Graduate Degree Plan

Degree Plans must be obtained before graduation. Please see your advisor!

Suggested steps to writing your degree plan

  1. Meet with your research advisor, or if you do not have one assigned as yet, then meet with the current graduate advisor.
  2. For the meeting, print out the degree plan form: Master’s degree plan form or Doctoral degree plan form. Take a current unofficial transcript print out or a listing of courses you have taken to date.
  3. Graduate credit transfer from another program is possible for up to 6 hours for an MS and up to 24 hours for a PhD, if none of these credits were used toward another degree and pending Graduate Advisor approval. For total credit requirements of MTSE graduate degrees, please see the Hours at a Glance section below.
  4. Requirements related to number of courses are tabulated below. Some additional points are given here:
    • For students doing a Master’s you can take more than the total credit hours and also take research hours. 
    • For all plans, additional research hours will not substitute for in-class course work.
    • If you have past coursework that overlaps with the core courses, you are encouraged to meet with the professor teaching the core class and review whether you need to take it.
    • M.S. students can take core courses throughout their program.
    • Doctoral students should take core courses within the first two semesters, keeping in mind that they need to do a Ph.D. cumulative qualifier at the end of their first year. Note that qualifiers are only offered in Summer. Therefore students joining in Spring will be able to take their qualifier when there is one complete rotation of core courses offered during their enrollment.
    • For doctoral students, the credit hours related to total in-class course hours represent the minimum required. You can take additional in-class courses and lower the number of research hours that you take. You cannot take more research hours to supplement in-class course requirements.
    • The thesis/dissertation hours represent the maximum permitted on your degree plan. These require continuous enrollment. Therefore it is recommended that you take these hours close to the semester when you expect to defend your thesis/dissertation.

Hours at a glance

Four core courses are required for all MTSE graduate students:

  • MTSE 5000 - Thermodynamics of Materials
  • MTSE 5010 - Bonding, Structure and Crystallography
  • MTSE 5020 - Mechanical Properties of Materials
  • MTSE 5500 - Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

Graduate students who do not have a previous materials related degree and do not have relevant fundamental materials courses shown in their transcript are required to take MTSE 5100 “Fundamental Concepts of Materials Science”.  For such PhD students, there is also a requirement to take Fundamental Concepts of Materials Science Part II currently listed as MTSE 5800 Advanced Topics of Material Science.

PhD students are required to consult with their advising faculty on required specialty courses for their qualifying examinations. More information regarding PhD qualifying exams can be found at our website (

Complete core and elective course listing of MTSE Department can be found on UNT Catalog page. Exact courses offered will differ from year to year. Please visit schedule of class on Registrar’s office webpage for most up to date information:


MS (Thesis)

MS (Problems)*

PhD with prior MS

PhD after a Bachelors Degree

Core courses

12 hours (Four 3 credit hour courses)

12 hours (Four 3 credit hour courses)

12 hours (Four 3 credit hour courses)

12 hours (Four 3 credit hour courses)

Elective courses

12 hours (Four 3 credit hour courses)

15 hours (Five 3 credit hour courses)

Minimum 9 hours (three 3 credit hour courses)

Minimum 24 hours (eight 3 credit hour courses)


2 hours (Two semesters of 1 credit each)

2 hours (Two semesters of 1 credit each)

2 hours (Two semesters of 1 credit each)

2 hours (Two semesters of 1 credit each)



6 hours of Thesis

6 hours of Problems in lieu of thesis

10 research hours

9 hours of Dissertation

22 research hours

12 hours of Dissertation






[*] Students with prior MS degrees in Materials, Metallurgy, Ceramics or Polymers may consider substituting the core for electives

Ph.D. students are allowed up to two special problems/special study course and M.S. students are allowed to take one special problem/special study course in their degree plan.

For more information on graduate degree plans, contact

Lisa Dunlop
MTSE Student Relations
Phone: 940-369-7147
Fax: 940-565-4824