Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering

Program Coordinator

Dr. Clovis A. Linkous
5001 Ward Beecher Science Hall
(330) 941-1958 

Program Description

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Materials Science and Engineering is a cutting-edge program, employing state-of-the-art analytical materials instrumentation not found anywhere else in the area between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Incorporating the research activities from the YSU Center of Excellence in Materials Science and Engineering (CEMSE) and the Ohio Hub for Innovation and Opportunity in Advanced Materials Commercialization, this program promotes the synergistic interaction of industrially focused research efforts of faculty, students, and commercial research partners leading to economic development of the region. The Ph.D. is specifically targeted at producing graduates who can find employment as industrial research scientists or engineers.

Application Procedure

Program information may be obtained from the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and from the Ph.D. Program webpage. Application information may be obtained from The Office of Graduate Admissions in Coffelt Hall and from Ph.D. Program admission webpage. All application materials must be submitted though the online application system.

Application Requirements

Students with a B.S. or M.S. in materials science, materials engineering, or related fields (including chemistry, physics, or mechanical, chemical, electrical or civil engineering) can be admitted through the College of Graduate Studies on a competitive basis up to the capacity of the program.

Requirements for admission to the Ph.D. program include the following:

  • B.S. or M.S. degree in materials science, materials engineering, or related fields (including chemistry, physics, or mechanical, chemical, electrical or civil engineering);
  • Cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or a graduate GPA of 3.3/4.0;
  • GRE scores are required. Scores in the following ranges generally reviewed favorably: Verbal = 500-800, Quantitative = 650-800, and Analytical Writing = 4.0-6.0;
  • For students whose native language is not English, a TOEFL score of 550 (or comparable score on a similar test)
  • Completed application (application link).
  • Resume
  • Statement of intent
  • 3 references

All applications will be reviewed by an admissions committee consisting of the program director and a group of program faculty of sufficient breadth to interpret the credentials of all members of the applicant pool. The selection/admission process is competitive; meeting eligibility criteria does not assure admission into the program. Applications received as complete by February 1st will have full consideration for fall admissions and graduate assistant opportunities.

Graduate Faculty

Snjezana Balaz, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Structure of surfaces of thin films, semiconductors, and nanoclusters

Vamsi Borra, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
3D electronics; Flexible electronics; Electronic materials; reliability testing; Controlled whisker growth; thin-film fabrication and characterization; and condensed matter physics-related research

Kyosung Choo, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Heat and mass transfer; multiphase flow; phase change phenomena; data center cooling; energy audit of buildings; microchannel heat exchangers; linear friction welding; laser welding; kinetics of human body performance

Pedro Cortes, Ph.D., Professor
Structure-property relationships of polymers; composites and hybrid materials; smart materials and structures; development of chem-bio sensing platforms based on carbon nanotubes

Richard Albert Deschenes, Jr., Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Materials science; concrete durability and materials; applied mechanics

Douglas T. Genna, Ph.D., Professor
Metal-organic frameworks;Synthesis of new materials; Mechanistic investigations of self-assembly; targeted materials for water and blood detoxification

Clovis Linkous, Ph.D., Professor
Ceramic electrolytes, polymer membrane electrolytes, solid state hydrogen storage, photovoltaic materials, photocatalysis; flexible and optically transparent conductors

Holly J. Martin, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Corrosion studies; modification of metal surfaces to strongly adhere polymeric coatings for corrosion resistance

Byung-Wook Park, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Engineered biohybrid materials for biomedical applications;biohybrid microswimmers for drug delivery and bioimaging;wearable bioelectronics for chronic wound monitoring; smart wound dressing

Donald Priour, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Theoretical condensed matter physics, particularly related to systems of technological relevance where the flow of charge or fluid is modified or inhibited by disorder in the form of random inhomogeneities or severed wires or bonds

Jae Joong Ryu, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Effect of process induced anisotropic microstructure on sliding contact fatigue damage of titanium alloy joint implants; mechanical load assisted dissolution response of medical‐grade metals and alloys

Virgil C. Solomon, Ph.D., Professor
Synthesis of shape memory alloys, ceramic-metal composites and nanostructures and their characterization using metallography, thermal analysis and analytical scanning and transmission electron microscopy techniques

Timothy R. Wagner, Ph.D., Professor, Chair
Synthesis of inorganic oxide and mixed-anion materials; structure characterizations using single crystal and powder X-ray diffraction; electron microscopy techniques

Degree Requirements

  • 90 Semester Hours of Graduate Study
  • Qualifying exam, based on the topics presented in the core curriculum, following the second year of study.
  • Recommended internship program, usually through full-time paid employment at a partner company.
  • Written research proposal, describing the work to be completed for the dissertation. The proposal will be presented orally and defended in front of the dissertation committee.
  • Oral presentation of research accomplishments, approximately mid-way through the dissertation   research at Seminar.
  • Dissertation defended orally to the dissertation committee, which will also approve the final written document. Completion of the dissertation is the culminating experience of the Ph.D. program.


