General questions about the Materials Science Ph.D. Graduate Program

  • When do I need to apply?

Applications are accepted year round. In general, most applications are received in the October to February for admission for enrollment the following August academic term.

When a decision on your application is made, your status will be either accepted with funding; accepted with no funding; accepted and considering funding; or declined.  In terms of accepted and considering funding, this usually entails a faculty member interested in you, but has not secured funding at the time of admission.  Some delays in admission determination is a result of funding considerations.  In general, all applicants will receive a decision by April, if one has not been received previously.

  • Is there financial support for my graduate school education?

The Materials Science Ph.D. Program can offer a variety of financial support including Graduate Council Fellowships through the Graduate School, Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs) through the program, and GRAs through individual faculty members’ grants and contracts.  Determination of the fellowships and GRAs are based on the candidate’s credentials, pool of applicants, and availability of funds.

To be eligible for consideration for these awards, students must apply to the program where their applications can be evaluated.  Applicants are also encouraged to contact the Materials Science faculty who they have an interest in their research to inquire about funding availability.  When contacting faculty, the candidate is encouraged to provide the UA assigned CWID number from their submitted application to the program so that their application can be readily retrieved for evaluation.

  • What if I am accepted and do not receive funding? 

Students that are accepted but are not offered financial support (either a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) via the home department or Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) by the program or advisor) at that time of acceptance can either (1) pay their own expanses and come to UA or (2) defer (waitlist) enrollment.  Students that are accepted, but do not come because of funding, will remain on an “accepted” list for one year. If funding becomes available within that year, such as a faculty member receiving a grant, they often consult the accepted list and contact students if they are still interested in graduate school at UA.

  • What is a competitive application?

The Materials Science program generally requires normal acceptance standards set by the graduate school for entry, but this does not guarantee acceptance. Demonstrated excellence in the classroom via grade point average, strong letters of recommendation, and experience in research and/or industry only strengthen a candidate’s packet for further consideration.

For non-native English speaking/writing candidates whose foreign language exam score does not meet the graduate school requirement, if accepted, the candidate will be required to take an English course coordinated through the graduate school.  Foreign students that have earned a degree in a U.S. institution can have the English proficiency requirement (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE exam) waived if the degree was awarded within 3 years of applying to UA’s Graduate School. Alternatively, if a foreign national candidate has worked in the United States for more than 3 consecutive years since that degree (B.S. or M.S. or Ph.D.) was obtained, this English proficiency requirement can be waived.