Microtechnology and Nanoscience

​The graduate school is organised within the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience.

Director of Graduate Studies: Per Lundgren


(approved by the Pro-Vice-President on 17 May 2005. Ref. nr. C2005/604)
(revised 5 September 2007)
(revised 24 February 2014)

1. Subject Matter and Goals

The subject Microtechnology and Nanoscience covers knowledge on materials, devices and subsystems for future electronics, photonics, micro- and nanosystems. The aim of the postgraduate education is to educate and examine licentiates and PhD:s who have general understanding of contemporary research challenges in the area, who can connect research with benefits to society outside academia, who have general abilities in research methodology, and very deep knowledge in their research specialty. The licentiate program aims to make the student capable of independent participation in research and development work. The PhD program aims to make the student capable of critically and independently planning, carrying out, and presenting work in research and development. See also the aim and objectives of the Graduate Course Programs at Chalmers.

2. Prerequisite Qualifications and Knowledge

The basic qualifications for admission to the graduate program in Microtechnology and Nanoscience is a Masters degree in Physics, Chemistry, or Engineering with relevant specialization (e.g. Electrical Engineering). Equivalent knowledge acquired by other means will also count as a qualification. Students with a base exam from a faculty of mathematics and natural sciences or equivalent may be admitted for postgraduate education at Chalmers. See also Admission Requirements in the Chalmers' Graduate Students' Handbook.

3. Organization and Structure

The PhD program comprises 240 credits, equivalent to four years of full time study, with the licentiate degree coming after the first 120 credits. The PhD program consists of:
  • compulsory courses within Generic and Transferable Skills (GTS)
  • elective courses
  • research leading to a scientific dissertation comprising 90 credits for the licentiate degree and 180 credits for the PhD degree
Teaching is by supervision within the research project, lectures, and seminars. The student is expected to participate in the regular scientific activities, meetings and seminars at the laboratory, at the department and at Chalmers.
In addition, for the PhD degree the student shall give a popular-science seminar before graduation, and write a popular-science summary of their research that shall be printed on the thesis back cover.

4. Courses

The course part comprises a compulsory part and an elective part, which is individually tailored for the student’s research project, interest and prior knowledge.

4.1. Compulsory courses

Cf. Chalmers’ general description of the GTS course package. All graduate students need to have participated in the compulsory half-day “General Introduction for Doctoral Students” before their licentiate degree.
For students starting before 2012-09-01, the 2 courses ”Teaching Learning and Evaluation”, and ”Ethics and Sustainable Development”, corresponding to 6 credits in total, is required for the licentiate degree. Another 3 credits of coursework, which can be selected among the other courses in the GTS package, are required for the PhD degree.
Students starting on or after 2012-09-01 shall follow the GTS course package with 9 credits for the licentiate degree and another 6 credits for the PhD degree.

4.2. Elective courses

The examiner, supervisor and student together determine an appropriate set of elective courses.

5. Theses

To write and present a licentiate thesis is not compulsory, but strongly recommended. Students that do not write a licentiate thesis shall present their work at a “mid term” seminar, approximately halfway through the work towards the PhD, to mark that the requirements corresponding to the licentiate degree is fulfilled.

5.1. Licentiate thesis

For the licentiate degree, the student must carry out an independent project, write a thesis describing it, and present the thesis at a seminar. A discussion leader should be present to discuss with the student for approximately 30 minutes, in a lighter form of a PhD-defense. The thesis is graded Passed ("Godkänd") or Not passed ("Icke godkänd").

5.2. Doctoral thesis

For the PhD degree the student must write a scientific (doctoral) dissertation, and defend it at a public examination. The dissertation should normally consist of an introduction and a collection of scientific papers, parts of which has been published in international scientific journals. Alternatively, it can also have the form of a monograph. The thesis is graded Passed ("Godkänd") or Not passed ("Icke godkänd").

6. Requirements for the degree

6.1. Licentiate degree

The requirements for the licentiate degree comprise 120 credits, of which 30 credits are acquired in postgraduate courses and 90 credits in the licentiate thesis.

6.2. Doctoral degree

The requirements for the doctoral degree comprise 240 credits, of which 60 credits are acquired in postgraduate courses and 180 in the PhD thesis.

7. Supervision

Graduate students are entitled to supervision: full-time students receive four years of supervision for the doctoral degree, and two years for the licentiate degree; part-time students obtain the same amount distributed over a proportionally longer time period.
Every student needs to have an examiner, a main supervisor and at least one assistant supervisor. The main and assistant supervisors form a supervision group. The assistant supervisors can be researchers within the department, other academic institutions and/or industry or public sector.
The examiner has the main responsibility for the direction of the graduate education, and can also be main or assistant supervisor. The examiner grades exams on courses and the licentiate thesis.  
The supervision consists of partly general advice regarding organization and planning of the education and course selection, and partly of guidance in the research project. Supervision in specific courses are usually given by the supervisor of that course. The details of the content and form of supervision is specified in the student’s individual study plan.
The main supervisor is responsible for providing the student with a research task, and appropriate supervision.
The assistant supervisors take part in the supervision of the student and in the follow-up of the studies.
The examiner, supervisors and student jointly, at the beginning of the studies, devise an individual study plan for the student. This group meets, at least once per year, with the director of studies of the graduate school to discuss the progression. The meeting results in an updated version of the study plan, which shall be signed by the student, director of studies, supervisors and examiner, and archived by the director of studies. See also additional information on supervision given in the Chalmers' Graduate Students' Handbook.

8. Examination of knowledge

Courses are followed by written and/or oral examinations; the student's performance is graded Passed ("Godkänd") or Not passed ("Icke godkänd").
The licentiate thesis is graded by the examiner.
The doctoral dissertation is graded by a committee, which is specially appointed for each thesis defense. The grade takes into account the content as well as the defense of the dissertation.
Three months before the planned date of the doctoral defense, a draft of the dissertation must be given to the Department's pro-dean. See also:
  • Chalmers' Handbook for doctoral studies (Licentiate degree examination)
  • Chalmers' checklists for licentiate seminar and doctoral thesis defense
  • Chalmers' checklists for licentiate and doctoral degree certificates
All doctoral theses shall be examined and approved by the department’s internal thesis review committee (TRC).
The student (with the examiner and supervisors present) shall present the thesis for TRC at least six months prior to the planned date for defense. TRC provides feedback on the thesis quality and gives advice and recommendations for the remaining plan towards the doctoral defense.

9. Further directives

For full-time studies the licentiate degree is estimated to two years, and the doctoral degree to four years. Departmental work of up to 20 % may prolong the studies accordingly. The student must present his or her study results and future plans regularly.
More information is given in the Chalmers' Handbook for doctoral studies, Rules of Procedure – Doctoral Programmes, and general policy documents.

Published: Wed 28 Dec 2016. Modified: Fri 30 Dec 2016