Doctoral Program

Deepen your understanding of materials in a graduate program that bridges academic disciplines

Notre Dame's Materials Science and Engineering doctoral program is a distinctive, interdisciplinary program representing seven departments and programs in the Colleges of Engineering and Science.

This program enhances student understanding through an interdisciplinary approach and leverages materials expertise to open new doors for graduates to industry, government, and academic careers. As engineering and scientific problems become increasingly complex, this degree broadens the expertise of graduates to aid them in assuming leadership roles in sophisticated fields.

Materials Science & Engineering students will:

  • meet home department PhD requirements;
  • complete nine credit hours selected from the Materials Science and Engineering course list;
  • select a faculty co-advisor who crosses disciplines, preferably from outside the home department or program; and
  • complete a doctoral thesis with a significant materials component, as approved by the Materials Science and Engineering Steering Committee.

Students who successfully complete both department/program and Materials Science and Engineering requirements will earn a Materials Science and Engineering PhD in their discipline. For example, a Physics student would earn the "Physics: Materials Science and Engineering" doctoral degree.

Competitive, one-year fellowships are available for Materials Science and Engineering students.

Entering the Materials Science and Engineering program

Students can become part of the Materials Science and Engineering program in one of two ways: as an incoming PhD student admitted to Notre Dame Graduate School through a participating department/program, or as a current PhD student at Notre Dame who transfers into the program. All students who receive an Materials Science and Engineering fellowship are expected to join the program.

Students in the Materials Science and Engineering program will still be part of their home department, participating in seminars, graduate student meetings, etc. They will also be part of the Materials Science and Engineering community on campus, participating in the program and related events.

INCOMING PhD STUDENTS

When applying to Notre Dame, incoming PhD students can select the Materials Science and Engineering degree that corresponds to the admitting department/program:

  •  Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering: Materials Science and Engineering - PhD
  •  Biochemistry: Materials Science and Engineering - PhD
  •  Bioengineering: Materials Science and Engineering - PhD
  •  Chemical Engineering: Materials Science and Engineering - PhD
  •  Chemistry: Materials Science and Engineering - PhD
  •  Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences: Materials Science and Engineering - PhD
  •  Electrical Engineering: Materials Science and Engineering - PhD
  •  Physics: Materials Science & Engineering - PhD

Students will follow the admitting department's/program's existing process and timeline for recruiting and admissions.

Each student will be asked to submit a one-page, advisor-approved overview of his or her research for review by the Materials Science and Engineering Steering Committee.

APPLY TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL

CURRENT PhD STUDENT TRANSFERS

With the support of their faculty advisor, current Notre Dame graduate students already pursuing a PhD degree in a participating department/program can transfer into the Materials Science and Engineering program (generally sometime in the first three years of their doctoral studies). Students considering a transfer should follow these steps:

  1. Review the program details, including the expectations for your thesis research and the courses needed to earn the Materials Science and Engineering degree.
  2. Discuss the opportunity to earn the Materials Science and Engineering PhD with your research advisor(s). (If you don't have a research advisor yet, discuss with your department's Director of Graduate Studies (DGS)). In this discussion, make sure that you and your advisor(s) are in agreement on how your thesis could or does meet the requirements of the Materials Science and Engineering degree. Also ensure that you'll be able to complete the courses required for the degree in your remaining time at Notre Dame.
  3. If you and your advisor(s) are in agreement about your joining the Materials Science and Engineering PhD program, complete the form available here to let the DGS and graduate coordinator in your department, as well as the Materials Science and Engineering program staff, know of your plans to pursue the Materials Science and Engineering PhD degree. (Note: Only current ND graduate students transferring into the program should fill out this form.)
  4. You will be asked to submit a one-page, advisor-approved overview of your research for review by the Materials Science and Engineering Steering Committee. Once your research is approved by the Steering Committee, the program staff will work with your home department and the Graduate School to ensure your transfer into the program.

Materials Science and Engineering Handbook

VIEW HANDBOOK

Need more information?

For more information on the Materials Science and Engineering Program, please contact us at MSE-list@nd.edu or 574-631-6470. Those interested in receiving emails about the MSE Program are encouraged to subscribe here.