Materials Science and Engineering MS

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Keith Davis

Department Contact

Michael Pierce, Ph.D., Department Chair

Admission Deadlines & Requirements

Program Available Online? No
Application Deadline February 15
Admit Term Full-time = Fall; Part-time = Fall/Spring
Entrance Exam None
English Language Exams:
TOEFL (Internet) 90
PTE Academic 62


Priority deadline - COMPLETE applications that are received by this date are given priority consideration for admission and financial aid (if applicable). Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Rolling - There is no specific deadline for applications; applications will be accepted and reviewed throughout the year until the program reaches capacity.

Program overview

The MS degree in materials science and engineering, offered jointly by the College of Science and the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, is designed with a variety of options to satisfy individual and industry needs in the rapidly growing field of materials.

The objectives of the program are threefold:

  • With the advent of new classes of materials and instruments, the traditional practice of empiricism in the search for and selection of materials is rapidly becoming obsolete. Therefore, the program offers a serious interdisciplinary learning experience in materials studies, crossing over the traditional boundaries of such classical disciplines as chemistry, physics, and electrical, mechanical, and microelectronic engineering.
  • The program provides extensive experimental courses in diverse areas of materials-related studies.
  • The program explores avenues for introducing greater harmony between industrial expansion and academic training.

Plan of study

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required to complete the program. This includes three required core courses, graduate electives, and either a thesis or project. The core courses are specially designed to establish a common base of materials-oriented knowledge for students with baccalaureate degrees in chemistry, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, and related disciplines, providing a new intellectual identity to those involved in the study of materials.

The program has an emphasis on experimental techniques, with one required experimental course as part of the core. Additional experimental courses are available for students who wish to pursue course work in this area. These courses are organized into appropriate units covering many aspects of the analysis of materials. This aspect of the program enhances a student’s confidence when dealing with materials-related problems.


Elective courses may be selected from advanced courses offered by the School of Chemistry and Materials Science or, upon approval, from courses offered by other RIT graduate programs. Elective courses are scheduled on a periodic basis. Transfer credit may be awarded based on academic background beyond the bachelor’s degree or by examination, based on experience.


Students may choose to complete a thesis or a project as the conclusion to their program. Students who pursue the thesis option take four graduate electives, complete nine credit hours of research, and produce a thesis paper. The project option includes six graduate electives and a 3 credit hour project.


Materials science and engineering (thesis option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
MTSE-601 Materials Science 3
MTSE-705 Experimental Techniques 3
MTSE-704 Theoretical Methods 3
MTSE-790 Research and Thesis Guidance 6
  Graduate Electives 12
Second Year
MTSE-790 Research and Thesis Guidance 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Materials science and engineering (project option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
MTSE-601   Materials Science 3
MTSE-705 Experimental Techniques 3
MTSE-704 Theoretical Methods 3
MTSE-777 Graduate Project 2
  Graduate Electives 12
Second Year
  Graduate Electives 6
MTSE-777 Graduate Project 1
Total Semester Credit Hours 30


Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in materials science and engineering, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college in chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or a related field.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 90 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.

Candidates not meeting the general requirements may petition for admission to the program. In such cases, it may be suggested that the necessary background courses be taken at the undergraduate level. However, undergraduate credits that make up deficiencies may not be counted toward the master’s degree.

Any student who wishes to study at the graduate level must first be admitted to the program. However, an applicant may be permitted to take graduate courses as a nonmatriculated student if they meet the general requirements mentioned above.


Additional information

Part-time study

The program offers courses in the late afternoon and evenings to encourage practicing scientists and engineers to pursue the degree program without interrupting their employment. (This may not apply to courses offered off campus at selected industrial sites.) Students employed full time are normally limited to a maximum of two courses, or 6 credit hours, each semester. A student who wishes to register for more than 6 credit hours must obtain the permission of his or her adviser.

Maximum limit on time

University policy requires that graduate programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program. Bridge courses are excluded.

Career Outcomes

The RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education website provides information pertaining to student skills and capabilities, salary data, career information, job outcomes, and contact information for the Career Services Coordinator by program.

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