Your MSE Department Contact:

Professor David Srolovitz
Professor and Graduate Chair
Email: srol@seas.upenn.edu

Ms. Irene Clements
Graduate Program Coordinator
Office: Room 201, LRSM
Phone: 215-898-8337
Email: ipc@lrsm.upenn.edu

 

Master's Degree Program

Graduate Group
The admission of students to the graduate program, the setting of degree requirements, the granting of exceptions to the requirements, and approval of the awarding of degrees are functions of the Graduate Group in Materials Science and Engineering under the general supervision of the Associate Dean for Masters Program and Deputy Dean for Research and Innovation (doctoral degrees). The Graduate Group consists of all members of the faculty of Materials Science and Engineering and several faculty members from other departments of the University. The Graduate Group Chair supervises and records the formal progress of the students and arranges the preparation, scheduling and evaluation of all examinations.

Graduate Student Definitions
A regular graduate student is regarded as one studying towards a degree (M.S.E. or Ph.D.); i.e., he/she is a degree candidate. An unclassified student is one who is permitted to enroll in specific courses but is not studying for a degree. Regular students may be either full-time or part-time; unclassified students are part-time. A student whose principal activity is studying for a degree is considered a full-time student. Also, any student receiving a full stipend through a fellowship, grant, or contract is considered a full-time student. In the event of an ambiguity, the Graduate Group Chair in consultation with the appropriate Deputy or Associate Dean will decide whether a student is full-time or part-time. Normally, a full-time Ph.D. student is registered for four course units each semester (except for teaching fellows who may register for three course units each semester). Normally, a full-time M.S.E. student is registered for three course units each semester. The maximum course load for part-time students is two course units per semester.

Registration
Graduate students enrolled in the s (M.S.E.) or Doctorate (Ph.D.) degree programs are required to remain registered continuously. The continuous registration requirement may be waived only if the student applies for, and is granted, a leave of absence. Leaves of absence are only granted for medical or military reasons. All other requests to leave SEAS are granted as withdrawals without prejudice (i.e., a student may request readmission - no formal application is required). Each full-time graduate student in the program must register for at least three course units each Fall and each Spring term (unless they are teaching fellows). These course units may be regular classroom courses, independent study, or dissertation. Masters degree students must register for at least three course units per semester to maintain full-time status (if a student takes less than three courses in any semester, a reduced course load application must be approved). Full time Masters degree students typically take three to four semesters to complete their degree. Doctoral degree students must register for four credits during their first Fall and Spring semesters. Afterward, doctoral degree students may register for three of four credits.

Master of Science in Engineering Degree (M.S.E. degree)

Master's Degree Requirements
The Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) degree in Materials Science and Engineering requires students to complete ten credits in graduate courses at the 500 level or higher. Students may choose to earn the degree by pursuing a non-thesis or a thesis option.

1. Non-thesis course-based option: Students successfully complete ten credits of courses at the 500 or higher level. All ten courses must carry a letter grade (A, B, C or D).
2. Non-thesis option with independent study: Students take eight courses credits at the 500 or higher level earning letter grades and complete two Masters Independent Study (MSE 599) credits. Students receive a letter grade (A, B, C or D) in MSE 599. Independent Study requires a faculty advisor; see detail below about selecting an advisor.
3. Thesis option: Students take seven course credits at the 500 or higher level earning letter grades and complete three credits of research with a faculty member by registering for two research credits (MSE 597 Masters Thesis Research) and one Independent Study (MSE 599). MSE 597 is graded as S or U (Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory) and does not affect the grade-point average. Students receive a letter grade (A, B, C, D or F) in MSE 599. Students must have their thesis approved by their thesis advisor and the Graduate Group Chair. Students must also submit their thesis to the Graduate Group Assistant. The thesis option requires a faculty advisor; see detail below about selecting an advisor.

Additional Requirements for the M.S.E. degree in Materials Science and Engineering entering in Fall 2015 or after:

Students must complete 10 credits, following the requirements below.
1. Students must secure written approval for all course selections from the Masters Program Advisor. Furthermore, all changes to these course selection must be approved in writing by the Masters Program Advisor. Students wishing to take courses not listed below should get written approval from the Masters Program Advisor. All nonelective courses should have technical/scientific content relevant to the student’s M.S.E. degree program.

