UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara


Department of Materials
Engineering II, Room 1355;
Telephone (805) 893-4601
Web site: www.materials.ucsb.edu
Chair: Michael L. Chabinyc
Vice Chair: Stephen Wilson

Graduate Program


Undergraduate preparation for the Materials Ph.D. program includes a degree in engineering, physical sciences, or mathematics. However, the breadth of the materials field requires that flexibility be built into the undergraduate educational requirements. Upper-division courses in several of the following topics are expected: 

  1. Mathematics (ordinary and partial differential equations),
  2. Engineering thermodynamics,
  3. Organic or inorganic chemistry,
  4. Solid state physics,
  5. Physical chemistry,
  6. Materials science,
  7. Quantum mechanics,
  8. Solid Mechanics.

Students with a B.S. degree (having a 3.2 minimum grade-point average) are eligible to be admitted to M.S./Ph.D. status and those with an M.S. degree (having a 3.5 minimum grade-point average) are eligible to be admitted to Ph.D. status. The department gives priority for admission to students who are interested in obtaining a Ph.D. Admissions for the Ph.D. are largely limited to the Fall Quarter but limited admissions for the Winter or Spring quarters are available. The deadline for application is given on the departmental web page and is consistent with those of the Graduate Division.  Satisfactory performance in all sections of the Graduate Record Examination is required, with emphasis on superior performance in the quantitative GRE. Applicants whose native language is not English must receive a score of at least 100 on the internet based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), 600 on the paper based test, or complete the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) prior to admission to UCSB. Requests for exceptions to this requirement may be considered for those students who have completed an undergraduate or graduate education at an institution whose primary language of instruction is English.

Doctor of Philosophy—Materials (Requirements - PDF)

Master of Science – Materials, Plan 1 (Requirements - PDF)

Master of Science – Materials, Plan 2 (Requirements - PDF)

The Department of Materials offers a program leading to a Ph.D. degree with specializations in the following major areas: electronic/photonic materials (semiconductors, quantum structures and optoelectronic materials); inorganic materials (ferroelectrics, thermoelectrics, optical, magnetic and strongly correlated materials); macro/biomolecular materials (self-assembling polymers, biopolymers, biomembranes, mechanics of biomolecules, and organic electronics); and structural materials (metals, ceramics, composites, and coatings, including mechanics of materials). The curriculum in each area has the flexibility needed to provide multidisciplinary educational opportunities in the field of advanced materials. Incoming students are expected to design a tentative program of study suitable to their interests and research field with the assistance of their advisor and submit it for approval to the Graduate Affairs Committee within the first quarter of residence. (The program of study can be revised periodically to reflect changes in offerings and the student’s needs.) Each study program consists of a specified course sequence with emphasis on lectures, laboratory experience, and seminars.

Optional Interdisciplinary Emphases

Students pursuing a doctoral degree in Materials may petition to add the following Optional Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Emphases: Bioengineering.

Requirement sheets for each emphasis may be found on this page.