Coursework Requirements

The coursework requirements for degrees in Materials Science & Engineering are divided into several categories with courses from each category taken in succession. All courses must be taken for a letter grade except for courses offered through Materials Science & Engineering (MSE), which should be taken for credit/no-credit. The Thrust area categories are:

  1. Deficiency requirements (if needed)
  2. Core Materials Science courses
  3. Required Thrust Area courses
  4. Advanced level elective courses
  5. MSE Courses

Deficiency Requirements

If it is necessary for you to take deficiency courses, they must be taken in the first semester they are offered after you enter the program. The graduate adviser will determine, after meeting with a student, whether these courses are necessary for successful completion of graduate-level course work. These courses are:

  • upper division, undergraduate Quantum Mechanics: CH 354, PH 355, or the equivalent
  • upper division, undergraduate Thermodynamics: CH 353, PH 369, or the equivalent.

Core Materials Science Courses

  • Phase Transformations: ME 386P1 or the equivalent
  • Thermodynamics: ME 386P3, CH 382L, CHE 387, or the equivalent

Choose 1 from 3 below

  • Mechanical Behavior of Materials: ME 386P2 or the equivalent
  • Structure of Materials: ME 386P5 or the equivalent
  • Solid State Properties of Materials: ME 386P4 or the equivalent

Required Thrust Area Courses

General Materials Clean Energy Materials Nanomaterials
Elective #1 Choose three from list below: Choose three from list below:
Elective #2 1. ME 386Q-14 Electrochemical Materials 1. CHE 384 Nanomaterial Chemistry and Engineering
Elective #3 2. CH 390L Electrochemistry I or II 2. ME 387R09 Practical Electron Microscopy
  3. ME 386Q Electrochemical Energy Systems 3. ME 397 Introduction to Micro and Nanomanufacturing
  4. EE 396K-25 Organic/Polymer Semiconductor Devices 4. ME 397 Nanotech Sensing/NEMS/Energy
  5. EE 396K-27 Charge Transport In Organic Semiconductors 5. EE 396V/CHE 384 Inorganic Nanostructures For Device Applications
  6. EE 396V Semiconductor Nanostructures 6. EE 396V Advanced Solid-State Materials/Nanostructures
  7. ME 381R Nanoscale Energy Transport/Conversion  7. ME 381R7 Nanoscale Energy Transport/Conversion
  8. ME 382Q Solar Energy System Design  
  9. ME 397 Nanotech for Sustainable Energy



Advanced Level Elective Courses

Advanced level courses are offered in a variety of other subject areas (microscopy, spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, polymers, etc.) that may be of interest to you, depending on your specific field of study. Please see the current course schedule available on the Registrar’s website for a list of courses offered for this semester. Electives are selected with the advice and consent of your supervising professor and approval of the Graduate Adviser.

MSE Courses

Very few courses are offered through the MSE program but all of them are essential to the success of a MS&E student. MSE 397 Graduate Seminar must be taken at least once before you register for any MSE Research courses. These seminars are offered on a credit/no credit basis. Watch for announcements posted on the bulletin boards on the eighth and ninth floors of ETC, on the Events tab of this website, via email, and be sure to attend if you are registered for MSE 397 or ME 397K. If you have not been accepted into Ph.D. candidacy, you are taking less than nine credit hours of formal courses, and you have not previously taken seminar, then you must sign up for a seminar course. You may choose to register for MSE 397 or ME 397K for more than one semester, but it does not count towards your program of work. You are encouraged to attend the seminars even if you are not registered for MSE 397 or ME 397K.

The MS&E research course is MSE  397R. Be sure to register for MSE research, rather than an equivalent course designation in your faculty supervisor’s home department (such as Mechanical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, etc.). A faculty member must agree to supervise your research before signing up for these courses. Registration for a research (or research problems) course in another department requires permission of the Graduate Adviser and your research supervisor. Such registration must be on a credit/no credit basis.

When you are prepared to take research courses you may sign up for multiple sections of the same research course in order to add up to 9 hours (full-time graduate student course load). For example, if you are not taking any other courses, you may sign up for three sections of MSE 397. All MS&E students must take Research, Thesis, Report and Dissertation from the Materials Science & Engineering program regardless of your research supervisor’s home department (i.e. do not sign up for ME 397 Research or ChE 397 Research).

In all cases, it is vitally important maintain a GPA of 3.00 or better or you will be placed on scholastic probation. While on scholastic probation you cannot receive a Teaching Assistantship nor any of the benefits that go with the assistantship. It is also likely that you will not be eligible for a Research Assistantship or the benefits of that assistantship. Note that with the loss of the assistantship means you will have to pay tuition yourself and that if you are an out-of-state resident, your tuition will be at out-of-state rates. You will be dismissed from the University if your overall GPA is below 3.0 for more than 1 long semester.

Coursework Requirements for the M.S.E. Degree

1. M.S.E. with Thesis: A minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework is required, plus 6 credit hours of thesis.

2. M.S.E with Report: Requires 30 hours of coursework plus 3 hours of report. It is in the student’s best interest to make expeditious progress.

3. M.S.E. no thesis/no report option (see the Graduate Catalog): Requires 36 hours of coursework. It is in the student’s best interest to make expeditious progress.

Coursework Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree

The course requirements for the Ph.D. degree are similar to that for the M.S.E. requirements, i.e. a Thrust area is chosen and then a) Deficiency courses, b) Core courses, c) Thrust Courses, d) Advanced Electives, and e) MSE Courses are taken that depend on the Thrust area that you choose. See above for more information on these courses. There is no fixed requirement for the number of Advanced Electives that are required as the Dissertation Committee determines this during the Preliminary Oral Examination (See below). You may petition the Graduate advisor to receive credit if you feel that you have taken courses at the graduate level that are equivalent in content to a required Thrust course at the University of Texas at Austin.