2. Five MSE courses (500 level or higher) requiring a letter grade are compulsory. Up to seven MSE courses are highly recommended for obtaining a solid background in materials science. Three MSE courses are compulsory in the first semester of study. Sample MSE courses include:

MSE 500 Experimental Methods in Materials Science
MSE 505 Mechanical Properties
MSE 507 Fundamentals of Materials
MSE 515 Math for Materials Science
MSE 520 Structure of Materials
MSE 525 Nanoscale Science and Engineering
MSE 530 Thermodynamics of Materials
MSE 536 Electronic Properties of Materials
MSE 537 Nanotribology
MSE 540 Phase Transformations
MSE 550 Elasticity & Micromechanics
MSE 555 Electrochemical Engineering of Materials
MSE 561 Atomistic Modeling in Materials Science
MSE 565 Fabrication & Characterization of Micro & Nanostructured Materials
MSE 570 Physics of Solids I
MSE 575 Statistical Mechanics
MSE 580 Polymers and Biomaterials
MSE 650 Mechanics of Soft and Biomaterials
MSE 790 Special topics

3. A maximum of two SEAS courses relevant to materials science are permitted. Note that only one Engineering Entrepreneurship course will count as a MSE related SEAS-course. A second entrepreneurship course will be counted as a free elective. Sample courses include:

CBE 535 Interfacial Phenomena
CIT 590 Programming Lang. & Tech.
EAS 510 Tech. Comm. & Acad. Writing
EAS 545 Engineering Entrepreneurship I
EAS 546 Engineering Entrepreneurship II
ENM 511 Foundations of Eng. Math
ESE 521 Semiconductor Devices
PHYS 518 Condensed Matter Physics

4. A maximum of two free electives (500 level or higher) are permitted. Free electives can be selected from across the university, including SEAS, SAS and Wharton. Also, free electives are not permitted for students pursuing a dual degree at Penn.

5. During the first semester, Masters degree students are not permitted to take Independent Study and are required to enroll in only MSE courses.

6. All Masters degree students must maintain a GPA of 2.7 or higher to be in good standing and for graduation. Students are required to attend weekly MSE seminars organized by the department as part of their education and exposure to latest scientific advances.

7. Transfer of credits:

• A maximum of two graduate-level course units may be transferred from another school to apply toward the M.S.E. degree if approved by the Masters Program Advisor. These two courses cannot have been used in the fulfillment of an undergraduate degree.
• Sub-matriculants may count up to three 500 or higher level courses for both degrees.

Process for Selecting Advisors for Research and Independent Study
Students interested in pursuing the non-thesis option with independent study or the thesis option are encouraged to attend Faculty Research Presentations in the late August and September . Students can also meet with individual faculty and the Master's Program Advisor to discuss their research interests.

Masters Scholars Program
A selected number of awards designated “Masters Scholars” will be made each year to deserving students to promote and enhance their research experience at Penn. The awards will enable highly motivated students (with a GPA of 3.25 or higher) to pursue a well-designed research project with a faculty member for one or two semesters and obtain valuable training in experimental and computational research. The award carries no financial benefit to the students; award funds are used solely to defray the costs of facility user fees, chemicals, computer resources, etc. Research proposals submitted by students will be evaluated and awards will be made on a competitive basis. A call for proposals occurs near the start of the fall and spring semesters.

Graduation Audit
At the end of the first academic year, the Masters Program Advisor will conduct a graduation audit for each student. The courses already completed and the courses needed to fulfill graduation requirement will be reviewed.

Additional Information
For additional details about M.S.E. degree procedures, see "Procedures for Advanced Degrees" and for general SEAS rules see the Graduate Student Handbook.

The following individuals can also be contacted for more information:
Masters Program Advisor: Mahadevan Khantha, 221 LRSM (khantha@seas.upenn.edu)
Graduate Group Chair: David Srolovitz LRSM (srol@seas.upenn.edu)
Graduate Group Assistant: Irene Clements, 201 LRSM (ipc@seas.upenn.edu)

Required Courses

Click for Requirements for the MSE degree in Materials Science from Fall 2015

 

Students must complete 10 course units, following the requirements below. If a Master’s thesis is done, it will count for 2 course units (MSE 597).  

A. Five MSE courses (500 level or higher) requiring a letter grade are compulsory. Up to seven MSE courses are highly recommended for obtaining a solid background in Materials Science. Three MSE courses are compulsory in the first semester of study. All MSE courses offered are listed under Column 'A'.

B. Students may take one or more SEAS courses relevant to Materials Science listed under column 'B'. One or two Independent Study course units (MSE 599) can be carried out under the supervision of a faculty member affiliated with the MSE department. No Independent Study or courses from other departments will be permitted during the first semester.
C. Students may take up to two free electives (500 level or higher) of their choice. These courses could be from Wharton or SAS/SEAS.

Please note that all course selections need written approval from the Masters Program Advisor. All changes made by students to already approved courses require written approval again from the Masters Program Advisor in order to be counted towards the M.S.E. degree.

Students wishing to take courses not listed in the table below should get written approval from the Masters Program Advisor. All non-elective courses should have technical/scientific content relevant to the student’s M.S.E. degree program.

NOTES:  

A maximum of one CIT course is allowed.

Thesis Option ‐ Students who would like to complete a thesis may take two (2) units of MSE 597(Thesis Research). 

