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Materials Science Ph.D. Program

Our Campuses - Montana State University


Montana State University campus

Location: Bozeman, MT

Founded: 1893

Enrollment: 15,294

MatSci Departments: Mechanical Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Chemistry/Biochemistry; Physics




Discovery

MSU is recognized nationally for its prominence in research among leading public research universities. It is among only 108 institutions in the nation, out of more than 4,600, that the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies as having "very high research activity" - the highest level in the classification. This prolific research has led to many significant discoveries that are changing the world. MSU holds more than 200 active technology licenses. In addition, 87 patents and 14 plant variety certificates have been issued for MSU discoveries with many more pending.

Research expenditures at MSU typically exceed $100 million annually and top research departments include immunology, chemistry and biochemistry, transportation, physics, and land resources and environmental sciences; research funding comes from a diverse collection of agencies and foundations including the National Institutes of Health, Departments of Energy, Defense and Agriculture, the National Science Foundation and private organizations.

Material Science Expertise

Chemistry and Biochemistry: MSU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is ranked 28th in the nation, surpassing Yale, Princeton and other top U.S. schools in terms of federal support for chemical research and development according to Chemical and Engineering News. With expertise in ultrafast and nonlinear optical spectroscopy and molecular beam scattering, faculty in Chemistry and Biochemistry include international leaders in the fields of DNA based biomaterials, high temperature energy storage and conversion, and material corrosion.

Engineering: Graduate degree programs in MSU's College of Engineering are characterized by interdisciplinary interactions between faculty and students in the COE’s five departments and across campus. The program fosters creativity and enhances student experiences by actively encouraging research across disciplinary boundaries while providing depth in a research and curricula specialty area. Research opportunities range from designing nanostructured porous materials intended for electrocatalysis to discovering new microbial strains for the production of 3rd generation renewable biofuels all the way to understanding and improving the manufacturing, fracture and fatigue requirements of materials used in the wind turbine and aerospace industries.

Physics: The MSU Department of Physics pursues an exceptionally broad spectrum of fundamental and applied research in condensed matter and optical physics. Areas of expertise include defect characterization, ferroelectrics and piezoelectrics, fuel cells, interfacial growth, magnetism (bulk and thin film), nanotechnology, phase transitions, spintronics, and superconductivity. One of the leading graduate research programs on campus, MSU-Physics is also nationally competitive in terms of federal support and national recognition from organizations such as the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America.

Bozeman, MT - MSU’s Backyard

Bozeman was on Outside magazine's list of "Best Towns 2013" which only included 17 towns that "redefine living well." Highlights included trail and skiing access, a general appreciation for quality local food, and a spirit of volunteerism.

Skiing, hiking, camping, biking, climbing, and fishing options are endless because Bozeman is surrounded by five mountain ranges including the Bridger, Tobacco Root, Big Belt, Gallatin and Madison ranges; and the Gallatin, Madison and Yellowstone Rivers are all within a half hour of campus. There is plenty of National Forest land to explore, and Yellowstone National Park is just 90 miles away.

Perhaps best known for outdoor recreation, Bozeman also has the cultural amenities of a much larger city include a symphony, opera, and ballet companies, as well as many locally-owned shops, restaurants and galleries that make Downtown vibrant.

Montana Tech


A Montana Tech student loads a sample for examination with a table-top electron microscope

Montana State


raman microscope and high temperature furnace at Montana State University

University of Montana


professor and X-ray diffractometer

Montana Tech


Montana Tech post-fire assessment with drill resistance testing equipment

Montana State


Montana State University students and professor

University of Montana


Using hyperspectral analysis to examine nanoparticle interactions with cells.

Montana Tech


HyRox digital microscope examination of complex metal microstructure at Montana Tech

Montana State


high temperature fuel cell assembly at Montana State University

Montana Tech


thermogravimetric analysis at Montana Tech

Montana State


thermal gravimetric analysis at Montana State University

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Montana Tech GENL Far-field Probing Station

Montana State


Montana Tech


Montana Tech field effect scanning electron microscope

Montana State


preparing samples for study in the X-ray Diffractometer at Montana State University

Montana Tech


installing heads on a hydrocyclone test stand at Montana Tech

Montana State


Fluorescence decay traces from the ultrafast emission lifetime spectrometer at Montana State University

Montana Tech


Adjusting flowrates in a continuous aqueous processing system at Montana Tech

Montana State


Optical elements of a time correlated single photon counting instrument at Montana State University

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dilatometer at Montana Tech

Montana State


in situ vibrational spectroscopy measurements with Ar+ ion laser and high temperature solid oxide fuel cell at Montana State University

Montana Tech


Montana Tech GENL Electrospinning tool

Montana State


adjusting gas flows into high temperature solid oxide fuel cell at Montana State University

Montana Tech


Montana Tech GENL Nanonics Near-field Scanning Optical Microscope