Degree Process- Masters

Materials Science Program

Master of Science, thesis based degree timeline:

First Year – Fall

MLGN 593 – Bonding, Structure, and Crystallography

MLGN 591 – Materials Thermodynamics

Select thesis committee:

The committee can be selected as early as the first semester and should be selected no later than the second semester. The form, as well as committee member requirements, can be found on the graduate school website.

First year – Spring

MLGN 592 – Advanced Materials Kinetics and Transport

Electives

Second year

Complete remaining coursework

Obtain reduced registration status:

See the Office of Graduate Studies’ website for the required Degree Audit form.

Finish research

Defend thesis:

Following successful completion of coursework, students must submit a thesis and successfully defend it in an oral presentation to the Thesis Committee in a public meeting. The thesis must present the results of original scientific research or development. The form, as well as committee member requirements, can be found on the graduate school website. Here are additional required forms: Thesis Defense Announcement Template and Thesis Defense Request.

You must complete a minimum of 18 hours of approved graduate course work. Up to nine hours of 400-level courses may be counted towards graduation. Up to nine hours of course work with a grade of B or better may be transferred from another recognized institution upon the approval of the Graduate Affairs Committee and the Graduate Dean. A total of 30 hours is needed for the Master of Science degree. More information can be found in the MLProgramGuide

Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Program

Master of Science, thesis based degree timeline:

First Year – Fall

Define research project and begin research; Develop course plan; Take 9 credit hours of course work and 3-6 hours of research credits.

It is recommended that you form your thesis committee in either the first or second semester of your first year:

MS students must assemble a committee with 3 or more members. The committee includes the advisor and at least 1 additional member from the MME Department. The committee and the Department Head need to approve all courses. Please see the Office of Graduate Studies website for the required form for this step.

First year – Spring

Continue research; Take 9 credit hours of course work and 3-6 hours of research credit.

Second Year – Fall (Third Semester)

Register as full-time graduate student with 9 research hours; Continue research.

Second Year – Spring

Obtain reduced registration status:

See the Office of Graduate Studies’ website for the required Degree Audit form.

Finish research

Defend thesis:

Students must submit a thesis and successfully defend it in an oral presentation to the Thesis Committee in a public meeting. The thesis must present the results of original scientific research or development.  The presentation is expected to be approximately 30-40 minutes and is followed by questions from the Thesis Committee and then questions from the audience.  After all questions have been addressed, the Thesis Committee convenes privately to discuss the outcome of the thesis. The thesis defense typically lasts 2 hours. For more detailed instructions on the thesis defense process, please see the Office of Graduate Studies website. Here are the department forms required prior to this event: Thesis Defense Request and the Thesis Defense Announcement Template.

Students must have at least 1 manuscript submitted or ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal before the thesis defense. If circumstances do not allow a student to meet the publication requirement, he/she may obtain a waiver from the requirement by submitting a request to be evaluated by the entire MME faculty. Here is the required department form: Graduate Publication Record Form.

A minimum of 18 credit hours of approved course work. M.S. students must also complete a minimum of 6 credits hours of research, listed under MTGN 707. The total credit hours for the M.S. degree must be 30 or greater. Only 3 credit hours of independent study, e.g. MTGN 599, can be applied toward the degree. Enrollment in the MME Graduate Seminar, MTGN 501, during the duration of program is required (up to a maximum of 1 credit hour will be awarded during last semester). More information can be found in the MME Graduate Student Guide 2018-2019.

Degree Process- PhD

Materials Science Program

The following constitutes the qualifying processes by which doctoral students are admitted to candidacy in the Materials Science program. More information can be found in the MLProgramGuide.

   –     CORE CURRICULUM – The three required core classes must be completed within the first Fall and Spring semesters for all doctoral candidates. Students must obtain a grade of B- or better in each class to be eligible to take the qualifying examination at the end of the succeeding spring semester. If a student receives a grade of less than B- in a class, the student may request an additional final examination be given during the mid-term break of the following spring semester. If the result of this examination is a B- or better, the student will be allowed to take the qualifying examination. The grade originally obtained in the course will not be changed as a result. If not allowed to complete the qualifying examination at the end of the spring semester, students will be discouraged from the PhD program and encouraged, rather, to finish with a Masters degree.

–     THESIS COMMITTEE – PhD students must assemble a committee with 4 or more members. The committee can be selected as early as the first semester and should be selected no later the fourth semester. The form, as well as committee member requirements, can be found on the graduate school website.

   –     QUALIFYING EXAMINATION – A qualifying examination is given annually at the end of the spring semester under the direction of the Materials Science Graduate Affairs Committee. All first-year Materials Science students are expected to successfully complete the qualifying examination within three semesters to remain in good standing in the program. The examination covers material from the core curriculum plus a standard introductory text on Materials Science, such as “Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction”, by William Callister.

   –     THESIS PROPOSAL –  A student’s PhD thesis committee administers a PhD Thesis Proposal defense. The PhD proposal defense should occur no later than the student’s fourth semester. While the proposal itself should focus on the central topic of a student’s research efforts, during the proposal defense, candidates may expect to receive a wide range of questions from the Committee. This would include all manner of questions directly related to the proposal. Candidates, however, should also expect questions related to the major concept areas of Materials Science within the context of a candidate’s research focus. The Committee formally reports results of the PhD proposal defense to the Materials Science Program Director using the Committee Reporting form developed by the Office of Graduate Studies. Please use this Thesis Proposal Form to schedule.

Upon completion of these steps and upon completion of all required coursework, candidates are admitted to candidacy. Forms do need to be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies. See their website for both the Degree Audit and the Admission to Candidacy forms.

   –     THESIS DEFENSE – Following successful completion of coursework and the qualifying process, doctoral students must submit a thesis and successfully defend it in an oral presentation to the Thesis Committee in a public meeting. The thesis must present the results of original scientific research or development. The form, as well as committee member requirements, can be found on the graduate school website. Here are additional required forms: Thesis Defense Announcement Template and Thesis Defense Request.

Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Program

The following constitutes the qualifying processes by which doctoral students are admitted to candidacy in the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering program. More information can be found in the MME Graduate Student Guide 2018-2019.

 –    CORE CURRICULUM – A minimum of 36 credit hours of approved course work. Ph.D. students must also take a minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate research, listed under MTGN 707. The total credit hours for a Ph.D. degree must be 72 or greater. Only 6 credit hours of independent study, e.g. MTGN 599, can be applied toward the degree. Credit hours earned for a Master’s degree may be applied toward the Doctoral degree if approved and provided that the Master’s degree was in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering or a similar field. For students with graduate credit from another institution, at least 21 credit hours of approved course work must be taken at the Colorado School of Mines.

–     THESIS COMMITTEE – PhD students must assemble a committee with 4 or more members. The thesis committee should consist of the advisor, at least 2 additional members from the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department, and at least 1 member from outside the Department. The committee and the DH need to approve all courses and any applicable Master’s degree credit hours. Please see the Office of Graduate Studies website for the required form for this step.

–     QUALIFYING EXAMINATION – A passing grade on the written and oral Qualifying-Process Examinations must be obtained. Students can take qualifying exams in one of three areas: Physicochemical Processing of Materials, Physical and Mechanical Metallurgy, or Ceramic Engineering.  There are both written and oral components to each qualifying exam. See this document for more information on the exam: Qualifying Exam Guidelines. This document is a summary of the process: QP-Components Summary.

–     THESIS PROPOSAL –  A proposal on the Thesis-Research Project must be presented to the Thesis Committee within 6 months after completing the Qualifying-Process Examinations. The proposal document must be 15 pages or less and contain a summary of the critical background that justifies the research, a well-organized research plan, and expected results.  The proposal will be presented orally to the Thesis Committee in a 20 minute presentation and will be followed by questions and input from the Thesis Committee. This document includes additional information and the template for the proposal document: Thesis Proposal Details-Format.

Upon completion of these steps and upon completion of all required coursework, candidates are admitted to candidacy. Forms do need to be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies. See their website for both the Degree Audit and the Admission to Candidacy forms.

–     THESIS DEFENSE – PhD students must submit a thesis and successfully defend it in an oral presentation to the Thesis Committee in a public meeting. The thesis must present the results of original scientific research or development.  The presentation is expected to be approximately 40 minutes and is followed by questions from the Thesis Committee and then questions from the audience.  After all questions have been addressed, the Thesis Committee convenes privately to discuss the outcome of the thesis. For more detailed instructions on the thesis defense process, please see the Office of Graduate Studies website. Here are the department forms required prior to this event: Thesis Defense Request and the Thesis Defense Announcement Template.

–     GRADUATE PUBLICATION RECORD – Students must have at least 2 manuscripts submitted or ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal before the thesis defense; alternatively, 1 manuscript can be submitted to a high quality conference proceeding. If circumstances do not allow a student to meet the publication requirement, he/she may obtain a waiver from the requirement by submitting a request to be evaluated by the entire MME faculty. Here is the required department form: Graduate Publication Record Form.

–     GRADUATE SEMINAR – Enrollment during duration of program is required (up to a maximum of 1 credit hour will be awarded during last semester).

FAQs

Q: How far in advance do I need to plan my thesis defense?
A: Each program requires a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice to ensure the defense can be officially announced and the committee has time to read your thesis.

Q: I hear a lot about reduced registration. What is that?
A: Reduced registration allows a part-time student who is working to be recognized as a full-time student. 

  • M.S.: After completion of 36 hours of course and research credits
  • Ph.D.: After completion of 72 hours of course and research credits
  • Admission to candidacy form must be on file with Graduate Office within first week of first semester of reduced registration

Q: Tell me more about the process to apply to graduate.
A: Student will apply to graduate on Trailhead at the beginning of the semester that he/she wishes to graduate (see Graduate School schedule for dates and deadlines).  Complete the checkout course on Canvas after your thesis defense and after corrections to thesis have been approved by your advisor/thesis committee.