Graduate Studies

Program Description

The Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials offers graduate studies leading to an M.S. degree or PhD. degree in Coatings and Polymeric Materials. The department also offers an accelerated BS/MS program. The mission of the departmental research is to bridge a gap between basic and applied research in the field of Coatings and Polymeric Materials. Such a philosophy provides a unique atmosphere and opportunities for cross-disciplinary research, which is often accomplished by the multi-disciplinary research activities with other departments, for example, chemistry or engineering. Advanced research work involves specialized training in the following areas: colloidal and interfacial chemistry of Coatings and Polymeric Materials, polymer synthesis, adhesion, surface and interfacial spectroscopy of Coatings and Polymeric Materials, rheology, nanomaterials design and synthesis, and surface chemistry. The department has an industrial advisory board consisting of leading industrial scientists and/or former graduates who often help provide new directions to the program.

During the fall semester, the faculty meets with new students to acquaint them with the research programs in the department. Students are required to visit faculty members to discuss research opportunities because by the end of the first semester in residence, students are required to select an advisory and examining committee. Programs are individually tailored to the needs and interests of each student.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science programs require the completion of 20 credits of letter-graded course work with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better. The PhD. option requires the completion of 27 credits of letter-graded course work with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better.

Each student must choose a thesis adviser within three to six months of beginning the graduate program. By the end of the first semester in residence, students select a research adviser, and by the end of the first year must select an examining committee. This committee advises students and administers oral examinations.

Candidates for the M.S. program normally satisfy course requirements within one year of study. PhD. candidates typically take about two years to complete courses, leaving later years for full-time dissertation research.

At the beginning of the fifth semester of study, PhD students take a comprehensive written examination.  All PhD. students are also required to defend an original written research proposal in order to be admitted to candidacy. The proposal topic must be approved by the student's advisory committee, which administers the oral exam. Following completion of dissertation research and the presentation of an acceptable written dissertation, the candidate defends before the advisory committee.

Financial Assistance

The student must first be accepted in full or conditional status before he/she is eligible for an assistantship in the Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials. Graduate students are supported during both the academic year and summer months by either teaching or research assistantships. The stipend is a minimum of $1300 - $1700+ per month, or $15,600 - $20,400+ annually . University tuition is waived for all qualified TAs and RAs.

To be considered for an assistantship, a completed Graduate School application, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation must be submitted no later than April 15. International applicants also must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score, as well as general GRE scores. General and subject GRE scores are preferred, but not required, of domestic applicants.

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