Master of Science in Materials Science
The M.S. in Materials Science (MS) degree combines both coursework and research to provide an advanced foundational education to professionals interested in research careers in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). MSE is an engineering discipline that applies the tools of basic and applied sciences and engineering to the manufacture and application of materials and devices. Research and development in MSE is carried out in an expanding spectrum of technical areas by companies, national laboratories, and universities, areas ranging from health and biotechnology to energy production, transmission, and utilization to manufacturing and materials production to information technologies. Because MSE is an extremely interdisciplinary field, our M.S. in MS degree provides the foundation at the graduate level of all MSE activities in coursework, while allowing for flexibility in individual research interests: students can pursue research with over 40 MSE affiliated faculty. The M.S. in MS degree is well suited to include projects involving industrial interactions and/or interdisciplinary work. Experience has shown the program to be very flexible, allowing for individually designed coursework sequences and research projects that provide an ideal background for subsequent doctoral study without significant loss of time. The degree requirements are broken down into two categories, each requiring 76 units: coursework and project work. The coursework requirements are broken down further into three categories, each requiring 24 units: MSE Core, MSE Electives, and MSE-related Electives. Students generally carry out all 76 project units on a single project, for which they must write an approved Master’s Final Report. Students will normally complete the degree in three to four full (15 week) academic semesters.
The 144 satisfactorily completed units required to complete the degree shall be subject to the following distribution requirements.
- Students are required to take 24 units of the departmental common MSE graduate core courses.
- Students are required to take 24 additional units of MSE graduate elective courses (27-7**).
- Students are required to take 24 additional units of approved MSE-related courses.
- Students are required to carry out MSE-related graduate research; they must take (at least) 72 additional units of 27-756 Masters Project.
- A Master’s Final Report that clearly and successfully states the objectives and accomplishments of the MSE-related research must be written and approved.
- All full-time students must enroll, attend, and actively participate in the Graduate Seminar course (27-774) each semester in which they are registered. More information regarding the seminar attendance policy can be found on the Departmental Seminar Series website.
- All students must maintain a B (3.0) average to graduate.
- Course units with a grade lower than C (2.0) are not acceptable toward the degree requirements.
- Grades in approved projects may not be used in calculation of the B (3.0) average.
- Grades in approved projects must be B (3.0) or above to count towards the unit calculation for graduation.
II. Completion Timelines
- The average grade of the course work shall be at least a B (3.0), and the student may choose any 72 of the first 120 units attempted to compute the average course grade.
- The student must satisfy the graduate research (27-756) and masters final report requirements upon completion of the first 120 units of graduate research (27-756) attempted.
- The student must satisfy all of the requirements upon completion of no more than 240 units attempted.
III. Units per semester
- Only by permission of the department head may a student with 12 units or less of graduate research enroll in more than 51 units. Such students shall not be permitted to register for more than 60 units.
- Only by permission of the department head may a student with more than 12 units of graduate research enroll in more than 48 units. Such students shall not be permitted to register for more than 51 units.
- Units of course-work and project-work are to be taken together insofar as possible. To ensure this, more than 39 units of course-work may be taken in only one semester: students are encouraged to take 48 units of course work in their first semester while settling on a research advisor / project.
IV. Options for Summer Research
- Students are not required to participate in summer research activities. Students interested in carrying out summer work have two options, depending on the project and student’s interest.
- Graduate Reading and Research (27-773) allows the student to carry out research towards their Final Report without paying tuition, though these units do not count towards other degree requirements.
- Masters Project (27-756) allows a student to carry out research towards their Final Report but requires tuition to be paid per credit hour; these units can count towards other degree requirements.