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Future Students

Future Students

The graduate program in materials science and engineering is designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of phenomena occurring in materials and their associated chemical, electrical, mechanical, and physical properties. The master's program prepares students for professional careers in materials science and engineering or for additional studies at the doctoral level.

Candidates for a master's or doctoral degree may elect programs emphasizing metals, polymers, ceramics, composite materials, or electronic materials, as well as a number of other areas. Although the program is administered through the College of Engineering, it is broadly interdisciplinary, actively involving faculty in both the College of Science and the College of Engineering. In addition to materials science and engineering courses, applicable courses are in the disciplines of aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, computer science engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and physics.

Degrees Offered

Minor in Materials Science and Engineering

To receive a minor in Materials Science and Engineering, a student must complete 18 hours of courses approved in advance by the MSE Undergraduate Program Advisor.

Master's Degrees

Master of Science (MS) in Materials Science and Engineering

The MS degree options available are: thesis option and thesis substitute option.

The thesis option is a research-oriented degree in which completion of a thesis is mandatory. The program consists of a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework (a minimum of 18 credit hours in MSE courses) and an acceptable thesis (minimum of six credit hours).

The thesis-substitute option must take a minimum of 33 credit hours as specified below:

  • 27 credit hours of coursework (a minimum of 18 credit hours in MSE courses);
  • 1 credit hour Seminar in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE5193);
  • 3 credit hour Master’s Research Project in Materials Science and Engineering I (MSE 5394);
  • 2 credit hour Master's Comprehensive Examination (MSE 5293) at the semester in which the student expects to graduate.
Master of Engineering (ME) in Materials Science and Engineering

The Master of Engineering degree is an engineering practice-oriented program requiring a minimum of 36 credit hours. A minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework must be in MSE courses. A maximum of six credit hours may be earned by taking MSE 5396 and MSE 5397 which an acceptable research project in workplace research project and  report, internship, or additional coursework.

MSE 5300 Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering: This course must be taken by any students whose academic backgrounds are different from Materials Science and Engineering. An exemption may be granted by the Graduate Advisor if it is determined that the student has a solid foundation for Materials Science and Engineering. The credit for MSE 5300 will not be counted towards the total credits required for graduation. However, the grade of MSE 5300 will be counted in calculating the GPA.

The M.S. and M. Engr. degree programs require successful completion of the following three of four core courses:

  • MSE 5304. Analysis of Materials
  • MSE 5305. Solid State Physics and Thermodynamics of Materials
  • MSE 5312. Mechanical Behavior of Materials
  • MSE 5321. Phase Transformations of Materials

Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering

The Ph.D. degree program involves an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach that requires students to complete a set of Materials Science and Engineering core courses augmented by elective offerings in aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, electrical engineering, materials science, mechanical engineering and physics.

A Ph.D. candidate must successfully to carry out independent research in an area acceptable to the Committee on Graduate Studies for Materials Science and Engineering. A student's research is directed by a faculty member from any of the departments or programs participating in the Materials Science and Engineering Program.

After completion of the first year's coursework (i.e., core courses), students must satisfactorily complete diagnostic examinations, which may be written or oral or written and oral with a supplemental interview with faculty members.

A student must satisfactorily complete a comprehensive examination upon completion of all or nearly all of the coursework requirements and after having demonstrated research ability through partial completion of dissertation research.

The dissertation research will be formulated in conjunction with the student's faculty research advisor, who may be associated with any of the academic disciplines participating in the Materials Science and Engineering Program. The dissertation research represents the culmination of the student's academic efforts and is expected to demonstrate original and independent research activity and be a significant contribution to knowledge in the field.