Materials Science and Engineering Advanced Certificate

A graduate certificate in materials science and engineering that develops a foundation of materials-oriented knowledge, conceptualization, product development, and production decisions needed to strive in engineering.


Study Options: Full-time or part-time for working professionals


Total credit hours that can be applied toward the MS degree

Overview for Materials Science and Engineering Adv. Cert.

  • Unique, multidisciplinary program that combines collaborative experiences from the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, Golisano Institute of Sustainability, and housed within the College of Science.
  • Diverse faculty from the physical, chemical, and biological sciences, in addition to leaders in engineering.
  • Students develop skills that are in demand in many industries, including transportation, electronics, machinery, medical, consulting, utilities, education, government and retail.

The advanced certificate in materials science and engineering is 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. The program provides a new intellectual identity to those interested in the study of advanced materials and 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 advanced certificate may be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Part-time students are normally limited to a maximum of two courses, or 6 credit hours, each semester.

Students who are interested in further study may apply the credits earned in thew advanced certificate to the MS degree in materials science and engineering.

What is a Graduate Certificate?

A graduate certificate, also called an advanced certificate, is a selection of up to five graduate level courses in a particular area of study. It can serve as a stand-alone credential that provides expertise in a specific topic that enhances your professional knowledge base, or it can serve as the entry point to a master's degree. Some students complete an advanced certificate and apply those credit hours later toward a master's degree.


Curriculum for 2023-2024 for Materials Science and Engineering Adv. Cert.

Current Students: See Curriculum Requirements

Materials Science and Engineering, advanced certificate, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Materials Science
This course provides an understanding of the relationship between structure and properties necessary for the development of new materials. Topics include atomic and crystal structure, crystalline defects, diffusion, theories, strengthening mechanisms, ferrous alloys, cast irons, structure of ceramics and polymeric materials and corrosion principles. Term paper on materials topic. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Theoretical Methods in Materials Science and Engineering
This course includes the treatment of vector analysis, special functions, waves, and fields; Maxwell Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac distributions, and their applications. Selected topics of interest in electrodynamics, fluid mechanics, and statistical mechanics will also be discussed. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Experimental Techniques
The course will introduce the students to laboratory equipment for hardness testing, impact testing, tensile testing, X-ray diffraction, SEM, and thermal treatment of metallic materials. Experiments illustrating the characterization of high molecular weight organic polymers will be performed. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lab 3 (Spring).
Total Semester Credit Hours


Polymer Science
Polymers are ubiquitous. They are used in everyday applications as well as for specialty and cutting-edge technologies. This course is an introduction to the chemistry and physics of synthetic polymers, which include plastics, elastomers and fibers. The synthesis of polymers, their fundamental properties, and the relations between their syntheses, structure, and properties will be studied. Among the topics discussed are the morphology, thermal behavior, solubility, viscoelasticity and characterization of polymers. Copolymerization, tacticity and sustainability of polymers will also be covered. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Material Degradation
This course introduces the basic electrochemical nature of corrosion and considers the various factors that influence the rate of corrosion in a variety of environments. Various means of controlling corrosion are considered with demonstrations. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Solid State Science
This course is an introduction to the physics of the solid state including crystal structure, x-ray diffraction by crystals, crystal binding, elastic waves and lattice vibrations, thermal properties, the free electron model of solids, and band theory and its applications. (This course is restricted to MSENG-MS Major students.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Theory of Microsensors and Actuators
This course introduces the theory and development of sensors at the molecular and ionic levels. Mechanism details for operation of the sensors and actuators will be discussed. Fundamental aspects related to chemical, biochemical, piezoresistive, magnetic, thermal, and luminescent sensors will be discussed with an emphasis on the development of innovative products. Control systems based on ion selectivity for biomedical applications will be covered in detail. Neurotransmitters, neural network, and directional selectivity using conducting polymers will also be covered. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Independent Study
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for a masters-level student. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Ind Study (Fall, Spring, Summer).

* Additional approved electives comprise graduate courses offered by programs in the College of Science, Kate Gleason College of Engineering, College of Engineering Technology, Golisano Institute for Sustainability, School of Individualized Studies, and the Saunders College of Business. Prerequisites for all approved electives include Graduate Standing and may require permission of instructor.

Admissions and Financial Aid

This program is available on-campus only.

Offered Admit Term(s) Application Deadline STEM Designated
Part‑time Fall or Spring Rolling No

Part-time study is 1‑8 semester credit hours. RIT will not issue a student visa for advanced certificates.

Application Details

To be considered for admission to the Materials Science and Engineering Adv. Cert. program, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

English Language Test Scores

International applicants whose native language is not English must submit one of the following official English language test scores. Some international applicants may be considered for an English test requirement waiver.

88 6.5 60

International students below the minimum requirement may be considered for conditional admission. Each program requires balanced sub-scores when determining an applicant’s need for additional English language courses.

How to Apply Start or Manage Your Application

Cost and Financial Aid

An RIT graduate degree is an investment with lifelong returns. Graduate tuition varies by degree, the number of credits taken per semester, and delivery method. View the general cost of attendance or estimate the cost of your graduate degree.

A combination of sources can help fund your graduate degree. Learn how to fund your degree