Nanoscale Science - Ph.D. Requirements

Programs Leading to the Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The purpose of the Ph.D. programs is to prepare the student for a career as a productive research scholar in nanosciences or nanoengineering. The programs are intended for students with career interests in industrial research and development, academic scholarship and research, or government research agencies.

The Ph.D. programs are designed to develop the student's ability to discover fundamental knowledge pertaining to:

  • The design, growth, and properties of nanomaterials, including metals, semiconductors, polymers, and chemical and biological materials
  • The integration, processing, testing, and qualification of these materials in nanocircuitry, nanosystems, nanosensors, and integrated nano-optical systems

Significant emphasis within each discipline is placed upon the science and technological know-how for atomic scale material modeling, characterization, and metrology to develop the fundamental skills necessary for independent and original research.

Students accepted into one of the SUNY Poly Ph.D. programs are required to construct a preliminary program of graduate study with the assistance of their academic advisor at the completion of the first year of study. This preliminary program will consist of the student's choice of concentration (specialization) and a tentative concentration course curriculum.

Requirements of the Ph.D. in Nanoscale Science

  1. Students admitted with an appropriate Bachelor's degree shall complete 60 credit hours of academic coursework in partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. degree requirements:

    • Thirty-six (36) credit hours SUNY Poly coursework at the 500 level or higher with the following provisions:
    • Nine (9) credit hours of seminar/external courses.
    • Fifteen (15) credit hours of Ph.D. dissertation research.
  2. Students admitted with an appropriate Masters degree shall complete 36 credit hours of academic coursework in partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. degree requirements.

    • Fifteen (15) credit hours SUNY Poly coursework at the 500 level or higher with the following provisions:
      • Completion of "Foundations of Nanotechnology" course sequence for which the student did not receive course equivalency upon matriculation into the Nanoscale Science Ph.D. program.
      • Completion of at least 6 credit hours of 600 or higher level coursework as advised relevant to a SUNY Poly Nanoscale Science track.
    • Six (6) credit hours of seminar/external courses.
    • Fifteen (15) credit hours of Ph.D. dissertation research.
  3. Preliminary Written Examination for formal admission to the Nanoscale Science Ph.D. program: 

    Admission to the Nanoscale Science Ph.D. program requires successful completion of a preliminary written examination covering fundamental topics in Nanoscale Science. The exam will be offered yearly and must be passed within two attempts to maintain academic standing in the Nanoscale Science Ph.D. program.

  4. Preliminary Oral Examination for completion of the Nanoscale Science Ph.D. degree: 

    Normally, within 2 semesters of passing the preliminary written examination, students in the Nanoscale Science Ph.D. program must take and pass a preliminary oral examination relevant to a Nanoscale Science track. Successful completion of the preliminary oral examination is determined by a five-member oral examination committee. This committee consists of at least three members of the SUNY Poly faculty (including the student's advisor who serves as chair) and at least one outside member (faculty outside SUNY Poly, or SUNY Poly research partner). Upon passing this examination the student advances to candidacy for the Nanoscale Science Ph.D.

  5. Submission and successful defense of a formal Ph.D. Dissertation: 

    Within one semester of passing the preliminary oral examination, the candidate must submit to his or her Ph.D. dissertation committee a proposal outlining an original Nanoscale Science research project constituting a Ph.D. dissertation. The candidate must describe the motivation and background for the dissertation; the critical milestones for completing relevant research tasks; and a statement of work outlining a specific research plan. The five-person Ph.D. dissertation committee consists of at least three members of the SUNY Poly faculty (including the candidate's advisor) and at least one outside member (faculty outside the SUNY Poly, or a SUNY Poly research partner.

    Upon timely completion of the Ph.D. dissertation research project the candidate prepares a dissertation and submits the final draft to the dissertation committee. The committee ascertains the suitability of the draft and recommends amendments which the candidate must complete before the final defense is scheduled. Once approved by the committee, permission is granted for the candidate to present and defend his dissertation in a public seminar.

  6. Ph.D. Publication Requirement: 

    For successful completion of the Ph.D. degree requirements, students are also required to be the first author on a minimum of two scientific publications that have already been accepted for publication in recognized peer-reviewed technical journals that are related to their concentration area. 

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