A maximum of two course units of Independent Study (MSE 599) is allowed. 

A maximum of two graduate‐level course units may be transferred from another school to apply toward the M.S.E. degree if approved by the Masters Program Advisor. These two courses should not have been used in the fulfillment of an undergraduate degree.  Sub-matriculants can count up to three 500 or higher level courses for both degrees.

Beginning January 2015, candidates applying for dual Masters degree must complete six MSE courses and two MSE-related courses from Column ‘B’ below. No free electives will be permitted for students pursuing a dual degree.

A (MSE COURSES ONLY)

B (SEAS COURSES RELEVANT TO MSE)

FREE ELECTIVES

Choose 3 Courses in the first semester and 2 or more in subsequent semesters:

MSE 505 Mechanical Properties

MSE 515 Math for Materials Science

MSE 520 Structure of Materials

MSE 525 Nanoscale Science and Engineering

MSE 530 Thermodynamics of Materials

MSE 536 Electronic Properties of Materials

MSE 537 Nanotribology

MSE 540 Phase Transformations

MSE 550 Elasticity and Micromechanics of materials

MSE 555 Environmental Degradation

MSE 561 Atomistic Modeling in Materials Science

MSE 565 Fabrication and Characterization of Micro and Nanostructured Materials

MSE 570 Physics of Solids I

MSE 575 Statistical Mechanics

MSE 580 Polymers and Biomaterials

MSE 650 Micromechanics – Deformation and Fracture

MSE 790 Special topics

Choose up to two courses beginning second semester:

CBE 535 Interfacial Phenomena

CIT 590 Programming Languages and Techniques

EAS 510 Technical Communications and Academic Writing

EAS 545 Engineering Entrepreneurship I

EAS 546 Engineering Entrepreneurship II
(Only one course on Engineering Entrepreneurship will count as a MSE related course and if both parts are taken, one of them will count as a free elective.)

ENM 511 Foundations of Engineering Mathematics

ESE 521    Semiconductor Devices

PHYS 518 Condensed Matter Physics

Choose up to two courses (500 level or higher) from any discipline in SEAS, SAS, and Wharton for M.S.E. degree in Materials Science. These courses can be selected beginning in the second semester.

No free electives are permitted for students pursuing a dual degree at Penn beginning in 2015. 

Click for Requirements for the MSE degree in Materials Science for students entering in Fall 2014

Students must complete 10 course units, following the requirements below. If a Master’s thesis is done, it will count for 2 course units (MSE 597). 

A. Five MSE courses (500 level or higher) requiring a letter grade are recommended. Up to seven MSE courses are strongly recommended for obtaining a solid background in Materials Science.

B. Students may take one or more SEAS courses relevant to Materials Science and/or up to two Independent Study course units (MSE 599).

C. Students are also permitted to choose two free electives (500 level or higher) that could be courses from Wharton, SAS or SEAS.

All courses need approval from the Masters Program Advisor. The SEAS requirement for the M.S.E. degree is GPA > 2.7 to graduate.

Typical course suggestions include:

FIRST YEAR: FALL SEMESTER

FIRST YEAR: SPRING SEMESTER

SECOND YEAR: FALL SEMESTER

3 Courses, choose from: 

MSE 505 Mechanical Properties

MSE 515 Math for Materials Science

MSE 525 Nanoscale Science and Engineering

MSE 530 Thermodynamics of Materials

MSE 565 Fabrication and Characterization of Micro and Nanostructured Materials

MSE 570 Physics of Solids I

MSE 580 Polymers and Biomaterials

3 Courses, choose from: 

MSE 520 Structure of Materials

MSE 540 Phase Transformations

MSE 575 Statistical Mechanics

PHYS 518 Condensed Matter Physics

ESE 521 Semiconductor Devices

EAS 510 Technical Communication and Academic Writing

EAS 545 Engineering Entrepreneurship I and II

FNCE 601 Corporate Finance

3 Courses, choose from:

MSE 505 Mechanical Properties

MSE 515 Math for Materials Science

MSE 525 Nanoscale Science and Engineering

MSE 530 Thermodynamics of Materials

MSE 565 Fabrication and Characterization of Micro and Nanostructured Materials

MSE 570 Physics of Solids I

EAS 545 Engineering Entrepreneurship

NOTES:  

1. Thesis Option ‐ Students who would like to complete a thesis may take two (2) units of MSE 597(Thesis Research).  

2. A maximum of two course units of Independent Study (MSE 599) is allowed.  

3. A maximum of two graduate‐level course units may be transferred from another school to apply toward the M.S.E. degree if approved by the Masters Program Advisor. These two courses should not have been used in the fulfillment of an undergraduate degree. Sub-matriculants can count up to three 500 or higher level courses for both degrees.