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Master of Science in Materials Science Engineering (MSMSE)

*The MME Department is restructuring the MSMSE program and is currently accepting applications for Fall 2016*


The MSMSE degree is intended for students interested in the application of materials science to engineering problems without the emphasis on the engineering design process. The MSMSE degree recognizes advanced coursework and research that blends basic materials science with fundamental engineering principles and practice. Closely tied to industry needs and applications, the program supports research in metallurgy, semiconductor materials, composites, welding and joining, photovoltaic manufacturing, and materials testing. Current faculty research includes high strength alloys, electroslag welding technology, acoustic emission methods, modeling of molding and casting, chemical-mechanical planarization, and heat treatment.

Requirements for the MS Degree in Materials Science and Engineering

In addition to meeting all of the University requirements for the MS degree (found in the PSU Bulletin), the candidate must satisfy the following departmental requirements:

  1. 45 graduate credits approved by the Student Program Committee
  2. Core requirements of: MSE 507, ME/MSE 513, MSE 515, and MSE 547.
  3. A set of specialty courses approved by the Student Program Committee
  4. Research yielding 6-9 credits; Student chooses between research project option (6 credits) or thesis option (9 credits),
  5. Fulfilling the project or thesis option requirements

For the Project Option, a student must fulfill items 1 through 4 in the preceding list. The student must also complete a project that meets the approval of the student's advisor. A final, public presentation of the project must be made.

For the Thesis Option, a student must fulfill items 1 through 4 in the preceding list. The student must also perform research that is documented in a Master's Thesis, which adheres to the standards and procedures of the graduate school. The student must give a public oral defense of the thesis, and pass the final oral exam administered by the thesis committee.

Advising and Student Program Committee

Advising for the Masters degree in Materials Science and Engineering has three main goals: (1) to ensure that students have a logical and consistent program of courses, (2) to inform and update students about any important events or changes in the program, and (3) to provide the student with the necessary support and guidance to succeed in the program. Thus, each student will be assigned a faculty advisor and a Student Program Committee (SPC) upon acceptance to the program. The advisor will be the primary contact for the student in the department. The SPC will consist of faculty members in the materials group. The SPC meets with students each term to approve the courses to be taken in the subsequent term, to outline the course of study the student and advisor have chosen, and to provide an extra point of contact between the student and department.

Thesis Committee

Students pursuing the Thesis Option are required to have a thesis committee. The student and the advisor are responsible for selecting the members of the student committee, and having this list approved by the graduate school. The thesis committee consists of no less than three faculty members. The purpose of the thesis committee is to meet with the student as much as needed to provide: guidance for the research thesis and to approve both the final written thesis and final oral examination.