required to start independent research early in the first semester in one of the areas of interest to the departmental faculty as indicated in the enclosed sheet. This choice does not affect the choice of the thesis subject.
e. University No. 97 Name:
Materials Science and Engineering
(Total Ph.D.’s so far: 14; M.S.’s: 14)
Enrollment about 15
The present program was adopted by the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1966.
The prime objectives of the program are to provide a graduate-level education in the engineering aspects of structural materials to as broad a spectrum of undergraduates as possible and also to provide a framework for industrial participation in academic programs. The general philosophy has been to maintain as flexible an arrangement as possible on course work and degree requirements and also to provide research opportunities that will develop an interest in engineering problems associated with technologically important structural materials.
Students with an interest in materials are funneled into the program through the sponsoring departments. Program faculty members then determine the academic program that best fits the individual student. An essential feature is that the program is small enough so that each student is able to choose a course of study that is best suited to his interests and research needs.
We feel this program represents a successful interdisciplinary approach to materials science. There has been a free interchange of students in our courses in polymer science, applied mechanics, and metallurgy as well as interaction between industrial personnel and the students. A number of students have conducted part or all of their research activities in industry’s laboratories, several being involved there now. The major hurdles to a Sc.D. in addition to course work are:
A preliminary examination taken during the first semester of residence which is based primarily on the student’s undergraduate training. In principle, it is supposed to tell the faculty if there are any general areas of knowledge in which the student is especially weak.
A research proposal qualifying examination taken by the end of the fourth semester in residence. It is a written and oral presentation of the objectives and justification of the research program that the student wishes to carry out. The objective is to focus the attention of the student on his research goals and to determine his ability to do independent research.
Since this university and most other universities do not have undergraduate specialization in the materials field, it is assumed that most of our students come into the program with little specific knowledge of materials science and engineering. We feel it will take several years of scholarly work before they can gain a perspective of the field. For this reason, we emphasize study toward a Sc.D. degree.