Ph.D. Requirements

Questions & Advisory Services

For information about Ph.D. program requirements, contact Jocelyn Guzman at academic@engineering.ucsb.edu.

Incoming Ph.D. students are required to design a tentative program study plan suitable to their interests and research field with the assistance of their advisor and submit it for approval to the Academic Affairs Committee by the end of the first quarter of residence.

Whether you are entering the Ph.D. program with a B.S. or M.S., all of the information you need to design a course of study can be found in the Materials Graduate Student Manual. In the manual, requirements and descriptions for the preliminary and qualifying exams, as well as for the dissertation defense, can be found.  Information about annual progress assessments, which begin after passing the qualifying exams, can also be found in the student manual. 

If you have any questions regarding the Materials Ph.D. program requirements or how to design a course of study, please do not hesitate to contact Jocelyn Guzman, the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Materials Department. 

Program Timeline and Requirements

Before the end of your first quarter in residence you must:

  • Select a research advisor who has a funded position and is willing to accept you into his/her group.
  • Prepare a program study plan in consultation with your research advisor and submit it for approval to the Academic Affairs Committee via the Graduate Program Coordinator. You must clearly specify your selected major sequence.

Every quarter in residence:

  • Take 12 units of academic credit comprising the following: 200 level coursework (until course requirements are satisfied), one unit of Matrl 290, and as many units of 598 or 599 needed to reach the total of 12 units.

On the quarter in which you are a teaching assistant:

  • Enroll in Matrl 501 under the instructor in charge; 2 units for 25% TAship or 4 units for 50% TAship (or the equivalent course if you TA in another department).
  • These units do not count towards the 72 units of academic work required for graduation.

1st year in residence:

  • Take one of the core departmental courses (Matrl 200A, B, C) per quarter. Take one unit of 290 and as many units of 598 to make up for 12 units per quarter.
  • Take one of the courses from your main course sequence per quarter. This may be extended into the second year for students with interests in more than one area, e.g. inorganic and structural, or macro and electronic/photonic materials. Discuss with your advisor what the proper sequence of courses should be to optimize your educational experience.
  • Attend Orientation for Preliminary Examination in the Spring Quarter.
  • ​Prepare for your preliminary examination during the Summer, concurrently with advancing your research work.

2nd year in residence:

  • Take two courses per quarter, including any remaining major sequence courses and elective courses. Take one unit of 290 and as many units of 598 to make up for 12 units per quarter.
  • Review your program study plan prior to your preliminary examination. Submit for approval to the AAC if you have made changes from the previous version.
  • Take your preliminary examination during the first quarter of your second year.
  • Attend orientation for your Qualifying Examination in the Spring Quarter.
  • Prepare for your Qualifying Examination during the Summer, concurrently with advancing your research work. 

3rd – 5th years in residence:

  • Take any remaining courses needed to satisfy your 200 level unit requirements. Take one unit of 290 and as many units of 599 to make up for 12 units per quarter.
  • Schedule and take your annual assessment with your committee once a year after advacement to candidacy.
  • Prepare and schedule your dissertation defense in agreement with your advisor. Please check with the Graduate Program Coordinator that all other requirements have been satisfied before scheduling your defense.