Any student seeking a graduate degree in Materials Engineering must demonstrate competence at the undergraduate level in the areas of physical behavior of materials, thermodynamics, mechanical behavior of materials, instrumentation, and characterization.


Ph.D. students are required to take a set of exams based on the six basic courses - MSE 280-Engineering Materials, MSE 281-Physical Materials I, MSE 380-Thermodynamics of Materials, MSE 381-Physical Materials II, MSE 382-Mechanical Behavior of Materials, MSE 565-Characterization of Materials.

Each student is limited to two opportunities to pass these examinations at one time in order to be eligible for Ph.D. candidacy. These exams are held in two consecutive days – 3 courses a day, 90 (ninety) minutes per topic. The preparation for these exams are focused on the respective class notes and understanding of concepts taught in classes, therefore preparation typically begins months prior to the exam dates because of the volume of content covered being tested. The purpose of these examinations, beyond comprehension of subject matter, is to encourage students to absorb the information more effectively to ensure they are applying the core principles of these courses at a higher level of critical thinking in Ph.D. work and future research.

We are very pleased to congratulate Siddhartha Biswas and William Warriner on successfully passing their qualifiers this past Fall 2014. After months of study sessions and stress, both students are now qualified for Ph.D. candidacy and can now focus on applying these principles to their own research.