Research course

Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering

Institution
Harvard University · Harvard University
Qualifications
PhD

Entry requirements

Students with bachelor’s degrees in the natural sciences, mathematics, or engineering are invited to apply for admission.

Through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, prospective students apply for doctoral and master’s degree study at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). These programs lie at the interfaces of engineering, the applied sciences (from biology to physics), and technology.

When applying, select “Engineering and Applied Sciences” as your program choice and your degree and area of interest in the Area of Study menu. You must complete the Supplemental SEAS Application Form as part of the online application process. Please read the form carefully and indicate your specific interests only in the area to which you are applying.

Note about Materials Science: Prospective students interested in materials science may choose from two tracks: Applied physics or materials science & mechanical engineering. Applicants should apply to the track that is most appropriate for them based on their interests.

Months of entry

August

Course content

"Among the many things that make graduate study at SEAS uniquely rewarding, two stand out: our world-class faculty; and the fact that SEAS is part of the larger Harvard community. Our students have limitless opportunities for fruitful collaboration with colleagues from preeminent programs in the sciences, and world-class schools of medicine, business, law, government, design, and public health."

-Dean Frank Doyle

John A. Paulson Dean, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; John A. & Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering & Applied Sciences.

Materials science & mechanical engineering research ranges from fundamental work in solid and fluid mechanics to diverse studies in materials, mechanical systems, and biomechanics.

Characterizing the performance of such systems often depends on understanding behavior at several scales, requiring, for example, the mechanics of dislocations and other imperfections, grain boundaries, interfaces, and material heterogeneity.

Key areas of investigation include:

  • investigating the mechanics of materials structures
  • exploring geophysical and biological systems involved in phenomena such as elasticity, plasticity, buckling, fracture, and wave motion
  • understanding biological control, or the self-organizing behavior of living systems, in particular the brain, to develop novel control strategies and biologically-inspired machines
  • developing biomedical instrumentation, teleoperated robots, and intelligent sensors

Mechanical engineering covers a wide range of activities, including research in dynamics, fluids, materials, solids, and thermodynamics. Research is strongly interdisciplinary, with many connections to applied mathematics, applied physics, Earth and planetary sciences, and chemistry and chemical biology.

Fees and funding

5 years’ funding is guaranteed to all Harvard GSAS PhD students.

Applicants who are British citizens, normally resident in the UK and who are, or will be, graduates of a British university, are welcome to submit an additional application for a Kennedy Scholarship and/or a Frank Knox Fellowship.

An application to either award is separate from and totally independent of an application to a particular programme. Frank Knox Fellowship funding is advantageous in the taught-master phase of a doctorate. Both awards offer significant social and networking benefits.

Qualification and course duration

PhD

full time
60 months

Further details of qualification

Most Harvard PhDs begin with a two-year taught master.

Course contact details

Name
SEAS Admissions
Email
admissions@seas.harvard.edu
Phone
001 617 496 6100