FAQ

Q. What is the difference between earning a degree in Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) and Materials Science?

A. Both programs are highly interdisciplinary, and offer degrees of Masters of Science and Doctor of Philosophy. The Materials Science Program is not an engineering program whereas the MSE program is.  Both programs do not have any special admissions requirements other that what is required by the graduate school; although the MSE Program does require general GRE scores, there is no minimum GRE score requirement.
Faculty members in Materials Science are located in the Institute of Materials Science, MSE, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Physics, Polymer Program, and Biological Sciences departments. The Materials Science Program is unique in a sense that it fits students’ materials educational needs that may otherwise not fit well within the other degree programs. Student’s plan of study and coursework is typically decided by the advisor as well as the rest of the students’ graduate studies committee.
The MSE faculty are primarily located within the MSE Department as well as other outside, related programs. The Materials Science & Engineering degree program has 4 core courses that all students must take to meet the MSE course requirements. MS and PhD degree and course requirements can be found on the website at http://www.mse.engr.uconn.edu/graduate-program/courses, http://www.mse.engr.uconn.edu/graduate-program/m-s-program, and http://www.mse.engr.uconn.edu/graduate-program/ph-d-program. Faculty members affiliated with MSE can also be found on their webpage.

Application/Admission

Q. Do you admit M.S. students into your program?
A. Yes, we do admit terminal MS students into our program. Funding however, is typically reserved for our PhD candidates. Therefore, if you are interested in applying to our program for a terminal MS degree and are admitted you will be expected to fund your own educational expenses.

Q. Do you admit international students?
A.Yes we do admit international students. We are always looking to recruit excellent students, whether domestic or international. Funding is available for both domestic as well as international PhD candidates.

Q. How much do I get paid?
A. All of our Ph.D. students enjoy stipends of about $23,000 to $28,000/year, depending on experience, as well as full medical benefits.

Q. Can I defer the application fee until I am admitted?
A. The application fee cannot be deferred or waived under any circumstances. It is the policy of the Graduate School that the fee be received along with all other required documents before that application is released to the department for evaluation. Applications received without the fee are held in the Graduate Admissions Office.

Q. On what basis are admissions decisions made?
A. These are based on evaluation of your complete undergraduate (and/or graduate) record, GRE scores and letters of recommendation. There is no set minimum GRE requirement; each candidate is evaluated individually by the MSE faculty committee that has the authority to make admission recommendations to the Graduate School. Note that the MSE Program requires a TOEFL score of 550-PBT, 213-CBT, 80-IBT or an IELTS score of 6.5 to be considered for admissions. The MSE faculty committee looks at ALL application materials before making admissions decisions.

Q. Will you consider my application without my final semester’s transcripts?
A. If you otherwise meet the qualifications for the MSE Program, you will be accepted, pending receipt of your final transcripts. The same is true of financial aid requests.

Q. Is Spring Semester admission possible?
A. Spring admissions with financial aid are rare but possible. Decisions are made on a case by case basis.

Q. What is the deadline for accepting an offer of admission?
A. The standard deadline for accepting an offer of admission is April 15. However, we ask you to let us know of your acceptance decision as soon as possible. This will enable us to equitably distribute our financial aid to all qualified applicants. For international applicants the deadline is February 15.

Q. What if I have a non-materials science & engineering undergraduate degree?
A. Our program is highly interdisciplinary and therefore we admit students with diverse backgrounds. Our current graduate student body consists of students with undergraduate degrees in materials science & engineering, physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, biology, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, metallurgy, etc.

 

Financial Aid Questions

Q. Is it necessary to submit a separate application for financial aid?
A. There are no separate forms for applicants to fill out for financial aid. ALL students admitted into the MSE PhD program are automatically considered to receive financial assistance; typically in the form of a research or graduate assistantship.

Q. What are the tuition charges and additional fees?
A. Graduate students who are awarded graduate assistantships from the department do not pay tuition. For all others see the current tuition amounts on through the Bursar’s office.

 

Questions About Our Program

Q. What is the first year experience like?
A. Students spend their first years primarily with coursework. ALL MSE students need to take and pass our 4 core courses and so it is requested that students take 2-3 of these courses their first semester. Typically students take up to 3 courses total their first semester. Students will NOT be asked to TA their first semester.

Q. How do I select a major advisor?
A. The director of graduate studies is typically the default advisor for the first semester. However, during your first semester with our program you will have the opportunity to meet our entire faculty and choose an advisor based on mutual interest and availability of funds.

Q. What is the Qualifying Exam and when do I need to take it?
A. All students admitted into the MSE program, regardless of previous academic background, will be required to take a qualifying exam at the end of their first semester. Students are tested on their knowledge of the basic concepts of materials science & engineering. Students who do not pass the materials science & engineering requirements will be transferred to the MS degree program.

Q. What is the ratio of Ph.D. to M.S. students?
A. Typically, over 95% of the admission offers are given to prospective applicants who chose the MSE PhD program.

Q. Is a thesis required for an MS degree?
A. Please visit our http://www.mse.engr.uconn.edu/graduate-program/m-s-program.

Q. Can I do a part-time graduate degree?
A. Part-time programs are possible. However, a number of graduate courses are scheduled throughout the day. The department regularly offers late afternoon courses. We encourage part-time applicants to consider the MENG program.

 

International Student Questions

Q. What is the English Language Proficiency Exam?
A. As an international student you are required to pass an English language proficiency exam before beginning your coursework. Should you fail the exam, you will be required to take an English language course (which may involve a fee). Failure to pass the exam a second time will render you ineligible for further financial support as a teaching assistant. A grade point average of 3.0 (B) or above must also be maintained throughout your graduate studies to continue receiving financial support.

 

Housing Questions

Q. What housing accommodations are available to me?
A. The University of Connecticut has three graduate student residence halls and the Hilltop Suites. Most graduate students, however, choose off-campus housing (rented rooms, apartments, and houses) available in the surrounding communities. Please visit UConn housing, for more information.