Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering PhD

The Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering program ranges from fundamental work in solid and fluid mechanics to diverse studies in materials, mechanical systems, and biomechanics. You will discover that mechanical engineering covers a wide range of activities, including research in dynamics, fluids, materials, solids, and thermodynamics. Your research will be strongly interdisciplinary, with many connections to Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics, Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

Materials scientists and mechanical engineers at Harvard are engaged in a wide range of work in the mechanics of materials structures. Projects that current and past students have worked on include seeking to create a revolutionary implantable brain-machine interface that can improve the treatment of neurological disorders and engineering the next generation of pop-up and inflatable buildings.



PhD in Materials Science & Mechanical Engineering Degree

Harvard School of Engineering offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degree in Engineering Sciences: Materials Science & Mechanical Engineering, conferred through the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Harvard Griffin GSAS). Prospective students apply through the Harvard Griffin GSAS. In the online application, select “Engineering and Applied Sciences” as your program choice and select "PhD Engineering Sciences: Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering".

The Materials Science & Mechanical Engineering program does not offer an independent Masters Degree.

Materials Science & Mechanical Engineering PhD Career Paths

Graduates of the program have gone on to found exciting startups in health care and robotics and have begun a range of careers in law, industry, and government. Others have positions in academia at the University of Toronto, University of Rochester, and Harvard.

Admissions & Academic Requirements

Prospective students apply through the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Harvard Griffin GSAS). In the online application, select  “Engineering and Applied Sciences” as your program choice and select "PhD Engineering Sciences: Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering​" in the area of study menu.

Please review the admissions requirements and other information before applying. Our website also provides admissions guidanceprogram-specific requirements, and a PhD program academic timeline.

Academic Background

Applicants typically have bachelor’s degrees in the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, or engineering. 

Standardized Tests

GRE General: Not Accepted

Materials Science & Mechanical Engineering Faculty & Research Areas

View a list of our materials science and mechanical engineering faculty and materials science and mechanical engineering affiliated research areas, Please note that faculty members listed as “Affiliates" or "Lecturers" cannot serve as the primary research advisor.  

Materials Science & Mechanical Engineering Centers & Initiatives

View a list of the research centers & initiatives at SEAS and the materials science and mechanical engineering faculty engagement with these entities.

Graduate Student Clubs

Graduate student clubs and organizations bring students together to share topics of mutual interest. These clubs often serve as an important adjunct to course work by sponsoring social events and lectures. Graduate student clubs are supported by the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin School of Arts and Sciences. Explore the list of active clubs and organizations.

Funding and Scholarship

Learn more about financial support for PhD students.

How to Apply

Learn more about how to apply or review frequently asked questions for prospective graduate students.