There are general Ph.D. Degree requirements set by the Rackham Graduate School. These are set forth in "Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies" and cover residence, minimum total fees, preliminary examinations and candidacy requirements.
The specific Program requirements include completing most of the course requirements prescribed in each specialization or option by the end of the second year, passing a two part comprehensive written examination, selection of a research area and a Research Supervisor and Dissertation Committee.
Counseling on both the general and specific requirements is provided by an advisor representing the Executive Committee of the Macromolecular Science and Engineering Program. The advisor is designated through a selection process during the student's first month. The student then chooses among seven specializations or options: Biomaterials Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry (synthetic or physical), Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Organic Electronics and Photonics, or Physics. An individualized option or specialization is also available as described below.
The progress to a Ph.D. is normally four to five years with coursework being emphasized during the first two years. Students are approved for candidacy after they have completed the basic prescribed courses satisfactorily, passed the comprehensive exam, formed a Dissertation Committee and passed a preliminary oral examination by that Committee.
The prescribed courses for the specializations within the Macromolecular Science and Engineering Program are described below. Note that the general requirement in all of these options is 30 credit hours; 12 of these from Macromolecular Science courses, 12 more from the specialized option courses, and then and additional 6 hours of graduate academic course hours credit. Research hours do not count here. It is recommended that an introductory course such as MSE 412(3) be taken as part of these credits by all students who do not have a strong polymer background. (Also graduate courses previously taken may be approved by the Director and research supervisor to fulfill some of these requirements):
1. Biomaterials Engineering Option
A minimum of 30 hours of course work from Biomaterial Engineering and Macromolecular Science Courses. This must include a minimum of 12 hours from Biomaterials and 12 hours in courses from Macromolecular Science. These courses should include: MacroSE 790(1) MacroSE 800(2), MacroSE 535 or 412 or 512(3), and MacroSE 536(2). The Biomaterials courses should include a graduate course in biomaterials, biochemistry, and biophysics.
2. Biomedical Engineering Option
A minimum of 30 hours of course work from Biomedical Engineering and Macromolecular Science. These courses should include: MacroSE 790(1), MacroSE 800(2), MacroSE 535 or 412 or 512(3), and MacroSE 536(2). The Biomedical courses must include a graduate course in biomaterials, biochemistry, biophysics, and/or biomedical engineering.
3. Chemical Engineering Option
A minimum of 30 hours of course work from Chemical Engineering and Macromolecular Science courses. This must include a minimum of 12 hours from ChE and 12 hours from Macromolecular Science. These courses should include: MacroSE 790(1), MacroSE 800(2), MacroSE 536(2), a graduate course in transport phenomena, a graduate course in numerical methods or mathematical modeling, and a graduate course in polymer processing.
4. Chemistry Option (Synthetic or Physical)
A minimum of 30 hours of course work from Chemistry and Macromolecular Science courses. This must include a minimum of 12 hours from Chemistry and 12 hours from Macromolecular Science. For a Synthetic option, these courses should include: MacroSE 790(1), MacroSE 800(2), MacroSE 535 or 412 or 512(3), MacroSE 536(2), MacroSE 538(3), Chem 540(3), Chem 541(3), Chem 542(3). For a Physical option, these courses should include: MacroSE 790(1), MacroSE 800(2), MacroSE 535 or 412 or 512(3), MacroSE 536(2), Chem 571(3), Chem 576(3), Chem 580(3), and another approved Chemistry course.
5. Materials Science and Engineering Option
A minimum of 30 hours of course work from Materials Science and Engineering and Macromolecular Science courses. This must include a minimum of 12 hours from MSE and 12 hours from Macromolecular Science. These courses should include: MacroSE 535(3) or 412 or 512, MacroSE 536(2), MacroSE 790(1), MacroSE 800(2). The majority of the Materials Science and Engineering courses must be 500 level or above.
6. Organic Electronics and Photonics Option
A minimum of 30 hours of course work from Organic Electronics and Macromolecular Science Courses. This must include a minimum of 12 hours from Organic Electronics and 12 hours in courses from Macromolecular Science. These courses should include: MacroSE 790(1), MacroSE 800(2), Macro SE 535 or 412 or 512(3), MacroSE 536(2) and MacroSE 538(3). The Organic Electronics courses must include one graduate course in each of the following: Device Physics, Device Applications, and Device Fabrication.
