Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering


The master's degree in materials science and engineering combines upper-level coursework with the opportunity to conduct research on a topic within materials science and write a thesis. To earn the master's degree, students must complete requirements in three main areas:

  1. Core coursework: Core coursework requirements can be found in the course catalog.
  2. Elective coursework: Elective coursework must be approved by your graduate advisor and advisory committee and filed with The Graduate School on your Program of Study.
  3. Thesis: You must write and defend a thesis that is approved by your advisory committee.

You will develop an individualized program of study with your advisory committee. The program of study describes the specific courses, research and related activities you will take to meet your degree requirements. The Graduate Dean must approve your program of study, and we recommended that you develop a program of study as soon as possible upon arriving at the university.

Advisory committee

When you start your program, you may be assigned a temporary advisor. However, you should select a general research area, full advisory committee and thesis advisor sometime during the first semester.

Advisory or examining committees consist of at least three members of the graduate faculty: two from your area of specialization, and one from a department outside Chemical and Materials Engineering. Formal approval of your advisory or examining committee is given by the Graduate Dean. The committee is very important in guiding your progress toward an advanced degree, and high priority should be placed in forming the committee during the first semester. You are free to change advisors or committee members at any time.


To apply to the master's degree program, you should have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution in a field that prepares you for graduate work in materials science and engineering. Additionally, you should meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75 OR GPA of 3.0 for the last two years of undergraduate work
  2. Official transcripts (statement of marks) from every institution attended for a complete history of your education. Certified English translations of all transcripts must be submitted.
  3. Official TOEFL or IELTS test scores if your educational history is from a non-English speaking country* with minimum scores of:
    • TOEFL: 550 (paper) or 79 (internet)
    • IELTS: 6.5 (academic version)
  4. *English-Speaking Countries Exempt from Testing - if your last degree is from an English speaking country, then you are exempt from taking TOEFL/IELTS.
  5. Resume or curriculum vitae
  6. Statement of purpose
  7. Letters of recommendation from former professors indicating your ability to complete advanced coursework and research

How to Apply

Applicants to the program should apply through The Graduate School website. Please direct any questions about applications and admission to Graduate Program Director Qi An at

Financial support

Students in the master's degree program are eligible to be considered for teaching or research assistantships. Applicants to the program will be considered for available funding, and awards are made on the basis of your academic achievements and potential for graduate success.

Housing Options

The University offers on-campus housing for graduate students. Visit the graduate housing website to learn more about living at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Related Degrees and Programs

Contact Chemical and Materials Engineering

Phone (775) 784-6771
Fax (775) 327-5059
Location Paul Laxalt Mineral Research
Address University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557