University of California, Riverside

Materials Science and Engineering



Overview of MSE Graduate Program


Graduate Program

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering offers programs leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Research focus areas currently include Materials Processing, Semiconductor Materials, Materials Analysis, Nanoscale Materials, Bioinspired Materials, Ceramic Materials, Magnetic Materials and Materials for Spintronics.

Master of Science

The Program of Materials Science and Engineering offers the M.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering. Students may obtain an M.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering through one of two plans: 1) Thesis or 2) Comprehensive Examination

Plan I (Thesis)

Students must complete 36 units of graduate or upper-division undergraduate course work, of which 24 must be graduate level units. Student must complete at least one course from 3 of the 5 areas of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE 201-209, 210-219, 220-229, 230-39, 240-249) as well as at least one unit of MSE 200 and at least five units of MSE 250. Students must enroll in MSE 200 the first time it is offered during their residency. At least two units of MSE 250-259 must be taken for a letter grade. Students can take a maximum of 12 units in Graduate Research and a maximum 6 units in Directed Studies.The course of study needs to be approved each quarter by the research advisor (when determined) and the MSE graduate advisor. The degree will be awarded when all these requirements are met and the thesis has been submitted successfully.

Plan II (Comprehensive Exam)

All students must complete 36 units of graduate or upper division undergraduate courses, of which 18 units must be graduate level. Student must complete at least one course from each of the 5 areas of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE 201-209, 210-219, 220-229, 230-39, 240-249) as well as at least one unit of MSE 200 and at least four units of MSE 250. At least one unit of MSE 250-259 must be taken for a letter grade. None may be in graduate research (297 or 299). A maximum of 6 units may be in Directed Studies. Students must enroll in MSE 200 the first time it is offered during their residency. The course of study needs to be approved each quarter by the MSE graduate advisor.

Students will take a written comprehensive examination conducted jointly with the Ph.D. preliminary examination. The examination emphasizes the fundamental knowledge of the study area rather than the specifics covered in individual courses.

Students concurrently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in another department must have their course of study approved by the Graduate Advisor. Coursework used to complete requirements in a non-MSE Ph.D. program cannot be used towards the Master's degree in MSE. An Oral Comprehensive Examination that measures the student's breadth of knowledge in Materials Science and Engineering will be given after the appropriate course of study has been completed.

Normative Time to Degree – Six quarters (two years)

Doctoral Degree

The Program of Materials Science and Engineering offers the Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering.

Course Work

There is no comprehensive course requirement for the Ph.D. degree; only a few courses are mandatory. The faculty recommends that the student take a minimum of 36 units of graduate or upper-division undergraduate course work covering all five areas of study in Materials Science and Engineering: Thermodynamic Foundation of Materials, Crystal Structure and Bonding, Materials Characterization Techniques, Functional Materials, and Materials Synthesis and Processing (MSE 201-209, 210-219, 220-229, 230-39, 240-249). Students must enroll in MSE 200 the first time it is offered during their residency. Students must enroll in MSE 250 during all quarters of residency and must obtain a letter grade in an MSE 250-259 course once during each academic year of residency except for the first one.

The courses may include graduate course work used for the M.S. degree. The course of study needs to be approved each quarter by the research advisor (when determined) and the MSE graduate advisor. Students may need to take considerably more than the courses indicated above to prepare for and conduct their Ph.D. research.

Preliminary Examination

The purpose of the preliminary examination is to screen candidates for continuation in the doctoral program. The examination is administered by the graduate program committee jointly with the M.S. comprehensive examination. Candidates must solve at least one problem in each of the five areas of study in Material Science and Engineering. Plan II M.S. candidates who took the combined M.S. comprehensive and Ph.D. preliminary examination and successfully passed at the Ph.D. level are given credit for having passed the Ph.D. preliminary examination.

Dissertation Proposal and Oral Qualifying Examination

After passing the preliminary examination at the Ph.D. level, doctoral candidates must prepare and submit a dissertation proposal to their qualifying examination committee at least one month before the qualifying examination. The format of the proposal is flexible, but the proposal should clearly indicate the proposed problem under study, demonstrate substantial knowledge of the topic and related issues, state the progress made towards a solution, and indicate the work remaining to be done. The new approaches and methods to be used in the research should also be discussed. An extensive bibliography for the problem under study should be attached to the proposal. Within one week after submission, the student is informed whether the proposal meets these standards and the student is permitted to proceed to the oral exam. The oral qualifying examination focuses on the dissertation problem. It includes considerable depth in the student's area of specialization, as required for a successful completion of the dissertation. The examination is a three-hour session, which begins with the student's presentation of the dissertation topic and is followed with questions and suggestions by the doctoral committee.

Dissertation Examination and Defense

A doctoral dissertation should be an original and substantial contribution to knowledge in the student's major field. The dissertation must demonstrate the student's ability to carry out a program of independent advanced research and to report the results in accordance with standards observed in recognized scientific journals. When the doctoral committee determines that a suitable draft of the dissertation has been presented, a dissertation examination and defense for the student is scheduled. The defense consists of a public seminar followed by questions from the committee members and the audience.

Normative Time to Degree 12 quarters (15 quarters for students without an M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering)

Further Information

Contact the Graduate Student Affairs Officer at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, (951) 827-3383.

 

 

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

College Information

Bourns College of Engineering
313 Materials Science & Engineering Building

Tel: (951) 827-3383
Fax: (951) 827-3188x
E-mail: mse-program@engr.ucr.edu

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