The Doctoral (PhD) degree offered through the Materials Science and Engineering Department is an intensive research and doctoral dissertation degree. Students may directly pursue a PhD degree without first earning a MS degree.

 MSE Graduate Handbook Year 2018-2019

MSE Graduate Handbook Year 2017-2018

Academic Advising

Marcie Leek
Academic Advisor
Office: CME 304

Book Advising Appointment

Degree RequirementsQualifying ExaminationSupervisory CommitteeProgram of StudyDissertation ProposalDissertation and Defense
Required Courses
Graduate Seminar
Thesis Hours
Grading Assistant
Registration Restrictions
Qualifying Examination
Supervisory Committee Form
Procedure to Complete
Program of Study Form


Written Proposal
Oral Proposal


Defense and Dissertation Forms

  • For information on admission to the PhD program click here.
  • For information about housing options at the University of Utah, click here.

Degree Residency Requirement
Degree Time Limit
Continuous Registration
Full Time Status
Leave of Absences
Credit/No Credit
Adding, Dropping, and Withdrawal Procedures
Appeals Procedures
Americans with Disabilities Act
Optional Practical Training for F-1 Students
Health Insurance and Family Leave
Orderly Dismissal Policy for Graduate Students

A Handbook for Theses and Dissertations contains information on The Graduate School’s policies and procedures for preparing a thesis or dissertation, having it edited by the Thesis Editor, and filing it as the final step in graduation. The Handbook includes an explanation of the University of Utah format, examples of forms and essential pages for the thesis, a list of departmentally-approved style guides, and a discussion of copyright issues. A copy of the Handbook is available here

Please be sure to check the Thesis Office manuscript tracking system to see if your dissertation has been uploaded to ProQuest.

Preliminary Formatting

What is a preliminary formatting review?

This lower-stakes, shorter review will help reveal significant formatting issues in manuscripts that will be an impediment to speedy approval by the Thesis Office. Students are allowed to turn in a chapter or more of a manuscript for a preliminary review, or may sign up for a 20-minute, in-person format review consultation. The Thesis Office will have an appointment calendar for students in place by Spring 2018.

How will this affect my graduation?

Students who do not complete a preliminary review will not be barred from graduating. However, students who do not complete a preliminary format review will no longer be guaranteed that their manuscripts will be approved in time for graduation in the semester the manuscript is submitted.

Preliminary reviews will be conducted by the Thesis Office up to two weeks before the first manuscript deadlines. Following that time, no requests for preliminary reviews will be accepted until the next semester.

What are the important dates?

Review deadlines are updated on the Thesis Office website.

Does a student need to wait until the semester they’re graduating to have a preliminary review?

No. If the student learns the correct formatting early in the writing process and implements it in their writing, it is more likely that the manuscript will exhibit no major formatting problems.

If a student is off-campus, how can they have a preliminary format review?

Students may ask a colleague to submit their manuscript for a preliminary review, just as they may for their final manuscript review. Students who wish to have a colleague pick up an edited preliminary format review must sign a FERPA form (available on the Thesis Office website). Off-campus students who wish to have an in-person preliminary format review may arrange with a Thesis Office representative to have a Skype or phone-in appointment.

Will students who have had a preliminary formatting review be prioritized by the Thesis Office when they turn in their manuscript for the final manuscript review?

Manuscript review submission to the Thesis Office will continue to operate in a first-come, first-serve basis. This will be reflected in the Thesis Tracking Tool, available for students and administrators on the Graduate School website.

Students who fail to have a preliminary formatting review and who have no major formatting issues will continue to graduate in the semester they submit. A student who has not had a preliminary formatting review and has major formatting errors that bar them from publication (as explained in the Thesis Office Handbook) may have their manuscripts be given a low priority for follow-up or have their manuscripts rejected for graduation that semester.

Whom can I contact if I have further questions?

Questions can be directed to the new Thesis Office general email address,

The following process is recommended to help students prepare for graduation:

  • During the semester before your graduation date, students should check their Electronic Graduate Record File in CIS. For more information on how to access the Electronic Graduate Record File click here.
  • If students have questions or issues surrounding graduation, they should make an appointment with the MSE Academic Advisor. It is important that you communicate with the Academic Advisor about your intended graduation date and progress.

In order to graduate, students must meet all of the University of Utah requirements as well as the department requirements for graduation.

For graduation deadlines and how to apply click here. Students can also find information on the Commencement Ceremony here.

Our students’ success and well-being are paramount in providing a world-class education. Take advantage of the numerous resources and services created to help students of all kinds prosper during their time at the U. For a list of complete resources click here