The Ph. D. program aims to produce professional young scientist or engineers in materials science and engineering through systematic training of independent research. The student will be prepared with a solid understanding of general phenomena in all materials as well as a detailed understanding of phenomena for at least one particular class of materials. Depth and breadth of knowledge are important guiding principles for the Ph.D. program. The first year is ordinarily spent principally on coursework, although some students may begin research. As soon as coursework is completed, students conduct research full time and will usually be preparing for a Ph.D. qualifying exam. The qualifying examination is an oral examination conducted by a qualifying committee chaired by the student’s research supervisor, and is ordinarily conducted in the second year. It is partly based on the coursework the student have taken, and also partly related to the dissertation project he/she has already started. It has the dual purpose of verifying the adequacy of the student's preparation for undertaking research in a chosen field and of assessing the student's ability to synthesize knowledge already acquired. Upon successful completion of the qualifying examination, the student officially becomes a Ph.D. candidate conducting his/her dissertation project. After finishing the dissertation, a final oral defece of dissertation is usually conducted by the student's research committee chaired by the student’s research supervisor. Judged by the research committee, the dissertation must meet the standards of significant and original research.