Program Overview 

Montana State University and Montana Technological Institute  (MTech) participate in the collaborative Ph.D. Materials Science program.  At both institutions, faculty, research, and curriculum courses span across multiple departments.  The curriculum, in broad strokes, integrates engineering, and the physical sciences with applications that impact energy, health, and the environment.  Faculty from both institutions deliver the courses each semester either in person or by a virtual platform depending on the semester.

To earn a PhD in Materials Science, every student must complete a minumun of 60 credits; 32 credits of coursework and 28 credits of dissertation research.  Additional requirements are listed below.  

  • Complete 32 credits of coursework (20 credits of foundational coursework and 12 credits of technical electives)
  • Complete 28 credits of independent research
  • Rotations in a minimun of 2 research groups
  • Choose an advisor and PhD Committee
  • Pass a qualifying exam prior to the start of the 2nd year in the program
  • Pass a Comprehensive Exam (written and oral components)
  • Participate in annual symposiums
  • Hold annual meetings with their PhD committee
  • Participate in an optional internship (if available) 
  • Write and defend a dissertation

Applying to the PhD Program in Materials Science

Fall 2024 Application Information

Applications for Fall of 2024 can be sumbitted through the portal in September of 2023.     

Priority is given to applications that are in our office by January 15th, 2024.  Applications received after January 15th, are eligible for acceptance if spaces are available.   

Mandatory---All applicants must provide a transcript that contains a legend/key of your grading system (point scale and what each grade means) to be considered to our programs.

Important Information

Admission decisions are determined by review of applicant's transcripts, personal statement, letters of recommendation, research experience, and strength of undergraduate background. There are no spring admissions.    

The following criteria should be used as a guide to help you as you apply. 

  • Undergraduate GPA must be 3.0 or above on a 4.0 point scale.  
  • GRE scores are NOT required. 
  • All international students must show English proficiency.  You can submit the IELTS or the iBT form of the TOEFL exam and provide a report.  A TOEFL total score of 90 is required with a minimum speaking score of 26 to qualify for admission to our programs and for a teaching assistantship. A total minimum score of 7.0 is required on the IELTS exam and a speaking component score of 8.0 to qualify for a teaching assistantship. Duolingo test scores are accepted (130-135).  Some exceptions apply (see Graduate School website.)  
  • Your personal statement should include your short term academic goals and long term professional goals and why the PhD program is a good fit for you.  Include in your statement, any research you experienced as an undergraduate and the names of 3 professors in the Materials Science program you would like to research with and why. 
  • You do not need to contact faculty to apply or be accepted into the program.
  • You do not need to hold an MS degree to apply to our PhD programs.
  • Review of applications begin in early January and continues until our class is full. Priority is given to early applicants.
  • Applicants will be notified about acceptance and financial awards no later than April 1st. Completed applications should be in our office by January 15th. Applications received after January 15th are still eligible for acceptance if space is available, however, no waivers will be provided.
  • If accepted into the PhD program, support in the first year for a PhD student will be in the form of a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) and a tuition waiver.  Subsequent support will be determined in consultation with your research advisor as either a GTA or Graduate Research Assistant.

Apply here