Graduate Division

Materials Science and Engineering MS

Section 1


Materials Science and Engineering focuses on the discovery of new materials, the tailoring of materials systems for optimum performance in a given technological application, and the design of novel materials solutions for emerging technologies. MSE is an interdisciplinary field incorporating elements of chemistry, physics, biology and/or engineering to derive and control the connections between structure (at length scales ranging from sub-atomic to macroscale), the processing necessary to achieve that structure, the fundamental properties (electrical, optical, thermal, mechanical, etc.), and the performance.

These correlations are investigated using advanced materials characterization techniques and theoretical/computational analysis. Many of the most pressing scientific and technological challenges faced by humanity are constrained by the limits of currently available materials. The discovery, design and development of enabling materials is at the core of solving current and future scientific and engineering grand challenges, and benefit industries involved in electronics, advanced sensors, communications, human health, transportation, manufacturing recreation, energy conversion and storage, and environmental sustainability.

What Sets Us Apart?

Coming soon.

Quick Facts

Program Type

Academic Master's Program

Normative Time to Degree

2 years

Capstone Type

Thesis or Comprehensive Exam

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

What do I need to apply?

Applicants will need to submit the following:

1. Completed Online Application (Please note that a completed online application includes paying the Application Fee)

  • Online application
  •  Fee information
  • Fee waiver information

2. Bachelor's Degree Transcripts

  • Applicants must submit ONE set of transcripts from all institutions they attended prior to graduating with a B.S. degree.

3. Master’s Degree Transcripts (if applicable)

  • Applicants must submit ONE set of transcripts for any graduate-level work completed.

4. Official GRE General Test Scores

  • Applicants are not required to take GRE subject tests.

5. Official TOEFL or ILETS scores (if applicable)

  •  Applicants who are international students or permanent residents who earned a degree outside of the U.S. are required to submit a TOEFL or ILETS test scores.
  •  More information about this requirement and about exceptions to this policy.

6. Three (3) Letters of Recommendation

  •  We recommend that at least two letters be from academia. The third could be another letter from academia, a supervisor, a mentor, etc.

I have a 2.8 Cumulative GPA? What are my chances of getting in? Am I qualified?

The admission committee in each department takes many factors in to consideration: An upward grade trend in the last two years of your B.S., solid grades in your upper-division major coursework, your GRE scores, strong letters of recommendation, internship experience, undergraduate research, extracurricular activities, a personal statement aligning your future goals and interests with the school, evidence of successfully completing any graduate-level coursework while an undergraduate. That being said, UC policy states that students must have earned a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA during their undergraduate degree program in order to be eligible for admission. As such, admitting students with a GPA below 3.0 is considered an exception to policy.

What is the minimum GRE score to be eligible for admission?

There is no specific minimum or cut-off for most programs. However, some programs or concentrations have recommended score minimums so applicants should check the specific program's website for additional information. Please note that GRE scores are only valid for 5 years.

What are the TOEFL admission requirements for The Henry Samueli School of Engineering?

The minimum TOEFL scores to be eligible for admission are: At least 550 on the paper-based and 80 on the internet-based test. Please note that TOEFL scores are only valid for 2 years.

What are the IELTS admission requirements for the Samueli School of Engineering?

As an alternative to the TOEFL, you may submit scores from the Academic Modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). An overall minimum score of 7 for admission, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module.

Financial Support

What documents do I need to submit to be considered for funding?

All domestic students should fill out the FAFSA (Federal Application for Federal Student Aid) to become eligible for fellowships and to become eligible for loans, if necessary. Aside from the FAFSA, there are no separate aid applications required and all applicants will be reviewed for any available funding at the time of their admission review. This review includes all fellowships, teaching assistant positions, research positions, etc.

Do you offer funding for M.S. students?

While funding offers are not guaranteed, we certainly make every effort to fund as many of our incoming students as possible. Funding for M.S. students is limited and competitive, but M.S. students can receive funding in the form of fellowships, graduate student researcher appointments, teaching assistant positions, reader/grader positions, or CODE mentor fellowship.

Do you offer funding for international students?

