The Materials Science program is designed to allow substantial flexibility for students with broad backgrounds and interests. Official program requirements are available in the Academic Catalog. If there is a conflict between what is stated here and what is presented in the catalog, the catalog requirements take precedent.

For both M.S. and Ph.D. students, the curriculum consists of six core courses and specialized coursework tailored towards your research thrust.

Typical Program of Study

M.S. Ph. D.
MATS 570 & 581 8 cr. 8 cr.
Other Required Courses 14-17 cr. 14-17 cr.
Elective Courses 6-9 cr. 14-17 cr.
Thesis Credits 1-17 cr. 60-72 cr.
45 cr. 108 cr.
Degree Requirements (Courses)

Required Fundamental Courses (8)

  • MATS 570. Structure-Property Relations in Materials (4)
  • MATS 581. Thermodynamics of Solids (4)

Core Curriculum (7-8)
Select 2 of the following:

  • MATS 571. Electronic Properties of Materials (4)
  • MATS 582. Rate Processes in Materials (3)
  • MATS 584. Advanced Fracture of Materials (4)
  • MATS 588. Computational Methods in Materials Science (4)

Characterization Requirement (minimum 3-4)
Students must select at least one of the following:

  • CH 616. Crystallography and X-Ray Diffraction (4)
  • MATS 555. Experimental Techniques in Materials Science (4)
  • MATS 659. Principles of Transmission Electron Microscopy (4)
  • OC 528. Microprobe Analysis (3)

Processing Requirement (minimum 3-4)
Students must select at least one of the following:

  • CHE 611/ECE 611. Electronic Materials Processing (3)
  • ECE 518. Semiconductor Processing (4)
  • MATS 545. Welding Metallurgy (4)
  • MATS 578. Thin Film Materials Characterization and Properties (4)
  • WSE 535. Polymer Synthesis and Structure (3)

Electives (6-9)
Selected by student, as approved by their major professor.

Seminar (1-3, 3 maximum)

  • ME 507. Seminar* (1-16) At least one credit of ME 507 must be the section titled Materials Science Seminar

Thesis (6-12)

  • XXX 503. Thesis (1-16) Where XXX represents the course designator from a materials science student’s major professor’s tenure track home (e.g. ME, CH, ROB, ECE, etc…)

Total 45 credits

Required Fundamental Courses (8)

  • MATS 570. Structure-Property Relations in Materials (4)
  • MATS 581. Thermodynamics of Solids (4)

Core Curriculum (7-8)
Select 2 of the following:

  • MATS 571. Electronic Properties of Materials (4)
  • MATS 582. Rate Processes in Materials (3)
  • MATS 584. Advanced Fracture of Materials (4)
  • MATS 588. Computational Methods in Materials Science (4)

Characterization Requirement (minimum 3-4)
Students must select at least one of the following:

  • CH 616. Crystallography and X-Ray Diffraction (4)
  • MATS 555. Experimental Techniques in Materials Science (4)
  • MATS 659. Principles of Transmission Electron Microscopy (4)
  • OC 528. Microprobe Analysis (3)

Processing Requirement (minimum 3-4)
Students must select at least one of the following:

  • CHE 611/ECE 611. Electronic Materials Processing (3)
  • ECE 518. Semiconductor Processing (4)
  • MATS 545. Welding Metallurgy (4)
  • MATS 578. Thin Film Materials Characterization and Properties (4)
  • WSE 535. Polymer Synthesis and Structure (3)

Electives (14-17)

Seminar (1-3, 3 maximum)

  • ME 507. Seminar* (1-16) At least one credit of ME 507 must be the section titled Materials Science Seminar

Thesis (6-12)

  • XXX 603. Thesis (36-63) Where XXX represents the course designator from a materials science student’s major professor’s tenure track home (e.g. ME, WSE, CHE, ECE, etc…)

Total 108

Free Electives

Elective Courses (approved by Program Director) will be selected by the student under guidance from the advisor and graduate committee. These courses can be used by the student to receive further training in fundamentals, generally, in the Area of Concentration and to explore new areas. Course List.

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Graduate Thesis Committees

For the MS degree the thesis committee consists of at least four members of the graduate faculty—two from Materials Science, one in the minor field if a minor is included, and a Graduate Council representative. When a minor is not included, the fourth member may be from the graduate faculty at large.

For the PhD degree the thesis committee consists of a minimum of five members of the graduate faculty, including two from Materials Science and a representative of the Graduate Council. If a minor is declared the committee must include a member from the minor department. At least one member of the committee must be on the graduate faculty of Materials Science from a different department/school than the major professor.

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Ph. D. Candidacy

Prior to taking the Preliminary Exam, Ph. D. students must receive a grade of B or higher in all required Materials Science core courses.

The format of the Preliminary Examination must include a written and an oral portion, however the exact nature of the exam will be determined by the major professor and thesis comittee at the student's program meeting. Typically the written portion would be a "research proposal" in a format and on a topic approved by the thesis committee. The written component must be submitted to the thesis committee at least one week prior to the oral examination. The oral exam must be scheduled through the graduate school using forms found at this link.

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Non-thesis MS

A non-thesis or project-based MS degree is an option in cases where project sponsors restrict publication of data or when a student is working towards a PhD and would like to obtain an MS in addition. The project-based MS must conform to all Graduate School requirements. Please contact the Materials Science program director for further details regarding this option.

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Graduate Minor

A graduate minor degree in Materials Science is available to students that complete ME 570 plus additional core coursework totaling 15 credits (M.S. minor) or 18 credits (Ph.D. minor). A member of the Materials Science Graduate Faculty (not from the student's home department) must serve as the Minor Professor on the committee.

A graduate minor is an academic area that clearly supports the major. On a master's or doctoral program, a minor may be:
1. an academic area available only as a minor,
2. a different major,
3. the same major with a different area of concentration,
4. an approved major at another institution in the Oregon University System, or
5. an integrated minor.

An integrated minor consists of a series of cognate courses from two or more areas. These courses must be outside the major area of concentration, with most of the courses being outside the major department. The graduate faculty member representing the integrated minor must be from outside the major department. Graduate minors are listed on the student's transcript.

An individual course cannot be double-counted as satisfying both a major requirement and a minor requirement.

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Dual Majors

For the MA, MS, EdM, MF, or PhD degree, a student may select two graduate major areas to pursue instead of the traditional single major. Only one degree is awarded, and the student basically must satisfy all degree requirements for majors in both areas. For more details, contact the Graduate School.