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Materials Science Ph.D. Program

Our Campuses - Montana Tech


Montana Tech campus

Location: Butte, MT

Founded: 1896

Enrollment: 2,923

MatSci Departments: Chemistry; Metallurgical & Materials Engineering; Environmental Engineering; General Engineering; Geological Engineering; Biological Sciences




A Strong Academic Tradition

Originally founded as the Montana School of Mines, Montana Tech is a public university with a mission to provide exemplary undergraduate and graduate education, workforce development, research, and service that builds on a strong heritage in engineering, science and technology, blending theory with practice to prepare graduates to meet the changing needs of society and the responsible development and use of natural resources.

Montana Tech offers 23 B.S. programs, 16 M.S. programs, the collaborative Materials Science Ph.D. program and several associate’s degrees. Total student enrollment is nearly 3,000, with about 85 percent of the students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Research facilities and equipment supporting the degree programs are extensive, particularly for natural-resource engineering, the geosciences and materials research. In a typical year, Montana Tech completes about $12 million in research with the largest efforts in the geosciences, materials and energy areas. The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (a state agency responsible for earth science information in Montana) and the Center for Advanced Mineral and Metallurgical Processing (provides process research to the private and public sectors) are both part of Montana Tech.

In Demand

Montana Tech consistently enjoys a placement rate for graduates of 93 percent or above. Montana Tech also consistently ranks among the best public colleges in the West. Recent honors include:

  • Ranked the #1 Montana College for Best Lifetime Return on Investment in 2013-14 (affordablecollegesonliine.org)
  • Ranked a Best Western College (Princeton Review)
  • Ranked among America’s top 650 colleges (Forbes)
  • Ranked among the Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs (U.S. News & World Report).

Montana Tech’s library resources include electronic collections, print collections and government documents, all of which contain extensive resources related to geology and mining, historical journals from the 1800s, the complete publications of Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology maps and rare books related to Butte, Montana and mining history. Montana Tech’s library is the only designated U.S. Patent and Trademark Depository Library in Montana.

Butte & Southwest Montana

Butte is one of the most historic and unique towns in the West. The city maintains a rich connection to the past with a well-preserved, historic uptown full of beautiful architecture, yet it is also a modern community with an active technology and engineering economy as well as a vibrant arts scene. Located along Interstates 90 & 15, Butte also provides an ideal location for exploring all that Montana has to offer. With convenient access to thousands of acres of public land providing world-class fly-fishing, biking, hiking, hunting, camping, skiing and hot springs opportunities, Butte is a hub of outdoor recreation.

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

Montana Tech


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

Montana Tech


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