Research Rotations

New Macro Ph.D. students have the option of conducting research rotations during their first year in the program.  Instead of the traditional model where a student selects a lab group during the first weeks of the program, rotation students complete two semester-long research rotations with different faculty members.  At the conclusion of their first year students then decide on their permanent lab group.  Rotations do not increase the average time to degree for students.


Doctoral students receive full financial support during their graduate career providing they remain in good standing with the program.  Students with a Bachelor’s degree are provided five years of funding, students who have earned a Master’s degree are provided four years of funding.  Funding packages include tuition and healthcare coverage in addition to a monthly stipend.

Research assistantships (GSRA) are one of the most common forms of support in addition to teaching positions (GSI). Students are encouraged to also seek out funding from the College of Engineering, Rackham Graduate School, and external organizations.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Choosing an Advisor: Macro PhD students have the opportunity to enroll in research rotations or directly choose an advisor when entering the program.  Research rotations allow Macro students to work with two faculty members during their first year of study, then work with the faculty to make a decision about lab placement.

Coursework: Students are expected to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of course work, excluding research credits.  This includes…

  • A minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework in Macromolecular Science & Engineering
  • A minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework in the student’s chosen course option
  • Completion of the Macro 800 research seminar
  • Additional coursework to reach the 30 credit hour minimum

Course Plan Options

Students can elect course plans in Biomaterials, Biomedical, Chemical, and Materials Science Engineering in addition to Innovation, Chemistry, Organic Electronics and Photonics, and Physics. Students who have already earned a Master’s degree or wish to pursue to different course plan may propose an individualized course option. These course plans are outlined in the student handbook.

When considering elective courses beyond the Macro core requirements students are not limited to just the College of Engineering.  Students can elect courses in the Center for Entrepreneurship, Ross School of Business, and other applicable areas in science and medicine.

Additional Degree Requirements

Students must successfully complete 18 course credits in residence, the Macro comprehensive exam, the Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship (RCRS) Workshops, and their oral preliminary exam before advancing to candidacy.  Dissertation research will be conducted under the supervision of a faculty advisor following the completion of course requirements.

*Students must also adhere to other degree requirements as outlined by the Rackham Graduate School and in the Macro Student Handbook.


Interesting in knowing more about the program, application, or just need some clarification?  Contact Macro Program Coordinator Julie Pollak ( for more information.