7. Physics Option
A minimum of 30 hours of course work from Physics and Macromolecular Science courses. This should include a minimum of 12 hours from Physics and 12 hours in courses from Macromolecular Science. Some recommended Physics courses to be considered include: Physics 505, 506, 510, 511, 512, 520, 540, 541, These courses must include: MacroSE 790(1), MacroSE 800(2), MacroSE 536(2), as well as Graduate Courses in Physics and an advanced course in physical properties of polymers. See the Director regarding the specific courses.
8. Individualized Option
An individualized option may be proposed by students who already have a Masterís Degree or other graduate courses or have equivalent experience. Such students must submit a detailed course program in writing for approval by the Executive Committee. Students must substantiate that they have sufficient depth of knowledge and skills from their Masterís Degree and graduate courses and/or their work experience to qualify for the individualized option.
Master's (MS or MSE) Degree
A minimum of 30 hours of graduate level credit (not including any make-up for deficiencies in the prerequisites). A minimum of four hours of Master's level research, but not more than six hours, can be used for the M. S. degree.
a) Fulfill Rackham requirements for the M. S. degree as spelled out in the Rackham Student Handbook. These include requirements related to cognates, Rackham fee credit hours, and transfer credit.
b) Complete a minimum of three courses in Macromolecular Science and Engineering.
c) Complete a minimum of three courses from those required in your option field (not to include those MacroSE courses used to satisfy shown in requirement b). The courses from which the student may fulfill these requirements are the "prescribed courses" for the chosen option listed on the following pages. These options include biomaterials engineering, biomedical engineering, synthetic and physical chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, organic electronics and photonics, and physics.
d) Complete at least four hours of master's research (MacroSE 890). There is to be a written report describing the results of this research project. The report should follow a format similar to that used in the Journal of Polymer Science. This must be an adequate Masterís Thesis Report. The advisor's and the Directorís approval of the adequacy of this report (not merely its submission) is required. Students should, therefore, discuss what is expected of them with the Director and their advisor early in the research project and should plan to submit the report early enough to allow for possible revisions and corrections. (In rare and unusual cases and upon petition to the Executive Committee, courses might be substituted for the required research report for an academic Masterís.)
A comprehensive written examination is to be passed before the end of the student's second year. The comprehensive examination is administered in two parts; part 1 is to assess the general knowledge of the student in polymer science, and part 2 is based upon the student's advanced course work and knowledge in macromolecular science. The two parts of the exam are also graded separately. Both parts must be passed before the end of the second year. If either part is failed on the first attempt, it must be retaken and passed before the end of the second year, and failure to fulfill this requirement will result in automatic dismissal from the program. Normally, the Comprehensive Exam is offered twice a year, in February and in May.
Admission to candidacy must occur not later than the term before the one in which the student expects to have the degree approved. Early candidacy is encouraged because it is advantageous for eligibility for reduced tuition (75% or less of the resident full-time fee) and for certain grants and fellowships administered by the Graduate School. The requirements to be satisfied before admission to candidacy, not necessarily in the order shown, include the following:
To obtain candidacy a student must fulfill the following:
1. Choose a research
2. pass the comprehensive examinations
3. Complete the minimum number of course requirements
4. Choose a disseration committee
5. Take a preliminary oral examination administered by the dissertation committee
6. Be formally recommended to candidacy
7. Complete candidacy documentation
The regulations governing the preparation of the dissertation are given in the HANDBOOK FOR DOCTORAL CANDIDATES distributed by the Graduate School.
A candidate is required to have a data meeting at some time around three to six months before the final oral and anticipated graduation date to present progress and allow their committee to evaluate their progress. The student may present a detailed discussion of his/her data in a clear and logical fashion, including major conclusions, and a detailed outline of the thesis. Slides, overheads and figures may be used as appropriate. Recommendations can then be made by the Committee as a whole regarding any further work or changes that are needed before the final review.
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