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


  • 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.

Students are also interested in: Materials Science and Engineering MS


Curriculum for Materials Science and Engineering Adv. Cert.

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).
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).
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).
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).
Total Semester Credit Hours


Advanced Instrumental Analysis Lab
This is a capstone course requiring students to develop experimental protocols involving advanced techniques in instrumental analysis. This course is intended to give an opportunity to develop innovative skills and writing proficiency. Library, literature and textbook research will be required. (Prerequisites: CHMB-405 or CHMP-445 or Graduate Standing in CHEM-MS.) Lab 6 (Spring).
Modern Inorganic Chemistry
This course will apply molecular structure and bonding theory to explain inorganic coordinate complex structure and function, and coordination reaction chemistry. The topics discussed in this course are molecular structure, symmetry, bonding theory, d-block electronic structure and properties, and the reaction mechanisms controlling coordinate complexes. Students will be expected to translate the concepts learned in class to solving analytical and structural analysis problems inorganic systems. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Polymer Synthesis
This course is mainly about the chemistry applied to synthesize polymers. It includes initially the introduction on the naming and classification and some relevant properties of polymers. We will then discuss the two main methods of synthesizing polymers, namely step-growth polymerization and chain-addition polymerization. Among the step-growth polymerizations, syntheses of different types of polyesters, polyamides, polyurethanes etc. including the reaction mechanisms will be covered. Under chain-addition polymerizations, those by four different initiators (radical, cationic, anionic or coordinative) will be explained. The mechanisms of these types of reactions will be discussed in more detail and, where feasible, effects of stereochemistry or regiochemistry will be included. In addition to the commodity polymers in each category, also the syntheses of some specialty step-growth and chain addition polymers will be included. A few examples of reactions to obtain more reactive monomers will be mentioned. Some specialty type of polymerizations, such as living free radical types, or ring-opening and cyclization polymerizations, will also be discussed. We will include examples of post-polymerization reactions. Finally, we will discuss methods to resolve environmental issues with polymers by developing more sustainable polymers. (Prerequisite: CHMG-201 or MTSE-602 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Polymer Chemistry II
This course further investigates the contemporary chemistry of high molecular weight polymers and macromolecules and the relationships between their structure, functionality, and utility. The course focuses on fundamental principles that govern swollen gels and soft matter. Mechanisms of the formation of polymers containing heteroatoms in their chains are examined in detail. Specific attention is given to the synthesis of polymers of controlled architecture and self-assembly, and of polymers and macromolecules. Dendrimers, hyper-branched polymers, functional polymers, polymeric reagents, polyelectrolytes, and biopolymers are also discussed. (Prerequisites: CHPO-706 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Lean Six Sigma Fundamentals
This course presents the philosophy and methods that enable participants to develop quality strategies and drive process improvements. The fundamental elements of Lean Six Sigma are covered along with many problem solving and statistical tools that are valuable in driving process improvements in a broad range of business environments and industries. Successful completion of this course is accompanied by “yellow belt” certification and provides a solid foundation for those who also wish to pursue a “green belt.” (Green belt certification requires completion of an approved project which is beyond the scope of this course). (This course is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students and dual degree BS/MS or BS/ME students in KGCOE.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Microelectronic Fabrication
This course introduces the beginning graduate student to the fabrication of solid-state devices and integrated circuits. The course presents an introduction to basic electronic components and devices, lay outs, unit processes common to all IC technologies such as substrate preparation, oxidation, diffusion and ion implantation. The course will focus on basic silicon processing. The students will be introduced to process modeling using a simulation tool such as SUPREM. The lab consists of conducting a basic metal gate PMOS process in the RIT clean room facility to fabricate and test a PMOS integrated circuit test ship. Laboratory work also provides an introduction to basic IC fabrication processes and safety. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing in the MCEE-MS or MCEMANU-ME program or permission of instructor.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
Lithography Materials and Processes
Microlithography Materials and Processes covers the chemical aspects of microlithography and resist processes. Fundamentals of polymer technology will be addressed and the chemistry of various resist platforms including novolac, styrene, and acrylate systems will be covered. Double patterning materials will also be studied. Topics include the principles of photoresist materials, including polymer synthesis, photochemistry, processing technologies and methods of process optimization. Also advanced lithographic techniques and materials, including multi-layer techniques for BARC, double patterning, TARC, and next generation materials and processes are applied to optical lithography. Graduate paper required. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing in the MCEE-MS or MCEMANU-ME program or permission of instructor.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Photovoltaic Science and Engineering
This course focuses on the principle and engineering fundamentals of photovoltaic (PV) energy conversion. The course covers modern silicon PV devices, including the basic physics, ideal and non-ideal models, device parameters and design, and device fabrication. The course discusses crystalline, multi-crystalline, amorphous thin films solar cells and their manufacturing. Students will become familiar with basic semiconductor processes and how they are employed in solar cells manufacturing. The course further introduces third generation advanced photovoltaic concepts including compound semiconductors, spectral conversion, and organic and polymeric devices. PV applications, environmental, sustainability and economic issues will also be discussed. Evaluations include assignments and exams, a research/term paper on a current PV topic. (This course requires permission of the Instructor to enroll.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Physical Modeling of Semiconductor Devices
A senior or graduate level course on the application of simulation tools for physical design and verification of the operation of semiconductor devices. The goal of the course is to provide a more in-depth understanding of device physics through the use of simulation tools. Technology CAD tools include Silvaco (Athena/Atlas) for device simulation. The lecture will explore the various models that are used for device simulation, emphasizing the importance of complex interactions and 2-D effects as devices are scaled deep-submicron. Laboratory work involves the simulation of various device structures. Investigations will explore how changes in the device structure can influence device operation. (This course requires permission of the Instructor to enroll.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
Micro/Nano Characterization
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).
Design of Experiments
How to design and analyze experiments, with an emphasis on applications in engineering and the physical sciences. Topics include the role of statistics in scientific experimentation; general principles of design, including randomization, replication, and blocking; replicated and unreplicated two-level factorial designs; two-level fractional-factorial designs; response surface designs. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).

* 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.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the advanced certificate in materials science, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete an online graduate application. Refer to Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements for information on application deadlines, entry terms, and more.
  • Submit copies of official transcript(s) (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work, including any transfer credit earned.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or US equivalent) from an accredited university or college in chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or a related field.
  • Recommended minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent).
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required. Refer to Application Instructions and Requirements for additional information.
  • Not all programs require the submission of scores from entrance exams (GMAT or GRE). Please refer to the Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements page for more information.
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives. Refer to Application Instructions and Requirements for additional information.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit official test scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. Students below the minimum requirement may be considered for conditional admission. Refer to Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements for additional information on English requirements. International applicants may be considered for an English test requirement waiver. Refer to Additional Requirements for International Applicants to review waiver eligibility.

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 advanced certificate.

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.

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