Masters Program

The UCSD Materials Science and Engineering Program offers the M.S. degree in Materials Science under both the Thesis Plan I and the Comprehensive Examination Plan II; see Graduate Studies: Master's Degree in the General UCSD Catalog for details. The requirements for the M.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering are as follows:

  • All students must successfully complete a total of 36 units.
  • All students must complete four Mandatory Core Courses and at least two of the ten Elective Courses:
    Mandatory Core Courses: MATS 201A, MATS 201B, MATS 201C, MATS 227
    Elective Core Courses: (required to select at least two to fulfill requirements) MATS 205A, MATS 251A, MATS 251B, MATS 252, MATS 253, MATS 256, MATS 257, MATS 261A, MATS 261B, PHYS 152A
    (Physics 211A can replace 152A with adviser's Permission.)
    See "Courses" for description.
  • Students may include up to 12 units of undergraduate courses. These units include the one undergraduate core course, Physics 152.
  • Enroll in MS 200, as required; see course descriptions for requirements.
  • Remaining courses to complete the 36 unit requirement for the M.S. degree may be selected from an approved list of graduate courses with the consent of a faculty advisor.
  • Students must either successfully complete a thesis (Plan I) or pass the Comprehensive Examination (Plan II).
  • Students must meet all other requirements established by the University.
  • Students in thesis (Plan I) must complete 6-12 units of MATS 299

Students who transfer with some graduate credit or an M.S. from another institution will have their records reviewed by a faculty advisor, and an appropriate individual course of study may be approved.

To have your records reviewed, please complete the MATS Course Waiver Request Form, and review Graduate Division policies

Comprehensive Examination
The examination will consist of twelve questions, two from each of the six core courses. A passing grade is 60% for the Master's degree, and 70% for the Ph.D. The examination will not exceed six hours in duration. The examination is usually administered two weeks after spring quarter finals in June. Typically, students take the exam after one year of full-time enrollment. This exam may only be retaken once before the end of the second year of study.

Thesis Defense
Upon completion of the thesis research project, the student writes a thesis that must be successfully defended in an oral examination and public presentation conducted by the masters committee. The student must notify the graduate coordinator of the exam approximately four weeks prior to the exam via submission of MAE/MATS Exam Form.