The Institute specifies that a doctoral degree comprises completion of an approved program of advanced study and a General Examination, in addition to a research dissertation of high quality based on original research. The Department of Materials Science and Engineering intends the doctorate to provide an advanced educational experience that is versatile, intellectually challenging, and of enduring value for high-level careers relating to the generation and application of knowledge concerning materials. The purpose of the doctorate is to develop ability, confidence, and originality to grasp and solve challenging problems involving materials.
A doctoral degree is conferred when the student has passed the required General Examinations, satisfied the thesis post-core elective subjects, has satisfied the Minor Requirement, and has completed a doctoral thesis. The choice of a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree designation is left up to the student; the requirements are identical for both degrees.
The thesis research receives strong emphasis as an integral part of the educational process for achieving depth, for fostering originality, and for advancing knowledge. Nevertheless, the doctorate is not regarded as being only a “research degree” specifically aimed at teaching and research careers. Therefore, the doctoral requirements also promote breadth, flexibility, and integration.