Macro/CAPES PhD Program

The Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education, CAPES, and Case Western Reserve University Case School of Engineering, entered into a Cooperation Agreement to implement the PhD Program in Polymer and Colloids Science and Engineering, with the following objectives: 
      a. To promote U.S./Brazilian joint basic and applied research at the highest level.  
      b. To foster the education of highly skilled scientists and engineers that will be the next    generation of Brazilian leaders in the area. 
      c. To offer, through Brazilian Partner Universities, BPUs, and as a central element of the Program, Dual Master’s and PhD Programs. 
      d.  To include an integrated curriculum in the dual programs under which students share their classroom learning and research between the BPUs, with the possibility of performing short internships at American and Brazilian industries.  
As the leading Polymer Department in the United States, the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering is absolutely committed to provide world-beating education and research environment to its students. In this spirit, we will partner with four of the leading Brazilian sister Departments and Graduate Programs, the BPUs. CAPES and the Department are in the process of selecting the BPUs from among the Brazilian top graduate programs evaluated by CAPES. The list will be posted here soon.    
The Program will be based on the structure of the graduate programs in the five Partner Institutions and will involve a Dual Degree PhD or a Dual Masters degree, with two degrees issued, one by CWRU and one by each student’s BPU. The PhD degrees to be issued will be those of the approved Graduate Program of each BPU. 
The Admission policy for students is as follows:  

a. All the application documents will be in English. The application packages will be sent to the Graduate Program Coordinator of the Macromolecular Science and Engineering Department at, with a copy to the Program Director (see below)  and will include the following: 

      1. A fully filled CWRU application form (link here)
      2. A fully filled form indicating the order of preference of BPU (link here)
      3. A CV in Lattes format.
      4. Three letters of recommendation (supplied by the references, per the application)
      5. The TOEFL or IELTS score sheet (if applicable).
b. Preference for admission into the PhD program will be given to students who hold a MSc degree or equivalent, in the areas of Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics or Materials Science.  
c. Students entering the Program with a Bachelor’s degree must take one extra year of courses in Master’s programs currently offered by the Partner Institutions, including the various Master’s Degrees at CWRU. In the latter case, the student may benefit from a Master’s Fellowship from CAPES, separately from those of the Program. 

d. As per CWRU requirements, international students must score a minimum of 90 on the TOEFL exam or 7.0 on the IELTS. Students enrolled in the first edition are exempt from this rule at the time of registration, but have to become compliant within one academic year of classes starting to remain in the program.

e. Once an offer has been made, a student has two weeks to accept it. If he/she does not reply or does not accept, his/her place will be assigned to the next candidate on the list. 
The curricular structure of the Program is as follows: 
a. Core Compulsory Courses (3 credits each; students choose a minimum of 12 credits and a maximum of 18 credits).  The core compulsory courses in the first year are as follows. 
      i Polymer Synthesis (3 ch) 
      ii Physical-Chemistry of Polymers (3 ch) 
      iii Polymer Physics (3 ch) 
      iv Polymer Engineering (3 ch)   
      v Suspensions and Colloids Science and Engineering (3 ch)  
      vi Research Instrumentation (3 ch) 
b. Elective Courses (students choose a minimum of 6 credits and a maximum of 12 credits).   
      i Colloid and suspension rheology  
     ii Polymer rheology   
    iii Non-Newtonian fluid mechanics  
    iv Polymer membranes  
     v Polymer blends  
    vi Polymer processing  
   vii Computational simulation and modeling of macroscale processes  
   viii Molecular and mesoscale modeling  
     ix Design of experiments  
     x Advanced concepts in polymer chemistry  
    xi Self-assembly and nanomaterials     
   xii Inorganic/Coordination Chemistry  
   xiii Green chemistry and engineering  
   xiv Advanced composite and nanocomposite materials and interfaces  
    xv Structure and morphology in polymers 
   xvi Hierarchical structures and properties  
  xvii X-ray and microscopy  
  xviii Adhesives, sealants and coatings  
   xix Polymers in energy  
    xx Polymers in medicine  
   xxi Finite elements in fluids 
c. In total, students must take 24 credits of classes, of which a minimum of 12 must be taken in core courses. Students may apply to be exempt from taking up to two core courses, if their prior education has covered such subjects. Any such request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and must have the approval of both advisors. 
d. At the end of the first year, the students will take a Written Qualifier Exam (“WQE”). To continue in the program as a PhD student, his/her score must be 75 or higher, out of a maximum of 100. If the student receives a score between 60 and 75 on the WQE, he/she will be eligible to transfer to the Masters program. If the student receives a score below 60, he/she will not be permitted to continue in the Program.  
e. If a student fails to have a score that will keep him/her in the PhD program, he/she will be given the opportunity to qualify by taking and passing an oral examination. 
f. In order to receive a PhD degree, students will complete the coursework above, followed by three years of research that meets the quality standards described below. 
g. At the end of their second year, students will undergo a Research Qualifier Exam (“RQE”) consisting of a research proposal based on their Thesis theme. Students can take only a maximum of 6 research credits before defending the RQE. 
h. The research phase will take place between Years 2 and 4, with Years 2 and 3 at CWRU and Year 4 at the host BPU, respectively.  
i. All research theses will be co-advised by a faculty member from CWRU and a faculty member from one of the partner Brazilian Universities. 
j. The following are the minimum qualifications under which a student will be permitted to submit a thesis: 
      ◦ Successfully complete a minimum of 24 credits of coursework, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. 
      ◦ Pass both the WQE and the RQE. 
      ◦ Demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research, as measured by the  submission/publication of papers to ISI-indexed international journals or the provisional filing of patents. Typically, this would mean a minimum of two of such publications, although exceptions may be made to account for the quality of the journals. 
      ◦ The thesis will be written in English and the final defense will also be in English. The Thesis format must conform to the criteria as determined by CWRU and the relevant BPU. If necessary, the student will deliver two copies with the same content but in agreement with the local formats.  
k. The program will offer the possibility of short internships at Brazilian and U.S. companies in relevant areas.  
Students enrolled in the Program will benefit from a PhD Scholarship from CAPES for all four years of study, including during their stay in the USA. 
The application deadline for the Program is July 30, 2016. Applicants must have defended their M.Sc. thesis by August 15, 2016.
For more information, please contact:  
Program Director: Prof. João Maia,, +1-216-3686372