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Graduate Admissions

We invite you to be part of the materials legacy at Illinois.  Our graduate program is ranked among the top programs in the world and seeks to educate and nurture the next generation of leaders in materials science.  Illinois MatSE has unmatched facilities for research, a world class faculty, a long history of collegiality and interdisciplinary collaboration, and opportunities for professional development and outreach

Degree Programs

Admission to graduate study in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering is highly competitive and based on academic and research achievements and overall potential to succeed in our graduate degree program.  We welcome applications from outstanding students with undergraduate degrees in a broad range of scientific and engineering disciplines, e.g., Materials Science, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physics or Mechanical Engineering.

Learn more about the MatSE Graduate Program


Ph.D. Program

Our Ph.D. program is directed at students hoping to pursue a research career in in academics, industry or national labs.  Our curriculum (link to curriculum) is flexible and easily tailored to support research in all areas of materials and individual interests.   

Typical coursework for Ph.D. program

Application Requirements

Students applying with a bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree without a master’s degree and intending to pursue a Ph.D. should apply directly to the Ph.D. program (not to the M.S. program). An M.S. degree may be obtained during the Ph.D. program once requirements for M.S. have been met. For admission and consideration for financial support, you need:

Financial Support for Research

Applicants to the Ph.D. program are automatically considered for financial support in the form of a research assistantship (RA) or fellowship that provide full tuition, a partial fee waiver, and a stipend.  Research assistantships are funded by grants or contracts directed by individual professors. Fellowships are highly competitive and available from the department or the government, or foundations.

Teaching Experiences

During the course of study, MatSE PhD students are also eligible for Racheff teaching fellowships and teaching assistantships (TAs), which provide valuable teaching experiences and provide additional support for graduate studies.  MatSE students also eligible for the completive Mavis Future Faculty Program (link to http://publish.illinois.edu/engr-mavis/) designed to facilitate the training of the next generation of great engineering professors.

Finding an Advisor

All PhD students join a research group early in their first semester (by the end of September).  The department hosts a series of events (either in person or virtual) to help students make this essential connection to a faculty advisor that will provide a research assistantship, lab space or computational resources and guide students through PhD program. 

 

M.S. Program

Our non-thesis M.S. program is designed for a broad range of students and professionals seeking to expand on their undergraduate training, enhance professional skills, and gain the experience necessary to become a professional scientist/engineer or to obtain a solid foundation for further education in science and engineering. 

 Non-Thesis Masters Option

 The Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering non-thesis degree requires completion of 36 hours of credit total.  The curriculum is highly flexible with the following requirements and conditions:

  • A minimum of 10 hours of MSE 400 or 500- level course work at the graduate level.
  • A minimum of 14 hours of 500-level course work overall applied toward the degree (excluding MSE 599).
  • Materials Colloquium MSE 595 must be taken every semester in the first two years of residence. A maximum of 2 hours may be applied toward the degree.     
  • MSE 529 Hard Materials Student Seminar or MSE 559 Soft Materials Student Seminar must be taken every semester. A maximum of 4 hours may be applied toward the degree.
  • Generally, students on a research assistantship will not be allowed in the non-thesis option.
  • Applicants who do not receive offers of admission to the Ph.D. program may request to be considered for the M.S. program without filing a separate application. Instructions for this request may be found in the decision letter for the Ph.D. program application.

Masters Thesis Option

The Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering with thesis degree option requires completion of 32 hours of credit total and successful completion of a thesis.  The curriculum is highly flexible with the following requirements and conditions:

  • A total of 8 hours of MSE 599 Thesis Research
  • A minimum of 10 hours of MSE 400 or 500- level course work at the graduate level.
  • A minimum of 14 hours of 500-level course work overall applied toward the degree (excluding MSE 599).
  • Materials Colloquium MSE 595 must be taken every semester in the first two years of residence. A maximum of 2 hours may be applied toward the degree.      
  • MSE 529 Hard Materials Student Seminar or MSE 559 Soft Materials Student Seminar must be taken every semester. A maximum of 4 hours may be applied toward the degree.
  • The completed master's thesis must be approved by the advisor and the department head.

Typical coursework for M.S. program

Apply Online

The Program Code for M.S. study is 10KS0130MS; Ph.D. study is 10KS0130PHD. Applicants must indicate their field of specialization or area of research interest. By using the online system, your application is available to us immediately upon completion of the payment transaction. Please read all instructions carefully before starting the application process.

Please do not send copies of your online application to the Department. For questions regarding the application process, contact the Department Graduate Admissions Officer.

Apply Online

Application Package

The following requirements must submitted for an applicant to be considered for admission and financial support.

  1. Transcripts and certificates of degree*
  2. One-page statement of purpose**
  3. Resume
  4. Three letters of reference
  5. GRE score (Optional for Fall 2021)
  6. TOEFL score (international)
  7. Non-refundable application processing fee ($70 domestic/$90 international)
    The application fee may be waived in some instances. 

*Final or original transcripts will only be required if admission is offered.

**One-page Statement of Purpose Instructions: Please describe your previous academic work in your proposed field of study and include a personal statement regarding your goals for graduate study and a professional career. Please also describe any relevant research experience and what you have learned from it, and other educational and life experiences that you feel are important and relevant. If you have specific interests in your proposed field of study or are interested in working with any particular faculty members, please tell us about them.

The University of Illinois institution code for reporting test scores is 1836. International applicants receiving financial assistance from the Department are not required to complete the Financial Certification Form. International applicants who are admitted with outside financial assistance (government scholarships, corporate support, or personal funds) are required to submit the Financial Certification Form.

Application Deadline

December 15 (Fall admissions)

Graduate applications are accepted for the spring and fall semesters, however spring applications are accepted only by request of a MatSE faculty member. Fall applicants are admitted at large and admitted students typically choose an advisor after arriving on campus and interviewing with professors who have openings for new students. The review of applications typically begins prior to the deadline and early offers of admission may be extended to outstanding applicants. Early submission is encouraged. Applicants can check the status of their application at https://my.matse.illinois.edu/gradstat. Log in with your email address and date of birth used in the Apply Yourself application system. Please note: Information may not be immediately available as some documents have to be manually scanned and uploaded.

Campus Visits

Applicants who are admitted to the Ph.D. program and reside in the United States will be invited to participate in a weekend visit on scheduled dates, typically in March. The Department covers travel and local expenses for these visits. The visit weekends include faculty research presentations, facility tours, interviews with faculty members, campus and apartment tours, and social activities coordinated by current graduate students.

Additional Information

General information on graduate study at the University of Illinois is available from the Graduate College. The Grainger College of Engineering also hosts Multicultural Engineering Recruitment for Graduate Education (MERGE) which is designed to give talented underrepresented students from across the nation an opportunity to visit our campus early in the application process in order to learn about the opportunities at Illinois.

Share your college decision with friends and get to know your department.

 

 

Between MRL, MNTL, and the Beckman Institute, Illinois provides just about anything anyone could possibly imagine needing to perform their research. The shared facilities also provide a nice platform for interaction between users from many groups working in many areas of research.”

 

– Eric Epstein, MatSE Graduate Student

CONTACT INFORMATION

UNDERGRADUATE CONTACT

Kimberly Anderson
MatSE Undergraduate Programs Office
201 MSEB
1304 W. Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 333-1441
ksander@illinois.edu

 

GRADUATE CONTACT

Ashley Phillips Smith
MatSE Graduate Programs Office
201 MSEB
1304 W. Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801

matse-grad@illinois.edu