The Doctor of Philosophy Degree is acquired through numerous steps outlined by the University. Initially, a student must qualify for doctoral candidacy. Many degree programs require a formal exam (qualifying exam) that students must pass in order to apply for doctoral candidacy. The Materials Science & Engineering program does not require an exam for this. Rather, we have a unique qualifying process based on coursework. Once a student has passed the qualifying process, he/she will be eligible to apply for doctoral candidacy. At this stage and in cooperation with the faculty supervisor, the student will create a committee and begin a more focused approach to research. One aspect of this focused approach is the preliminary oral exam, in which a student proposes a plan of research for the student’s dissertation topic. Finally, the Ph.D. pursuit will conclude with a formal dissertation and defense. To review the requirements for your current stage within the doctoral program, use the left navigation.