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Graduate Program

Join our growing program and reach your goals!

Chemical Engineering graduate students

We are a close-knit program whose greatest pride are the students and their individual successes. Become a part of our work hard, play hard environment and achieve anything. We have interdisciplinary research opportunities.

  • 100% of our PhD graduate students receive full funding, including tuition, health insurance, and a competitive stipend
  • Faculty receive funding from many sources such as National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and Department of Defense. As such we offer both basic science and applied research.

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Career Paths

Our graduates succeed in a wide variety of career paths:

Academia and National Labs
Alumni have went on to have independent careers at University of Technology in Baghdad, Anhui University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory to name a few.

Industry
Alumni have joined numerous fields and industries. A few examples include joining the technology industry at Google, and Apple, and joining the automotive industry at General Motors, Ford Motor Company.

Program Requirements

Ph.D.

The Ph.D. in MSE is an intensive, hands-on research apprenticeship. Students complete 36 credit hours of advanced coursework (up to 12 credit hours can be waived for students with prior M.S. degrees), and thesis research focused on advancing their research area.

In particular, four three-credit courses are required:

  • MSE 632 Advanced Materials Science
  • MSE 635 Advanced Mechanical Behavior of Materials
  • MSE 650 Advanced Materials Thermodynamics
  • MSE 782 Special Problems in Materials Science and Engineering

The remaining courses are elective and will be selected in conjunction with the student’s Major Professor.

A Traditional Timeline For PhD Students

Tasks Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5+
Courses

 

 

 

 

           
Research  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preliminary Proposal  

 

 

             
Proposal      

 

 

         
Defense              

 

 

 

Teaching Assistant

 

                 

MS

An MS degree in MSE enhances and extends a student’s undergraduate training, positioning them for competitive and impactful jobs in a range of exciting fields. Offers of admission are made based on a comprehensive review of each applicant’s record.

In particular, four three-credit courses are required:

  • MSE 632 Advanced Materials Science
  • MSE 635 Advanced Mechanical Behavior of Materials
  • MSE 650 Advanced Materials Thermodynamics
  • MSE 782 Special Problems in Materials Science and Engineering

The remaining courses are elective and will be selected in conjunction with the student’s Major Professor.

Plan A

MS students complete 24 credit hours of graduate coursework, plus conduct thesis research leading to the preparation and defense of a dissertation. MS students work directly with faculty on cutting-edge research with direct application to real-world problems.

Admission to the Plan A MS program is competitive. To begin the process, students should apply to the MS in MSE program through the UK Graduate School. Prospective students interested in the Plan A program must indicate so in their personal statement and include a clear description of their research interests.

Plan B

MS students complete 30 credit hours of graduate coursework, as well as a comprehensive final exam.

The Plan B MS program is ideal for continuing education students aiming to improve skills and job prospects. Prospective students should apply through the UK Graduate School.

Research Areas

Next-Gen Metals and Manufacturing

Materials for Energy and Sustainability

Materials-by-Design: Computational

Organic and Bio-Inspired Materials

Nanoengineered Materials

Advanced Materials: Polymers, Metals and Composites

Surfaces and Interfaces

Lexington is a great place to live

We are the Horse Capital of the World. Lexington has over 100 parks and a lively atmosphere for all kinds of lifestyles. The city has four distinct seasons so that we get to enjoy the best of all weather.

  • #33 Best Place to Live in the US – U.S. News & World Report
  • #19 Cheapest places to live - U.S. News & World Report

Collaborative Environment

Students and faculty commonly collaborate on projects. We share resources and expertise to help everyone accomplish their projects. Some groups even have joint group meetings to establish an open environment.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

We aim to create diversity, provide equitable opportunities, and develop an inclusive environment within our department.

Learn More

Safety

The safety of all our students and staff is a top priority. We provide safety training regarding best practices in the research setting. We also prioritize safety as it pertains to the whole person, which includes both physical safety and mental health.

Questions?

Matthew Beck
Director of Graduate Studies, Materials Engineering
m.beck@uky.edu