Master of Science in Materials Science

The MS Materials Science degree is appropriate for students who have earned bachelor’s degrees in either chemistry, physics, materials science or related fields. Other STEM degree recipients may be accepted with appropriate additional coursework. There are two tracks for this MS Degree with a common core of courses: a thesis option, appropriate for students interested in continuing their scientific education, and an Entrepreneurial option, appropriate for students wanting to combine materials science with business.

Admission to the Program

Specific requirements to be considered for admission to the program are:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Completion of an undergraduate major in physics, chemistry, materials science or related majors. Additional undergraduate coursework may be required for related majors.
  3. A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.5 overall, and in all courses used for credit in the major (3.0 recommended).
  4. Submission of scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) to Graduate Admissions is optional, and may provide evidence of mastery of quantitative skills in the absence of a high GPA.
  5. Submission to the Graduate Coordinator of a one to two-page, typewritten statement of the student's preparation for graduate study, goals in the graduate program, potential area of study and possible advisor, and professional goals following completion of the M.S.
  6. Submission of three letters of recommendation from people who are in a position to make relevant comments on the student's intent and potential for success in the program. At least two of the letters should be from current or former college or university faculty familiar with the student's scholarship and related activities, or from current or former employers in STEM industries/government labs. All letters should be sent to the Graduate Coordinator.

Students are accepted by the Program Graduate Committee as classified students for admission for Fall semester. Spring admissions may be considered under compelling circumstances. In some cases, students who do not meet these criteria may be conditionally admitted to the program. Please consult the Graduate Coordinator for more information.

Advancement to Candidacy

To be advanced to candidacy, the student must have:

  1. Achieved classified status;
  2. Been accepted by a major advisor from the M.S. in Materials Science program;
  3. Completed at least 6 semester units of work applicable to the degree program as a graduate student at this university, and with a minimum grade point average of 3.0;
  4. Submitted a formal program of graduate course work, in addition to a project or thesis proposal, prepared in consultation with and approved by the student’s thesis committee, and approved by the graduate coordinator;
  5. Gained final approval of the program and of the candidacy itself by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Requirements for Graduation

  1. A minimum of 30 semester units of acceptable graduate level work included in the formal program, with no less than 21 units completed in residence at this University and with at least 21 units gained from 5000- and 6000-level courses approved by the program;
  2. Advancement to candidacy for the degree and approval of the specific program of courses;
  3. A cumulative grade point average of "B" (3.0) or better in all graduate course work fulfilling the requirements of the program, and a grade of "C" (2.0) or better in each course in the program;
  4. Completion and defense of an entrepreneurial project, or a thesis;
  5. The graduation writing requirement is met upon successful completion of the project or thesis, if not met earlier;
  6. Any additional general requirements not cited above and listed in Graduate Degree and Program Requirements.

Degree Requirements (30 units)

CHEM 4800Chemistry Foundations for Material Science 3
or PHYS 3100 Mathematical Methods of Physics
MSCI 6110Material Structure3
MSCI 6000First Year Materials Science Seminar1
MSCI 6120Material/Solid State Properties3
MSCI 6130Thermodynamics of Materials3
MSCI 6500Advanced Instrumentation and Experimentation in Materials Science2
MSCI 6050Second Year Materials Science Seminar1
Total Units30

Concentrations (14 units)

Interdisciplinary Materials Investigation Concentration

(Program Code: MSIM)

Research Units: a minimum of 4 units must be taken from a combination of the following, repeatable courses.4
Graduate Research in Materials Science
Graduate Research in Materials Science
Electives: a minimum of 6 units, chosen in consultation with your graduate advisor or thesis/project advisor6
Inorganic Chemistry
Topics in Chemistry (When topic is materials related)
Polymer Science
Materials Chemistry
Solid State Chemistry
Computational Chemistry
Computational Physics
Solid State Physics
Special Topics in Physics (When topic is materials related)
Special Topics in Physics (When topic is materials related)
Special Topics in Physics (When topic is materials related)
Special Topics in Physics Laboratory (When topic is materials related)
Special Topics in Physics Laboratory (When topic is materials related)
Probability Theory
Introduction to Graph Theory
Differential Equations with Dynamical Systems II
Advanced Data Analytics
Data Mining
1 additional unit not previously used from the thesis concentration.1
MSCI 6973Graduate Thesis3
Total Units14

Entrepreneurial Concentration

(Program Code: MSEN)

ENTR 6210Entrepreneurship and New Ventures3
ENTR 6230Exploring Entrepreneurial Opportunities3
ENTR 5410Commercializing Entrepreneurial Innovation3
MSCI 6965Materials Entrepreneurial MS Project 5
Total Units14

Culminating Experience 

  • Students in the Graduate Thesis Concentration will take MSCI 6973 for their culminating experience.
  • Students in the Entrepreneurial Concentration will take MSCI 6965 for their culminating experience.