Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) in Materials Science and Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Materials Science and Engineering

Master of Science Programs

Two different types of M.S.E. degrees are offered: one with a primary focus on coursework (the Coursework M.S.E.) and one with an emphasis on research (the Research M.S.E.). Students supported with a GSRA or research fellowship must pursue a Research M.S.E. rather than a Coursework M.S.E.

Coursework M.S.E. Degree

Students seeking a coursework M.S.E. degree must complete 30 credit hours of courses, which must be approved by the student’s advisor. Of the 30 credit hours, up to 8 credit hours may be satisfied by MATSCIE 690, and at least 15 credit hours of MATSCIE department courses (excluding MATSCIE 690) must be taken. Graduate courses offered towards the 30 credit hours are divided into two modules/categories.

i) Foundation Courses (minimum of 12 credit hours)

ii) Elective courses (maximum of 18 credit hours)

Students may count no more than 1 non-engineering, professionally related (e.g. business, entrepreneurship, public policy, patent law, TechCom, engineering education) course toward their coursework degree requirement, which must be approved by the Master’s Chair.  This course cannot be used as a cognate. At least 2 cognate courses (a minimum of 4 credit hours) must be taken. Students taking MATSCIE 690 must submit a research report commensurate with the number of MATSCIE 690 credits taken. This report must be approved by the project supervisor. It may also be used as a document for the Ph.D. oral candidacy exam.

Research M.S.E Degree

This degree emphasizes Research skills suitable for students targeting PhD study or a career as research scientist/engineer in R&D organizations and industry. Therefore, the curriculum is structured to enable students to develop skills and knowledge in at least one of the following five (5) major areas of research specialization/concentration: (1) Computational and Data-Driven Materials Science; (2) Energy, Electronic and Quantum Materials; (3) Polymer and Bio Materials; (4) Metallic and Structural Materials; (5) Advanced Materials Characterization.

Students seeking a Research Master’s degree must complete 30 credit hours of coursework including research credits.

Graduate courses offered towards the 30 credit hours are divided into three modules/categories.

i) Foundation courses (minimum of 6 to maximum of 9 credit hours) 

ii) Elective courses (maximum of 9 credit hours)

iii) Specialized courses and research (minimum of 15 credit hours) 

MSE Research Course Plan of Study Form for Master’s

Foundation courses: 

i) MSE 532 (Advanced Thermodynamics of Materials; 3 credit hours) 

ii) MSE 535 (Kinetics, Phase Transformations and Transport; 3 credit hours)

These courses are required for all students enrolled in a Research Masters track.

In addition, MSE 550 (Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering; 3 credit hours) is also required for students without undergraduate degree in Materials Science and Engineering.

Elective courses: 

Students may count up to 9 credit hours within this module. Up to 2 non-MSE courses (maximum of 6 credit hours) may be counted toward the 9 credits. One non-MSE course can be a non-engineering, professionally related (e.g. Business, Entrepreneurship, Public Policy, Patent Law, TechCom, Engineering Education) course. The other non-MSE course must be a graduate level Engineering or Science course. 

These non-MSE courses MUST be approved by the Master’s committee. 

Specialized courses and research:

Courses selection within this category will determine the specialization track (which will appear on the Master’s degree transcript). 

Students must count a minimum of 15 credit hours within this module. 

i) All students enrolled in a Research Masters track must take at least two additional MSE courses (6 credits) in the area of the specialization (see list of courses for details).

ii) All students enrolled in a Research Masters track must also take a minimum of 9 credits (maximum of 12 credits) of MSE 690.

  • Research Problems in Materials Science and Engineering toward the MSE 690 credits must be conducted with a MSE faculty mentor in their lab. 
  • With approval from the Master’s committee, research internships in the industry may be considered if it involves a UM MSE faculty mentor.
  • Students must submit a Master’s thesis to an examining committee of three faculty members, two of which must be from MSE. This committee will include the research advisor and two other faculty selected by the advisor in consultation with the student and approved by the Master’s Committee Chair.
  • The thesis must be defended orally before this committee and approved by a majority of the committee and the advisor.
  • This thesis should contain a critical review of background information and relevant literature, a statement of objective, a results section, and a thorough scientific analysis of these results.  It should have a degree of originality suitable for publication.
  • In the event that the student is not satisfied with the results of his/her examination(s), an appeal for arbitration can be made in sequence to the Master’s committee chair, the Dept. chair, the Rackham Graduate School or the College of Engineering Ombudsman.

Ph.D. Programs

Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering

Advancement to candidacy in the MATSCIE doctoral program is contingent on passing qualification courses and the oral preliminary exam. A master’s degree is not a prerequisite. Students must complete an additional 9 credit hours of formal coursework, above that required for the M.S.E. degree. Incoming students holding an M.S.E. degree (or equivalent) from another institution must complete an additional 18 hours of formal coursework to fulfill the residency and cognate requirements set forth by the Rackham Graduate School. In general, M.S. degrees from institutions outside the U.S. or Canada will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine if they meet the criteria for equivalency as set forth by the Graduate Committee of the MATSCIE department. The criteria for such a decision will be based on the academic standards of the foreign institution, the academic performance of the student at the institution and the fulfillment of course and research requirements similar to those required in the MATSCIE department. Reports, a thesis and publications may be submitted to the Graduate Committee for consideration in reaching decisions in such cases.

The Department will furnish details of requirements upon request.