The objective of this program is to offer students from diverse science and engineering backgrounds the opportunity to develop special competence in one or more of the MS&E fields and to demonstrate their ability to conduct research and add to the body of knowledge in materials science or materials engineering.

You will be able to choose your coursework to provide you with the knowledge and skills tailored to your areas of interest. In addition, you will take a set of required MS&E core courses that give you the basic foundation and showcase the breadth of the MS&E discipline. As a student, you must have a dissertation project that is overseen by a Clarkson faculty advisor who may be affiliated with any of the departments in either school. Typically, faculty advisors are members of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry or Physics.


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Materials Science and Engineering Curriculum

PhD Curriculum

Offered in both the School of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering, the MS&E PhD program consists of 90 credit hours for successful completion. These credits are taken in coursework, seminar and project work to fulfill the PhD requirements. Students choose their coursework to provide them the knowledge and skills tailored to their areas of research interest. 

Materials Science and Engineering PhD Curriculum

Degree Requirements

General PhD Requirements at Clarkson University:

  • Ninety credit hours minimum (beyond the BS), corresponding to a minimum of three academic years of full-time study; a minimum of 9 credits must be obtained at Clarkson
    • master’s degree may be acceptable in lieu of a maximum of 30 credit hours of transfer credit. Official transcripts must be provided before transfer credit is awarded.
    • minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework
    • minimum of 6 credit hours of seminar
  • All work is to be completed within seven years after the candidacy procedure is completed.
  • All students must complete the candidacy procedure within two years after admission to the PhD program. Students may have two attempts to pass the candidacy procedure. If they fail in the first attempt, they have two months to make a second attempt. Students who do not complete the candidacy procedure within the time allowed will be dropped from the graduate program.
  • A dissertation must be submitted and defended orally before a committee of five faculty members, with at least one member from outside the department of the thesis advisor.
  • Students in the PhD program who have not yet completed the candidacy procedure will be called PhD students. After the procedure has been completed, the students will be called PhD candidates.


Specific PhD Requirements for Materials Science and Engineering:

PhD students are required to take 10 courses (30 hours) from the 3 areas below.†

Materials Science Required Core Classes

  • Advanced Characterization of Materials
  • Advanced Materials Science and Engineering


Materials Properties and Applications (Select 4)
Example courses include:

  • Colloids and Interfaces
  • Bioelectronics and Bionanotechnology
  • Introduction to Polymer Science
  • Functional Polymer Systems
  • Nanostructured Materials
  • Polymer Materials
  • Dielectrics
  • Electronic Devices for IC Simulation
  • Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering Applications
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Advanced Mechanics of Composite Materials
  • Advanced Welding Metallurgy
  • Selected Topics in Materials Engineering
  • Principles of Physical Metallurgy
  • Intermolecular Forces in Modern Engineering 
  • Physics of Semiconductor Devices


Materials Processing and Characterization (Select 2)
Example courses include:

  • Manufacturing Implications of Advanced Materials Processing
  • Microelectronic Circuit Fabrication
  • Corrosion Engineering
  • Particle Transport, Deposition and Removal
  • Scanning Probe Techniques in Soft Condensed Matter Physics


† Other courses not listed here may be credited toward the degree requirements by approval of the thesis advisor and the Director of MSE.

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A complete application consists of the following:

  • Online Application Form
  • Resume.
  • Statement of Purpose.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation.
  • Official Transcripts.
  • GRE Test Scores.
    • Optional: Applications will be read without GRE test scores, but applicants should submit scores if they believe they will enhance their application.
  • For International Applicants, an English Proficiency Test is required.
    • Minimum Test Score Requirements:  TOEFL (80) and TOEFL Essentials (8.5), IELTS (6.5), PTE (56) and Duolingo English Test (115).


A limited number of one-year and/or partial year tuition scholarships are available for qualified full-time students. A limited number of stipends are also available. Most scholarships and/or stipends are associated with department assistantships or completion of a master’s thesis as part of the qualified applicant’s plan of study to complete his/her degree program.

Learn more about all of our scholarships and how to apply by contacting the Engineering Department via email

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If you are interested in learning more, have questions or are ready to apply, contact

Graduate Admissions Team