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Doctor of Philosophy in the Science of Advanced Materials

Minimum Total for Graduation: 90 hours

Degree:  Doctor of Philosophy


The science of materials combines elements of chemistry, physics and biology, and requires a solid background in mathematics. The CMU Science of Advanced Materials (SAM) Ph.D. program is designed to create a correspondingly interdisciplinary environment that will train effective researchers without erecting artificial boundaries between disciplines. The formal coursework focuses on the scientific framework for studying materials and is organized around the themes of modeling, characterization, and synthesis. These are the key methodologies employed in materials research and the SAM program emphasizes the synergy among them.

The curriculum for the SAM program includes the following components: core courses that establish a solid foundation in the science of materials; advanced courses in a number of specialized areas; seminar courses focusing on the current SAM literature and developing essential skills in scientific communication; and the dissertation.

Students may enter the program with diverse undergraduate backgrounds. To accommodate varied levels of preparation and establish a basis for interdisciplinary training, foundation courses in the chemistry and physics of materials are required. A course in chemical principles (SAM 620) is aimed at students with a strong undergraduate background in physics, but limited training in chemistry; conversely, a course in physical principles (SAM 630) is directed at students with an undergraduate emphasis in chemistry or biochemistry. It is recommended that all students take both courses, using one for an elective.

Students in the SAM program may apply for support as teaching or research assistants. Students will normally work as teaching assistants during their first two years and as research assistants during the final three years of the program.

Contact: Jessica Lapp, Coordinator, E&T Building 228, 989-774-4401

Program Requirements:

Science of Advanced Materials

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