The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest institution of higher learning, is a comprehensive research university enrolling more that 3,500 graduate students in 52 doctoral programs and over 79 master’s programs. While working with faculty members on research problems in the MINT Center, students have the opportunity to pursue M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Mathematics, or Physics. The Joint Materials Science Program also offers a Ph.D. degree.
The University’s graduate students, which includes 338 minorities, represent 69 countries and 48 states, contribute to our demographic and cultural diversity. In 2002, over 1,300 graduate degrees were awarded.
The University is located in Tuscaloosa, a city of 80,000 within an hour’s drive from Birmingham and within a few hours of both Atlanta and New Orleans. The city, which traces its origins to the early 19th century, stands on a bluff of the Black Warrior River, surrounded by lakes, forests, and rolling countryside. Tuscaloosa is pleasantly situated between the upper elevations of northern Alabama and the coastal lowlands to the south. Consequently, both the mountains and the beach are just a morning’s drive away. The climate is mild, with moderate rainfall.
Members of both the University and local communities can enjoy a variety of artistic and cultural events. Frequent presentations and performances are sponsored by the University’s nationally known programs in music, art, theater, book arts, and creative writing. These programs often feature visiting artists of major stature. Additionally, the university sponsors many lectures, seminars, symposia, colloquia, and other reading and performance programs.
Numerous programs and offices exist on campus to help students. These include counseling services, a career center, the Graduate Student Office of Minority Student Assistance, International Student Affairs, Student Support Services, an adult student office, Disabled-Student Services, the Office of Veterans Affairs, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Teaching Assistant Resource Center.
Research assistantships are available for students selected by a faculty advisor. In 2002, the amount in the MINT Center was $16,000 for 12 months plus paid tuition of more than $9,000 for an out-of-state student. Often, first-year students will serve as teaching assistants in their home department for a nine-month stipend (which varies with departments) plus paid tuition. Additional support can be obtained in the summer by joining a research cluster. The University also offers major financial awards to graduate students through an extensive fellowship program based on nominations by the academic departments.
The University has an outstanding residence program that supports graduate students in their pursuit of academic excellence and personal development. There are two basic types of housing available on campus: residence halls and apartments. The advantages of living on campus are numerous. Benefits cited by students include carefully trained staff to assist residents, secure facilities, programs to enhance scholastic achievement, opportunities to experience the interesting diversity of the student body, greater access to a wide range of University activities and services, convenience, and affordability. The priority deadline for applying for housing is April 1 for the fall semester.
The University-operated Crimson Towers serves graduate, law, and non-traditional students exclusively. These one bedroom, furnished units ideally suited for one occupant have been recently remodeled. The Highlands on Hackberry are new three bedroom, two bath furnished apartments ideal for unmarried graduate and law students who want to share an apartment. Students who have families may be interested in the University-operated Presidential apartments. Housing is also available in the pleasant neighborhoods surrounding the University, where apartments, rental houses, and condominiums are plentiful and reasonably priced.
There are 11 food-service areas on campus. Students may deposit money into a meal-card account, choosing from five meal plans, or they may pay cash at the campus food facilities.
Students considering the MINT program should apply to the Office of the Graduate School, The University of Alabama, Box 870118, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0118; phone: 205-348-5921 for admission to any of the departments participating in MINT. They are also encouraged to contact the departments of interest for further details on application requirements and academic programs.
Graduate students normally are enrolled in an academic department. However, their offices and laboratories will generally be in the Bevill Research Building where they will work and interact with students and faculty from other departments. Interdisciplinary group seminars are regularly scheduled to enhance communication. The primary course requirements will be established by the departments that offer traditional syllabi. In addition, a broad selection of materials-related courses is available for all students including the following:
- Applied Magnetism (PH)
- Chemistry of Materials (CH)
- Chemistry of the Solid State (CH)
- Electronic Materials (MTE)
- Introduction to Rheology (ChE)
- Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics (ChE)
- Magnetic Materials (PH)
- Laser and Optics (EE)
- Magnetic Recording (PH)
- Magnetic Resonance (PH)
- Optical Electronics (EE)
- Materials Processing (MTE)
- Mechanical Behavior of Materials (MTE)
- Corrosion Science and Engineering (MTE)
- Nucleation and Growth Phenomena (MTE)
- Optics (PH)
- Solid State Physics (PH)
- X-Ray Crystallography (CH)
- Phase Transformation in Solids (MTE)
Students and Post Doctoral Research Fellows who have performed their research in the MINT Center have found rewarding careers in the storage industry. Companies employing MINT alumni include DEC, Fujitsu, Headway, HMT, IBM, Imation, Komag, Lucent Technology, NV Electronics, Quantegy, Quantum, Read-Rite, Seagate, Silmag, and Storage Tek.