MS in Materials Science and Engineering

MS in Materials Science and Engineering

Students working in lab

The graduate program in materials science and engineering from Drexel Engineering prepares engineers for applying deepened skillsets and the knowledge that will further your career.

What is a Master’s in Materials Science and Engineering?

A materials science and engineering master of science degree enhances your academic qualifications and skills to advance your career in an in-demand engineering specialization.

The graduate program in materials science and engineering provides a thorough grounding in the fundamental behavior of materials. Technical skills are developed through the application of concepts and basic principles in the selection, design, processing, testing and use of engineering materials. Deepened learning that complements your interests is offered through courses in emerging subjects and abundant opportunities to participate in research.

You will gain an understanding of advances in industry, a global viewpoint, an entrepreneurial mindset that advances careers in industry or research, and gain knowledge required for entry into a PhD program in materials science or a related field.


  • On-campus
  • Full-time or part-time
  • The MS in Materials Science and Engineering program will take 1.5 years to complete on a full-time basis or can be completed on a part time basis in approximately 3-4 years.

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Areas of Specialization

The MS in Materials Science and Engineering allows for a flexible plan of study in order to pursue broad knowledge of the discipline or a refined area of interest. Coursework is offered to provide focus and enhances research participation. These include:

  • nanostructured materials
  • biomaterials
  • composite materials
  • functional materials
  • materials processing and synthesis
  • electronic materials
  • materials for energy applications
  • polymers
  • structural materials.

Why choose Drexel for your MS in Materials Science and Engineering?

The master’s degree in materials science and engineering program deepens your knowledge of the fundamentals through rigorous analysis and exploration. The program offers classes and research at the forefront of materials for energy, nanotechnology, biomaterials, electronic materials, soft materials, computational materials science and advanced materials design and processing that prepare you to take on the demands of industry or to continue study in a doctoral program.

Student working in lab

The program offers a unique opportunity for customization of your plan of study that could incorporate graduate co-op or earning a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Management. This option enhances your capabilities in leading teams and projects from a technical perspective that will be invaluable to your career.

In the 2023-24 US News Best Graduate Schools ranking for Materials Science, Drexel University is ranked #37 globally, which is 9th highest in the US. In the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology subject area, Drexel is ranked #39 in the world, and #7 in the US.

Students have access to Drexel’s state-of-the-art instrumentation facilities for materials characterization including scanning and transmission electron microscopes, battery testing, advanced polymer testing suite and synthetic facilities including nanomaterial reactors, atomic layer deposition and molecular beam epitaxy.

At Drexel and in the Materials Science and Engineering Department (MSE), students are encouraged to be innovative and imaginative in identifying the problem, analyzing and then embarking on the quest for a solution. The focus of our programs is to equip you with the tools for finding sustainable and achievable outcomes to address society’s biggest challenges while making them relevant to your career goals.


The city of Philadelphia is our campus – a diverse urban environment with a variety of social, cultural and learning opportunities that will enrich your educational experience. Philadelphia is also a draw for talented instructors and researchers, meaning you will engage with some of the best minds in engineering and other disciplines. Learn more.

Graduate Co-op

Graduate co-op is an optional three or six-month work experience woven into academic studies for full-time master’s students. Drexel University co-op provides the opportunity to apply theory learned in class to a work experience before graduating. The insights help to direct the vision you have for your career and provide context for the remainder of your learning. You will take advantage of resources from the Steinbright Career Development Center, including programming that enhances your professionalism, resume writing and provides resources for your job search.

Materials Science students have held co-op positions within the aerospace, automotive and pharmaceutical industries, in government labs and facilities, and in academic research labs.

For more information, visit the Steinbright Career Development Center.

Curriculum and Requirements

Core courses 6 credits
Non-core courses 12 credits
Tech electives courses 18 credits (minimum 9 credits of Materials courses, or research for a Materials faculty or affiliated faculty)
Thesis and alternatives 9 credits of MS thesis or 6 credits of thesis proposal (literature review) + 3 credit course or 9 credits of courses
  • The materials science and engineering master’s degree requires a total of 45 credits; 6 credits of required core courses (Thermodynamics of Solids and Introduction to Solid State Materials).

Several unique options (plans of study) are available to tailor study to your individual interests.

  1. Co-op option - combine academic studies with a three- or six-month full-time industrial experience.
  2. Research thesis option - Students carry out a cutting-edge research thesis with world-class faculty in topics on a wide range of available subjects. This option is especially well-suited for students interested in pursuing a PhD degree.
  3. Non-thesis option – rather than pursuing a thesis you may pursue an additional 9 credits of coursework specific to your area of interest.

Management Certificate - Earn the MS in MSE and a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Management without adding any additional credits to the plan of study. The hybrid program incorporates in-person instruction for the materials courses and online instruction for management courses. For those pursuing an accelerated one-year plan of study, the summer quarter will consist of all engineering management courses, offered entirely online. Learn More ->

Graduate advisors are available to guide your course selection and scheduling of core and elective courses.

Visit the Drexel Catalog for more information and sample study plans for areas of specialization or learn more about our admissions requirements.


All students in the Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering program are welcome to engage in research as part of their degree or as extra-curricular participation. Full-time master’s degree candidates are encouraged to base their master’s thesis on some aspect of faculty research.

Master’s students are encouraged to engage with leading edge research in engineering new materials for better battery performance, improved water treatment technologies, next-generation electronics, new tissue regeneration and drug delivery for patients, combatting the COVID pandemic, computational materials design, and developing sustainable materials to reduce society’s environmental impact.

Current research in materials science and engineering covers areas such as:

  • Ceramics
  • Composites
  • Computation and theory
  • Electronic materials
  • Energy
  • Health and medicine
  • Materials processing
  • Metals
  • Nanomaterials
  • Polymers
  • Structured materials
  • Sustainability

The MSE department has world-class research facilities, research groups and institutes that pursue novel research and knowledge. These are sponsored by grants from many organizations ranging from the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Health (NIH), American Chemical Society (ACS), Pfizer, Inc., to a host of other institutions.

Visit research areas for an overview and activity taking place at the College of Engineering.

Career Opportunities in Materials Science and Engineering

Graduate programs in materials science and engineering prepare you for a career path that could include continuing your education in a PhD program or pursuing advanced technical positions or management in industries such as government, aerospace, telecommunications, manufacturing, biomedical, textiles and many others in research or management roles.

Overall, employees with graduate degrees can earn up to 28 percent more than bachelor’s degree holders over the course of their career. The outlook for materials engineering jobs is good, with demand for employment expected to grow 3% through 2028, at average with the overall employment projections for all occupations and are on par with median annual wage for engineers according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is further reported that materials engineers with master’s degrees achieve a large boost to salary from achieving a postgraduate degree, with median salaries of 18 percent higher than employment with only a bachelor’s degree.


Drexel places a high value on industry connections and experience at every level. Teaching faculty are experts with industry experience or are leaders in research and teaching.  

MSE faculty have garnered many awards and have numerous notable achievements. These include:

  • 16 Professional Society Fellows
  • 10 Early Career Awards
  • Over 21,000 citations in 2019 to journal publications authored by MSE faculty
  • 34 patents filed in 2019

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