials Science Teaching, or MATSCI 299, Practical Training)
    3. all core and technical classes must be for a letter grade
    4. first-year Ph.D. students are required to take the Materials Science Colloquium, MATSCI 230 (1 unit), each quarter of their first year (not counted as technical course units). Please note that attendance is required, roll is taken, and that more than two absences results in an automatic 'NP' grade.
  2. The remaining 87 units are to be at least 75 units of MATSCI 300, Ph.D. research, and up to 12 units of other courses (may include MATSCI 400, Participation in Materials Science Teaching, and a maximum 3 units of MATSCI 299, Practical Training).
  3. Students must consult with their Academic Adviser on program planning. The program planning sheet must be submitted with the approval of the student's Dissertation Adviser on joining that research group, and no later than the end of spring quarter of the the first year. For students with a non-MATSCI Dissertation Adviser, the MATSCI Academic Adviser must also approve the list of proposed courses. Any proposed deviations from the requirements can only be considered by petition.
  4. Ph.D. students are required to obtain an M.S. degree in Materials Science normally by the end of their third year. A Graduate Program Authorization Petition and a M.S. Program Proposal must be submitted prior to taking the qualifying examination. Courses taken for the 48 core and technical units of Ph.D. work may count towards the M.S. degree requirements.
  5. A departmental oral qualifying examination must be passed by the end of January of the second year. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 from the six core classes taken is required for admission to the Ph.D. qualifying exam. Students who have passed the Ph.D. Qualifying exam are required to complete the Application for Candidacy for the Ph.D. degree by the end of the quarter in which they pass the exam. Final changes in the Application for Candidacy form must be submitted no later than one academic quarter prior to degree conferral.
  6. Maintain a GPA of 3.0 in all degree courses taken at Stanford.
  7. Students must present the results of the dissertation at the University Ph.D. oral examination.
  8. Current students subject to either this set of requirements or a prior set must obtain the approval of their adviser before filing a revised program sheet, and should as far as possible adhere to the intent of the new requirements.
  9. Students may reference the list of Advanced Speciality Courses and Cognate Courses provided below as guidance for their selection of technical units. As noted above, Academic Adviser approval is required.

* At least 90 units must be taken in residence at Stanford. Students entering with an M.S. degree in Materials Science from another university may request to transfer up to 45 units of equivalent work toward the total of 135 required units.

† Students may, if they have sufficient background, petition out of some of the required core courses. To petition, students must have prior consent from their academic adviser, and consent from the instructor of the core course. That instructor provides an oral or written examination that the petitioning student must pass.

** EE 222/223 is accepted in place of this requirement.


Biomaterials—APPPHYS 292; BIOPHYS 228; CHEMENG 260, 310, 355; ME 284A,B, 381, 385, 457; MATSCI 380, 381, 382

Electronic Materials Processing—EE 212, 216, 311, 316, 410; MATSCI 312

Materials Characterization—APPPHYS 216, CHEMENG 345; EE 329; MATSCI 320, 321, 322, 323, 325, 326

Mechanical Behavior of Solids—AA 252, 256; MATSCI 251, 353, 358; ME 335A,B,C, 340, 340A,B, 345

Physics of Solids and Computation—APPPHYS 272, 273; EE 222, 223, 228, 327, 328, 329, 335; MATSCI 331,343, 347; ME 344A,B

Soft Materials—CHEMENG 260, 310, 460; MATSCI 343; ME 455


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