Materials Science and Engineering Course Core
MATL 7010Analytical Methods for Materials Science 13
MATL 7020Analytical Methods for Materials Science 23
MATL 8010Structure of Materials3
MATL 8020Mechanical Properties of Materials3
MATL 8030Thermodynamics and Phase Behavior3
MATL 8040Kinetics, Diffusion, and Rate Processes3
MATL 8050Materials Internship or electives6
MATL 6990Seminar in Materials Science and Engineering3
Materials Science and Engineering Research Core51
MATL 6982 and MATL 8060 combined must equal 51 s.h.
Graduate Research
Select 12 s.h. of Electives.12
Total Semester Hours90

Special Notes

College of Graduate Studies policies concerning transfer credits, time limits, and other academic matters must be followed.

Learning Outcomes

  • The student will have developed a fundamental understanding of the structure of matter at the atomic/molecular level, particularly in the solid state, and its influence on the physical and chemical properties of a substance.
  • The student will have developed a familiarity with the instrumental tools of materials research, including microscopy, spectroscopy, and mechanical testing.
  • The student will have developed the personal organizational and disciplinary skills to grasp a research problem involving a lengthy program of investigation, break it down into a sequence of tasks, and follow them through to a conclusion.
  • The student will have developed sufficient writing skills to prepare laboratory reports, research papers, journal articles, and an organized dissertation comprising a hundred pages or more.

Graduate Courses

MATL 6982    Graduate Research    1-6 s.h.

Individual investigation of advanced topics under the guidance of selected program faculty. May be repeated for a maximum of 30 semester hours. ,.

MATL 6990    Seminar in Materials Science and Engineering    1 s.h.

Presentations of ongoing research in materials science and engineering. Includes presentations by guest speakers, faculty and graduate students. May be repeated for a maximum of 3 semester hours.

MATL 7010    Analytical Methods for Materials Science 1    3 s.h.

A laboratory course where the student will receive hands-on training with instruments commonly used in materials research. Techniques covered include electrical response methods, spectroscopic methods, X-ray techniques, and thermal analysis and surface profiling techniques. (2 hour lecture/3 hour lab).

MATL 7020    Analytical Methods for Materials Science 2    3 s.h.

A laboratory course where the student will receive hands-on training with instruments commonly used in materials research. Instruments covered include light microscopes, scanning electron microscopes, transmission electron microscope, focused ion beam, X-ray photoelectron spectrometer, Auger spectrometer, X-ray microscope, and dynamic mechanical analyzer. (2 hour lecture/3 hour lab).

MATL 8010    Structure of Materials    3 s.h.

A study of the structure/property relationship of materials at the electronic, atomic, and molecular level. Using quantum chemistry, symmetry, chemical bonding and electrochemistry, this course will introduce the student to the classification and properties of amorphous, crystalline, and semi-crystalline structures including metals, semiconductors, ceramics, polymers, and hybrid materials. The properties to be studied include mechanical, thermal, electrical, and magnetic properties.

MATL 8020    Mechanical Properties of Materials    3 s.h.

This course addresses the mechanical behavior of materials, assuming knowledge of elasticity, plasticity, fracture and creep, and aims to provide a robust analytical treatment of these topics across size scales and material types. The course is split into three sections: (a) Continuum mechanics, (b) Advanced phenomena in mechanics of materials, and (c) Case studies focused on the design and processing of materials.
Prereq.: MATL 8010.

MATL 8030    Thermodynamics and Phase Behavior    3 s.h.

Detailed examination of chemical equilibria and chemical changes with an emphasis on the theoretical basis for these phenomena and the properties of phase diagrams. The use of computer models for chemical equilibrium calculations utilizing extensive thermodynamic databases.

MATL 8040    Kinetics, Diffusion, and Rate Processes    3 s.h.

Essential topics covered include diffusion in solids and liquids; complex motion of dislocations and interfaces; complex kinetics of phenomena such as phase transformations and morphological evolution; and the rate at which these and other kinetic phenomena occur.
Prereq.: MATL 8030.

MATL 8050    Materials Internship    1-6 s.h.

Supervised experience in approved external industrial, government lab, or other comparable environment, working on advanced problems in materials. For materials science and engineering doctoral students or by permission of program coordinator. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 semester hours.
Prereq.: MATL 8020.

MATL 8060    Dissertation    1-9 s.h.

Design, proposal, completion, and reporting of scholarly research deemed acceptable to the program faculty. Culminates in an oral presentation to dissertation committee.
Prereq.: completion of qualifying exam and research proposal.