PhD Program in Materials Science and Engineering

Last month, YSU graduated its first PhD student. Kyle Myers was the first to complete the relatively new program in materials science and engineering. Read about Kyle’s story from YSU News.PhD Graduate

This month, we’re here to tell you more about the PhD program itself. Dr. Linkous, the program director, explained that the program is constantly gaining interest.

“We accepted our first students in the fall of 2012,” said Dr. Linkous. “We accepted the first four students into the program. We’re up to ten students now and the process is ongoing.”

Dr. Linkous explained that the study of materials science is actually pretty flexible because of the diversity of backgrounds in the students’ education. So far, the doctoral students here in YSU STEM have come from backgrounds in chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering.

“You see, we’re a doctoral program only,” said Dr. Linkous. “We don’t offer an MS and we don’t offer a BS; so we might recruit from another school that has a BS in materials science, but most of our students—in fact, all of our students thus far—did their undergraduate or master’s work in a different discipline.”

Materials science and engineering involves understanding the physical properties and performance of a solid material based on the identity and spatial arrangement of the atoms and molecules that comprise it. The relevance to the fields of chemistry, physics, and several disciplines of engineering becomes clear when looking at the content involved.

The four main areas that are fundamentally involved in materials science are ceramics, metallurgy, semiconductors, and polymers. The program prepares students to work with these types of materials in a variety of ways.

The PhD program is a four-year program that requires several core courses and mandatory research hours toward a dissertation. An internship is highly recommended for the hands-on learning experience as well as for additional research toward the dissertation.

Though it is a relatively new program at YSU, producing only one graduate so far, it is growing each semester and is expected to graduate more students this coming academic year.

Information regarding the requirements of the program and admissions can be found on the YSU website. Program director Dr. Linkous can also be contacted for further information at