While funding offers are not guaranteed, we certainly make every effort to fund as many of our incoming students as possible. International students are eligible for the same funding that non-international students are eligible for.

How do I contact a professor to be considered for funding and for a place in his or her lab?

While it is not mandatory that you contact any faculty members prior to applying to our programs, the best way is to begin with emails and perhaps phone calls. Introduce yourself and let him or her know that you would be interested in working with the professor because the research is aligned with your goals. If you are domestic and able to visit, it would be a good idea to get familiar with the labs, tour the campus, and/or meet some current students and professors. If you are an international student, the best strategy would be to contact faculty by email.

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2018-19

  Fall 2018 Winter 2019 Spring 2019 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 137.88 137.88 137.87 413.63
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
eTech Fee * 60.00 60.00 60.00 180.00
Document Fee † 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,348.00 1,347.00 1,347.00 4,042.00
Total California Resident $5,795.88 $5,794.88 $5,794.87 $17,385.63
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $10,829.88 $10,828.88 $10,828.87 $32,487.63

Posted 10 August 2018 at

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

The non-refundable eTech Fee is required of all students and is used to support the maintenance and improvement of existing education technology, and new services and capabilities. The eTech fee is listed separately as the charged amount varies based on the amount of undergraduate units the student is enrolled in and is assessed later in the term than the other fees listed. The fee is $4 per unit of undergraduate lecture course, up to a maximum amount of $60 (or 15 units) per quarter. It will be assessed after the third week of instruction. The $60 eTech Fee included on this chart reflects the maximum possible fee.

† The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Julie M. Schoenung, Ph.D.
department profile
Department Chair and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Research Interests: materials selection, green engineering, materials processing and characterization, nanostructured materials, structure-property relationships
Research Lab

Diran Apelian, Sc.D.
department profile
Distinguished Visiting Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Research Interests: solidification processing; aluminum metallurgy; clean metal/melt refining; plasma processing / spray forming; powder metallurgy; nanostructured materials; semi-solid processing; thermal processing; resource recovery and recycling; innovation in engineering education

James Earthman, Ph.D.
department profile
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Biomedical Engineering
Research Interests: biomaterials, dental and orthopaedic implants, green materials, nanocrystalline alloys, deformation and damage processes

Allon Hochbaum, Ph.D.
department profile
Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Chemistry
Research Interests: nanoscale materials and hybrid bio-inorganic devices for applications in clean energy
Research Lab

Enrique Lavernia, Ph.D.
department profile
UCI Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor; Distinguished Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Research Interests: nanostructured materials, additive manufacturing, powder metallurgy, mechanical behavior
Research Lab

Martha Mecartney, Ph.D.
department profile
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Research Interests: ceramics for energy applications and for extreme environments, flash sintering, interfacial design of thermal conductivity, transmission electron microscopy
Research Lab

Daniel Mumm, Ph.D.
department profile
Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Research Interests: development of materials for power generation systems, propulsion, integrated sensing, advanced vehicle concepts and platform protection

Xiaoqing Pan, Ph.D.
department profile
Henry Samueli Endowed Chair, Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, and Physics and Astronomy; Director, Irvine Materials Research Institute
Research Interests: atomic-scale structure, properties and dynamic behaviors of advanced materials including thin films and nanostructures for memories, catalysts, and energy conversion and storage devices.
Research Lab

Regina Ragan, Ph.D.
department profile
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Research Interests: exploration and development of novel material systems for nanoscale electronic and optoelectronic devices
Research Lab

Tim Rupert, Ph.D.
department profile
Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Research Interests: Mechanical behavior, nanomaterials, structure-property relationships, microstructural stability, grain boundaries and interfaces, materials characterization.
Research Lab

Lorenzo Valdevit, Ph.D.
department profile
Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Director, Institute for Design & Manufacturing Innovation (IDMI)
Research Interests: Multifunctional optimization of thermo-mechanical structures, Micro-architected materials, Multi-scale mechanics, Development of MEMS sensors and actuators for mechanical characterization of small-scale materials, structures and biological systems.
Research Lab

Academic Data

academic data

Please click here for data accessible to a screen reader.