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DEGREE Materials Science and Engineering: Research, MS

Master’s degree in materials science and engineering

As a master’s student in materials science and engineering, you’ll work with leading faculty to study and create materials that solve tomorrow’s greatest challenges. You can focus on areas that include ceramics, computational material science; composites; corrosion; electrical, optical, magnetic materials; growth and synthesis; joining; materials for energy; metals; materials characterization and microscopy; nanomaterials; phase transformations; photonics; polymers and biomaterials; materials for nuclear energy; quantum computing; self-assembly; semiconductors; structural materials and mechanical properties; surfaces and interfaces; sustainability; thin films; and wear.

At a glance

Materials science and engineering department

100
active patents
8
undergraduate ranking among public universities
8
graduate ranking among public universities

Learn more about what information you need to apply.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline December 15
Spring Deadline October 1
Summer Deadline December 15
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required.*
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

*Due to COVID-19, GRE scores will not be required for applications to Materials Science and Engineering graduate programs for admission to the Spring 2023, Summer 2023, and Fall 2023 terms.

Applicants normally are expected to have a B.S. in the physical sciences or engineering. Undergraduate studies normally would include mathematics through differential equations, at least one year each of general physics and chemistry, a course in physical chemistry or modern physics, and an elementary course in properties of materials. Applicants may be admitted with deficiencies. These must be made up as soon as possible after entering the program.

Important Application information

Admission to the University of Wisconsin–Madison Graduate School is a prerequisite for admission to study materials science. A minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 is required. Graduate Record Examinations scores on the General Test are required. Admission is highly selective. Most admitted students have an undergraduate GPA above 3.5. Mean GRE scores in the most recent admission cycle were quantitative: 166, verbal: 163, and analytical writing: 3.5. However, full consideration will be given to all students meeting the UW–Madison graduate school requirements. Please use institution code: 1846; no department code is necessary.

Foreign students must submit satisfactory results on the TOEFL or another acceptable English Language Test. Please use institution code: 1846; no department code is necessary. Information about these exams can be obtained from the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 or Berkeley, California 94704.

Please use the online application to begin your application. To be considered for fellowships, all application materials are due by December 15. If you have questions about the application or admissions process, please do not hesitate to email msaegradadmission@engr.wisc.edu.

The graduate school offers a limited number of application fee grants (covers all or part of the application fee) that are available in a few specific circumstances.  Further information is available here.

►Submit only the documents requested.

NOTE: Please do not send documents to the Graduate School. All documents should be uploaded with your application. 

Application deadlines:

Spring semester: October 1
Fall semester: December 15
Summer: December 15

Questions?

Check out the Admissions FAQ or contact us at msaegradadmission@engr.wisc.edu.

Tuition

Tuition and segregated fee rates are always listed per semester (not for Fall and Spring combined).

View tuition rates

Graduate school resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program resources

Financial assistance

Please note that most funding is available for Ph.D. students and there is limited resources for M.S. students.

Various types of financial assistance are available for entering graduate students, including research assistantships, teaching assistantships, fellowships and special grants. Decisions regarding financial support are made on the basis of letters of recommendation, grades, GRE general test scores, and, for research assistantships, the matching of the interests or experience of the applicant to the research programs of individual faculty members. December 15th is the deadline for receipt of fellowship applications. Foreign students are generally not eligible for university fellowships. Applications for other types of support are accepted until mid-February.

Research and teaching assistantships

Research assistantships (RAs) are available in any materials science area. These appointments are under the supervision of the major professor directing the research. Students interested in research assistantships in a particular area are encouraged to contact professors whose work is of special interest. The faculty’s research interests are given in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering faculty section. An RA permits the most rapid progress toward a degree. Research assistantships in materials science graduate students are comparable to similar stipends from other institutions. Information about stipends can be obtained from the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies, acgs@mse.wisc.edu.

Teaching assistantships involve teaching rather than research experience. They pay approximately the same as research assistantships. Teaching experience is especially desirable for students considering an academic career.  The Department of Materials Science and Engineering supports a limited number of teaching assistantships, which are allocated after admissions.

Fellowships

Herb Fellowships in Materials Science are given out each year. The Herb Fellowship is a one-year full-ride fellowship for incoming graduate students. It is intended to provide especially strong students extra flexibility and independence in formulating their graduate research program.

Fellowships supporting graduate education are also offered on a competitive basis by organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the Hertz Foundation, UW–Madison Graduate School, the U.S. Department of Defense and a number of industries and foundations. Because some of these fellowships have fall application deadlines, early application is necessary. GRE scores for the General Test are required for fellowship applications.

Other funding information

Can’t live without your super-fast smartphone? You can thank (or blame) materials science for it. Appreciate your fuel-efficient car? Brought to you in part by new materials! At UW-Madison, we’re driven by the belief that scientists and engineers must collaborate to help solve our world’s increasingly complex problems. Materials science and engineering offers you the toolkit you’ll need to be a part of that collaboration.

