Pigman College of Engineering

Materials Science & Engineering - Graduate

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The Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering offers programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science and Engineering, with research specialization in the following areas:

  • Ceramics
  • Electronic Materials
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Micro-Materials
  • Nanomaterials
  • Polymers and Composites
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Thin Films 





Masters Degree Description

The master’s degree is offered under Plan A (thesis option) and Plan B (non-thesis option). Candidates for the degree under Plan A must complete 24 credit hours of course work and submit and defend a thesis that demonstrates research ability. The required course work includes the materials science core (MSE 632, 635, 650, 781) as well as appropriate electives selected in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies. In certain exceptional cases (as determined by the faculty), a non-thesis M.S. may be undertaken (Plan B). The non-thesis option requires 30 hours of course work that includes the materials science core, and is only available to those students with prior research or industrial experience. For both Plan A and Plan B, at least half of all graduate course work must be at the 600 level or above. 

Doctoral Degree Description

The Ph.D. program offers broad training in materials science and engineering while providing options to suit the student’s particular interests and designated area of specialization. The student must conduct original and significant research and must submit and defend a dissertation based on that research. Doctoral students complete the materials science core, and work with their doctoral advisory committee to develop a program of elective courses designed to address deficiencies and to enhance the specialization area of interest. In addition, students must demonstrate proficiency in a minor area selected from the fields of mathematics, physical sciences, or engineering. In order to advance to candidacy, doctoral students must pass an oral qualifying examination that tests the candidate’s knowledge in three fundamental areas of Materials Science and Engineering: Structure of Materials, Mechanical Behavior of Materials, and Thermodynamics of Materials. 

Admission & Application Requirements

Admission to the M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs is on a competitive basis, and financial assistance is available through teaching and research assistantships, as well as a limited number of fellowships. Applicants should have a minimum grade point average of 3.0/4.0 on all undergraduate work. Persons with backgrounds in any physical science or engineering discipline are encouraged to apply, as each applicant’s qualifications are reviewed individually. Minimum requirements for admission include a bachelor’s degree and four semesters of university-level calculus, calculus-based physics, and chemistry. Please note that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission, as acceptance is on a competitive and space-available basis.

  • CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Three letters of recommendation

The GRE is not required for admission to the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Materials Science and Engineering.

Applicants must meet the Graduate School admission requirements.


Fall: February 1

Spring: August 1

Imagine Your Future

Materials Engineers

Materials engineers develop, process, and test materials used to create a wide range of products.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary


per year in 2023

Number of Jobs


in 2023

10 Year Job Outlook


new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Materials engineers generally work in offices where they have access to computers and design equipment. Others work in factories or research and development laboratories. Materials engineers typically work full time and may work overtime hours when necessary.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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