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Learn more about the materials science and engineering Materials Design Capstone Project to match the opportunity that's right for you.
Designed to prepare engineers to enter careers in industry, government, or academia, the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) emphasizes the creation and discovery of new knowledge through extensive independent research, including the formulation of hypotheses, the interpretation of phenomena revealed by research, and the extraction of general principles upon which predictions can be made. An important part of this process is presenting and defending the results. Due to MSEN’s multi and inter-disciplinary nature, we offer a range of specialized expertise areas in both research and coursework.

Seeking a Ph.D.?
Requirements for entrance with M.S. Degree

Curriculum Element Courses Credit Hours (CH)
Required Background Courses
  • MSEN 601: Fundamental Materials Science and Engineering
  • MSEN 603: Fundamentals of Soft and Biomaterials
Background Course Requirements are eligible to be waived at the discretion of the instructor and graduate program director; if the student has taken a relevant (MSEN) lower degree (Bachelor's/Master's) or by exam.
6 CH -
2 courses
Core Curriculum
  • MSEN 602: Physics of Materials
  • MSEN 620: Kinetic Processes
  • MSEN 640: Thermodynamics
9 CH -
3 courses
Designated Electives

Any three courses from the Designated Electives list: MSEN 601 and MSEN 603, can only count if they were waived and then taken to earn credit as Designated Electives.

9 CH -
min. 3 courses
Free Electives Any course in the catalog 300 level and above 3 CH -
min. 1 courses
Math Requirement From list of approved MATH courses (MATH 601-604, STAT 601, STAT 630, PHYS 615, PHYS 616) 3 CH -
min. 1 course
Seminars MSEN 681 2 CH -
(2 courses)
Total Semester Credit Hours Required for Degree 64

Course Catalog 


  • Background Course Waiver Process: students should submit request directly to the course instructor cc’ing the graduate advisor so that approval/denial can be documented in the students Departmental Record. Student should submit supporting evidence such as transcript, course description, and syllabi for review.
    • Even if students are waived from background courses they must still have a total 64 credits to earn their degree
  • MSEN 684 (Internship), MSEN 685 (Directed Studies), MSEN 691 (Research) do not count as free electives.
  • Students with a MS degree are required to take a minimum of 8 courses to fulfill course requirements. If some of the core courses are waived, students do not need to take replacement courses - i.e. the total number of courses taken can be less than 8.
  • A minimum of 6 courses with MSEN designation must be taken. MSEN 681, MSEN 684, MSEN 685 and MSEN 691, as well as any waived MSEN core course does not count towards this minimum.
  • Remaining credit hours to fulfill the minimum credit hour requirement (64 CH) may be taken from other courses as well as MSEN 691, subject to rules as per graduate catalog. Limitations on the use of certain courses to fulfill credit hour requirements (see graduate catalog):
    • No more than 6 credit hours may be used in any combination of the following categories: MSEN 684 and MSEN 685
    • No more than 3 credit hours of MSEN 681 may be used.
    • The maximum number of credit hours that may be considered for transfer credit is 12 credit hours as per university rules.
  • Courses for which transfer credits are sought must have been completed with a grade of “B” or greater and must be approved by the student’s advisory committee and the Graduate and Professional School.
  • Additional coursework may be added or changed by petition if an approved degree plan is on file by the student’s advisory committee if it is deemed necessary to correct deficiencies in the student’s academic preparation