View our research

Minimum graduate school requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 15 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School’s GPA Requirement policy
(https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1203).
Other Grade Requirements n/a
Assessments and Examinations Students must prepare a Master’s thesis, present it in a public seminar, and defend it in closed examination by their Master’s committee. The format and procedures must
conform to the Graduate School rules for a Master’s thesis, currently found at https://grad.wisc.edu/current-students/masters-guide/.
Language Requirements None.

Materials Research Seminar 12
Materials Research Seminar
Materials Core Courses9
Select three courses:
Advanced Polymeric Materials
Thermodynamics of Solids
Structure of Materials
Advanced Materials Science: Phase Transformations
Graduate-level Math Course (students may only count one of the following as a Materials Core Course)
Engineering Analysis I
Intermediate Problems in Chemical Engineering
Methods of Applied Mathematics 1
Methods of Applied Mathematics-2
Theoretical Physics-Electrodynamics
Materials Elective Courses6
Electives must be selected from the list of Materials Elective Courses below.
Research13
Master’s Research or Thesis
Total Credits30
1

Take two consecutive semesters for 1 credit each semester.

Materials Elective Courses:

The same course may not satisfy more than one requirement. For example, if M S & E 530 Thermodynamics of Solids is taken as a Materials Core Course, it could not be used as a Materials Elective Course. In addition, only one mathematics course may be counted as a materials core or materials elective course. Students or faculty may request that a course be added to the list by submitting a letter to the department graduate secretary including the course syllabus and explaining why the course is a materials-centric course.

M S & E 401 Special Topics in Materials Science and Engineering1-3
M S & E/​CHEM  421 Polymeric Materials3
M S & E/​N E  423 Nuclear Engineering Materials3
M S & E/​N E  433 Principles of Corrosion3
M S & E 434 Introduction to Thin-Film Deposition Processes3
M S & E 441 Deformation of Solids3
M S & E 448 Crystallography and X-Ray Diffraction3
M S & E 451 Introduction to Ceramic Materials3
M S & E 456 Electronic, Optical, and Magnetic Properties of Materials3
M S & E 460 Introduction to Computational Materials Science and Engineering3
M S & E 461 Advanced Metal Casting3
M S & E/​M E  462 Welding Metallurgy3
M S & E 463 Materials for Elevated Temperature Service3
M S & E 465 Fundamentals of Heat Treatment3
M S & E/​CIV ENGR/​G L E/​GEOSCI  474 Rock Mechanics3
M S & E 521 Advanced Polymeric Materials3
M S & E 530 Thermodynamics of Solids3
M S & E/​E M A  541 Heterogeneous and Multiphase Materials3
M S & E 551 Structure of Materials3
M S & E 553 Nanomaterials & Nanotechnology3
M S & E 560 Fundamentals of Atomistic Modeling3
M S & E 570 Properties of Solid Surfaces3
M S & E 648 Advanced X-ray Scattering Methods in Materials Science and Engineering3
M S & E 660 Mesoscale Modeling of Materials3
M S & E 748 Structural Analysis of Materials3
M S & E 750 Imperfections and Mechanical Properties3
M S & E 752 Advanced Materials Science: Phase Transformations3
M S & E 756 Structure and Properties of Advanced Electronic Materials3
M S & E 760 Molecular Dynamics and Monte Carlo Simulations in Materials Science3
M S & E 803 Special Topics in Materials Science1-3
B M E/​PHM SCI  430 Biological Interactions with Materials3
B M E/​M E  615 Tissue Mechanics3
BIOCHEM/​CHEM  704 Chemical Biology3
CBE 540 Polymer Science and Technology3
CBE 747 Advanced Colloid and Interface Science3
CHEM 652 Chemistry of Inorganic Materials3
CHEM 653 Chemistry of Nanoscale Materials3
CHEM 654 Materials Chemistry of Polymers2-3
CHEM 664 Physical Chemistry of Macromolecules2-3
CHEM 721 Instrumental Analysis3-4
E C E 745 Solid State Electronics3
GEOSCI 765 Crystal Chemistry3
PHYSICS 415 Thermal Physics3
PHYSICS 551 Solid State Physics3
PHYSICS 715 Statistical Mechanics3
PHYSICS 751 Advanced Solid State Physics3

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering
msaedept@engr.wisc.edu
608-262-3732

M.S. and Ph.D. Programs, Admissions Inquiries
msaegradadmission@engr.wisc.edu

Associate Chair of Graduate Studies
acgs@mse.wisc.edu
608-262-3732
1509 University Ave
Madison, WI 53706

View the Graduate Guide for program-specific information on policies, rules and regulations.

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