Materials Science and Engineering Master of Science Degree

The materials science master’s degree combines science, engineering, and sustainability to contribute solutions to challenges facing fields as diverse as energy, medicine, clothing, and sporting equipment.


100%

Outcome Rate of RIT Graduates from this degree

$72.7K

Average First-Year Salary of RIT Graduates from this degree

30%

Merit scholarship

Average award given to accepted students

Overview

  • Recent materials science and engineering graduates are employed at Dow Chemical, Toyota, Lumisyn, 3M, Samsung Austin Semiconductor, NASA Glenn Research Center, Xerox, and The Gleason Works.
  • 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.
  • Develop skills that are in demand in many industries, including transportation, electronics, machinery, medical, consulting, utilities, education, government, and retail.

In the materials science master’s degree you’ll receive a serious interdisciplinary learning experience in materials studies, crossing over the traditional boundaries of such classical disciplines like chemistry, physics, and engineering.

The objectives of the materials science degree 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 like 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.

RIT’s Materials Science Master’s Degree

Our materials science master’s degree spans across three colleges: Science, Engineering and Sustainability. This gives you broad access that is not found in other programs that might be in a single college. In addition, the applied nature of the research and our co-op connections are unrivaled.

  • Take part in extensive experimental courses in diverse areas of materials-related studies.
  • Explore avenues for introducing greater harmony between industrial expansion and academic training.
  • Gain the independent thinking and project management skills to grow professionally and prepare yourself for a wide range of careers.

Materials Science and Engineering Master’s Courses

The materials science degree includes three required core courses, graduate electives, and either a thesis or project.

Courses: 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.

There also is an emphasis on experimental techniques, with one required experimental course as part of the curriculum. This aspect of the masters in materials science will enhance your confidence when dealing with materials-related problems.

Electives: 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.

Thesis/Project: Choose to complete a thesis or a project as the conclusion to your program. If you pursue the thesis option, you will take four graduate electives, complete nine credit hours of research, and produce a thesis paper. Alternatively, the project option includes six graduate electives and a 3 credit hour project.

Part-Time Study: The materials science degree offers courses in the late afternoon and evenings to encourage practicing scientists and engineers to pursue the 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. If you wish to register for more than 6 credit hours, then you must obtain the permission of your advisor.


Students are also interested in: Chemistry MS, Materials Science and Engineering Adv. Cert.

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Careers and Experiential Learning

Typical Job Titles

Application Engineer Process Engineer
Chemical Engineer Automation Engineer
Product Development Specialist Material Scientist
Optimized Operations Engineer Process Engineer
Research Associate Validation Engineer

Salary and Career Information for Materials Science and Engineering MS

Cooperative Education and Internships

What makes an RIT science and math education exceptional? It’s the ability to complete science and math co-ops and gain real-world experience that sets you apart. Co-ops in the College of Science include cooperative education and internship experiences in industry and health care settings, as well as research in an academic, industry, or national lab. These are not only possible at RIT, but are passionately encouraged.

What makes an RIT education exceptional? It’s the ability to complete relevant, hands-on career experience. At the graduate level, and paired with an advanced degree, cooperative education and internships give you the unparalleled credentials that truly set you apart. Learn more about graduate co-op and how it provides you with the career experience employers look for in their next top hires.

Co-ops and internships are encouraged for graduate students in the materials science degree.

National Labs Career Events and Recruiting

The Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education offers National Labs and federally-funded Research Centers from all research areas and sponsoring agencies a variety of options to connect with and recruit students. Students connect with employer partners to gather information on their laboratories and explore co-op, internship, research, and full-time opportunities.  These national labs focus on scientific discovery, clean energy development, national security, technology advancements, and more. Recruiting events include our university-wide Fall Career Fair, on-campus and virtual interviews, information sessions, 1:1 networking with lab representatives, and a National Labs Resume Book available to all labs.

Featured Work

Featured Profiles

Curriculum for Materials Science and Engineering MS

Materials Science and Engineering (thesis option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
MTSE-601
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).
3
MTSE-704
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).
3
MTSE-705
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).
3
MTSE-790
Research & Thesis
Dissertation research by the candidate for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Thesis (Fall, Spring, Summer).
6
 
Graduate Electives
12
Second Year
MTSE-790
Research & Thesis
Dissertation research by the candidate for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Thesis (Fall, Spring, Summer).
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
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).
3
MTSE-704
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).
3
MTSE-705
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).
3
MTSE-777
Graduate Project
This course is a capstone project using research facilities available inside or outside of RIT. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Project .
3
 
Graduate Electives
15
Second Year
 
Graduate Elective
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
30

Electives

Course
MTSE-602
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).
MTSE-617
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).
MTSE-632
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).
MTSE-704
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).
MTSE-780
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).
MTSE-799
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
Full‑time Fall or Spring Fall - February 15; Spring - rolling Yes
Part‑time Fall or Spring Rolling No

Full-time study is 9+ semester credit hours. Part-time study is 1‑8 semester credit hours. International students requiring a visa to study at the RIT Rochester campus must study full‑time.

Application Details

To be considered for admission to the Materials Science and Engineering MS 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.

TOEFL IELTS PTE Academic
79 6.5 56

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

Research

The College of Science consistently receives research grant awards from organizations that include the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and NASA, which provide you with unique opportunities to conduct cutting-edge research with faculty.

Faculty in the School of Chemistry and Materials Science conducts research on a broad variety of topics including:

  • additive manufacturing
  • biomedical applications of biochemistry
  • chemistry education
  • materials science and engineering
  • organic photovoltaics.

Learn more by exploring the school’s chemistry and materials science research areas.

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