Graduate Studies

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Explore the Possibilities


Our department offers exciting opportunities for those seeking advanced degrees in the dynamic and interdisciplinary field of Coatings and Polymeric Materials.  Explore the possibilities with our graduate programs leading to either a Master of Science (M.S.) or a Ph.D. degree in Coatings and Polymeric Materials. Additionally, we provide an accelerated BS/MS program for those looking to fast-track their academic journey. 

Embark on a journey of academic excellence and cutting-edge research in Coatings and Polymeric Materials at NDSU. Join our vibrant community and be part of shaping the future in this dynamic field. Apply now and take the next step in your academic and professional growth.


Mission and Research

Our department is dedicated to bridging the gap between fundamental and applied research in Coatings and Polymeric Materials. Our research philosophy creates a unique atmosphere for cross-disciplinary collaboration, with active engagement in multi-disciplinary research activities alongside departments such as chemistry and engineering.  Delve into advanced research with specialized training in areas such as colloidal and interfacial chemistry, polymer synthesis, adhesion, spectroscopy, rheology, nanomaterials design and synthesis, and surface chemistry.  Benefit from the expertise of our Industrial Advisory Board, composed of leading industrial scientists and former graduates. Their insights provide valuable guidance and contribute to the ongoing development of our programs.


Focused on Student Success

At NDSU, we prioritize our students' success. During the fall semester, faculty members meet with new students to introduce them to our diverse research programs. Students are encouraged to explore research opportunities, and by the end of the first semester, they select an advisory and examining committee. Our programs are tailored to meet the unique needs and interests of each student.


Degree Requirements

The Master of Science programs require the completion of 16 credits of letter-graded course work with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better (30 total credits). The PhD. option requires the completion of 27 credits of letter-graded course work with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better (90 total credits).

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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