Apr 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Materials Engineering and Science, PhD

Contact Information

Dr. Bharat K. Jasthi, Program Director 
Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
Mineral Industries 101
(605) 394-2342
E-mail: Bharat.Jasthi@sdsmt.edu

Department Website

Students are responsible for checking with their advisors for any program modifications that may occur after the publication of this catalog.

PhD in Materials Engineering and Science

The doctor of philosophy program in Materials Engineering and Science (MES) offers a student the opportunity to expand his/her knowledge and understanding of the science and technology of materials production, behavior, and applications. Candidates will study either a science or an engineering emphasis within the MES PhD program.

Degree requirements

Distribution of credits

Core requirements: 7-8 credits
Research or project requirements: 22-36 credits
Elective requirements: 28-43 credits
Total credits: 72

At least 36 of the required 72 credits must be taken at the 600 level or above.

Students may apply 24 coursework credits and 6 research credits from a previous MS degree toward the PhD requirements, subject to approval by the student’s committee.

Core requirements

Research or project requirements

The completion of a doctoral dissertation, approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee and the Dean of Graduate Education, is required for this degree.

  • Credits: 1 to 12 *
  • * A minimum of 22 credits of MES 898 is required. No more than 36 credits of MES 898 may be counted toward the degree.

Elective requirements

All elective courses must be approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee (or advisor). Every student must complete the requirements for either the Materials Science emphasis or the Materials Engineering emphasis.

Materials Science emphasis

Materials Engineering emphasis


Detailed information on examination policy, admission to candidacy, and defense of dissertation is included in the School of Mines Materials Engineering and Science Ph.D. Handbook. The qualifying examination and the comprehensive examination are administered together.

Qualifying examination

An assessment of the student’s qualifications will be undertaken early in their program. The assessment is comprised of performance in pre-determined courses (coursework exam).

Comprehensive examination and admission to candidacy

The student is granted admission to candidacy after successfully completing the coursework exam and defending a dissertation research proposal. The comprehensive examination, and subsequent admission to candidacy, should be completed at least 12 months before the dissertation is defended.

Dissertation defense

A dissertation defense and a final oral examination are required for this degree.

Additional requirements

For program supervision purposes, the MES Ph.D. program coordinator is the graduate advisor until the major professor is appointed. The major professor is the person responsible for the student’s dissertation research. The graduate office representative on the student’s dissertation committee must be selected from outside of the department with which the major professor is affiliated. It is not necessary that the student be associated with the department of affiliation of his or her major professor.

There is no language requirement for the MES doctoral program.

In addition to these degree-specific requirements, the student must also meet the requirements and policies applied to all graduate degrees  by the Council of Graduate Education.

Objectives and Outcomes

Student Outcomes:

  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying Materials Engineering and Science principles
  2. an ability to analyze and interpret technical data
  3. an ability to design and conduct independent research in the area of Materials Engineering and Science
  4. an ability to communicate effectively in a technical manner and disseminate the results to a wider audience
  5. ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities