May 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Materials Science and Engineering Major, PhD

The faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, seek to prepare students to join the international ranks of professional scientists and engineers in fundamental areas of materials science and engineering, as well as cross-disciplinary sciences in which materials expertise plays a critical role in the development of new knowledge and technologies. Students planning to major in materials science and engineering for the master’s or doctoral degree will ordinarily have attained a satisfactory record in a bachelor’s degree materials program, or in related technical areas of science and engineering.

Concentrations (Optional)

Automotive Materials
Energy Science and Engineering

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • The materials science and engineering program is flexible and interdisciplinary in nature. Students may be admitted from a wide range of disciplines. These include physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, materials engineering, nuclear engineering and engineering science programs.
  • Applicants for admission to the PhD program in materials science and engineering are expected to have completed a bachelor’s degree in an area of engineering or science with a grade-point-average of at least 2.70 out of 4.00 (or 3.00 during the senior year of undergraduate study).
  • All applicants must submit scores from the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must have a minimum TOEFL score of 550 on the written exam or 80 on the Internet-based Test to be considered for admission to the programs.
  • After one year in residence and with the approval of the faculty, a student may proceed directly to the doctoral program without completion of a master’s degree.

Credit Hours Required

Minimum of 72 graduate credit hours after the bachelor’s degree, 42 graduate credit hours after the master’s degree

Required Courses

  • A minimum 36 graduate course credit hours are required
  • Completion of all four of the “core” graduate curriculum courses: MSE 511 , MSE 512 , MSE 513 , and MSE 514  (total 12 credit hours)
  • At least 6 credit hours of 600-level courses taken at UT are required
  • Up to 6 credit hours of MSE 503 , Graduate Seminar in Materials Science and Engineering, may be counted toward the graduate course credit hours requirement
  • A minimum of 24 graduate course credit hours must be MSE courses taken at UT
  • MSE 600  (minimum of 24 credit hours is required)
  • A maximum of 24 graduate course credit hours earned at another institute may be used to satisfy the total (72) credit hour requirement for the PhD degree in MSE at UT (non-UT graduate course credit hours must be approved by the PhD committee and may not include thesis credit hours earned at another institute)

Additional Concentration Requirements

  • Automotive Materials Concentration at least 12 credit hours of course work must be from the approved automotive materials specialization list.
  • Energy Science and Engineering Concentration, all 18 graduate credit hours of course work must be from the curriculum jointly approved by the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education and the MSE graduate affairs committee.
  • Nanomaterials Concentration at least 12 credit hours of course work must be from the approved nanomaterials specialization list.

Non-Course Requirements

  • Satisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination. In MSE, this comprehensive examination consists of three parts:
    • the Qualifying Examination;
    • the Dissertation Proposal (this proposal satisfies the Graduate School written requirement for the comprehensive examination);
    • the Dissertation Proposal Oral Examination (this oral portion of the comprehensive examination is encouraged by the Graduate School).

Additional Information — Concentration Course Lists

 Automotive Concentration Course List

Energy Science and Engineering Concentration Course List

  • Core courses ESE 511  and ESE 512  (6 credit hours),
  • Knowledge Breadth curriculum (3 credit hours),
    • Political, social, legal, ethical, and security issues related to energy (e.g.,  POLS, PHYS, ESE)
    • Entrepreneurship, leadership, and management (e.g., IE, ME, MGT, ESE)
    • Additional courses may be selected in consultation with the Bredesen Center’s Director
  • Knowledge Specialization curriculum for Domain Science (6 credit hours),
    • Bioenergy and biofuels (e.g., EEB, MICR, BCMB, CBE, LFSC, PLSC)
    • Cross-cutting energy sciences (e.g., MICR, ECE, CHEM, PHYS, MATH, STAT)
    • Distributed energy and grid management (e.g., ECE)
    • Energy conversion and storage (e.g., CBE, CHEM, ME, MSE, PHYS)
    • Energy materials (e.g., MSE, PHYS)
    • Environmental and climate sciences related to energy (e.g., GEOL, MICR, BCMB, EEB, ESS, FORS, GEOL, LFSC, MICR, PLSC, ENVE, FWF)
    • Nuclear energy (e.g., NE, CHEM, ME, PHYS)
    • Renewable energy (MATH, CBE, ENVE, ME, STAT)
    • Transportation sciences (e.g., CBE, CE, ECE,  ME)
    • Additional courses may be selected in consultation with the major professor or research advisor
  • ESE 599  (1 credit hour) taken three times for 3 credit hours.
  • ESE program specifics may be reviewed under the Energy Science and Engineering Major, PhD program section of this catalog. The Bredesen Center Graduate Student Handbook is also a resource.

Nanomaterials Concentration Course List