Materials Science and Engineering Master's Degree

Online Program Overview

Degree Level
Master's Degree
Total Credits
Fully Online
Contact Us
Minimum GPA
Qualifying Exam
GRE Required

Materials Science Engineering is a rapidly growing, multidisciplinary activity that has emerged as a recognizable field in recent decades. Scientists and engineers in this field lay the basis for understanding, developing, testing, and applying materials that form the foundation for present and future technologies (for example, ceramic engines for the automotive industry, semiconductor devices for the microelectronic industry, and polymers and composite materials for various industries including sports and automotive industries). More significantly, the choice and power of future human endeavors will depend critically on the development of improved and environmentally-sound materials, whether as inexpensive and highly efficient solar cells for clean power generation or as radiation-resistant alloys for fusion reactor walls.

Although over half a million scientists and engineers currently are working in the materials field, only about 10 percent of them hold materials-designated degrees (the remainder include chemists, physicists, electrical engineers, chemical engineers, and mechanical engineers). As such there is demand for -- and the field will benefit from -- scientists and engineers, who take the multidisciplinary materials science approach in their careers.

The program also offers the professional degree, Metallurgical Engineer, for engineers who wish to do advanced work beyond the level of the M.S. degree but who do not desire to emphasize research. For more information:

"I have been quite happy with ALL of the classes I have taken. This has not been easy - as some of the classes have been challenging. Also, with the unpredictable nature of my travel schedule, the logistics, at times, have been even more of a problem. But, in the end, there has been good cooperation at all levels and things have worked out well in the end. In conclusion, I thought my travel schedule would prohibit me from being able to successfully complete any advanced degree. This has not proven to be the case."
Bob Havrin, Baker Process

Admissions Requirements

Degree required for admission: Students admitted to the program must possess an undergraduate degree in engineering, science, mathematics, or other related field (subject to the approval of the Materials Science and Engineering Program) from an accredited academic institution. Applicants should have a strong undergraduate record to be competitive for admission.

GPA required: Minimum of 3.0 

GRE requirements: General test required 

Other application requirements: 3 recommendation letters, transcripts, resume, and a personal-professional statement are required. TOEFL test scores are required of all students who received their bachelor's degree in a country where English is not the official and spoken language. All application requirements in the Graduate Application must be completed as specified in the application. 

Breadth requirement: Elements of Materials Science (MSAE E3103) is required for students who have not covered this material in earlier undergraduate or graduate courses. No credit toward the M.S. degree will be given for taking this course. 

For answers to your most common admissions questions, please review our FAQ page here.

Breadth requirement: Elements of Materials Science (MSAE E3103) is required for students who have not covered this material in earlier undergraduate or graduate courses. No credit toward the M.S. degree will be given for taking this course.

Degree Requirements:

Students must complete all core courses and selected electives (described below) for a total of 30 graduate points of academic work via CVN with an academic average of 2.5 or better. All degree requirements must be completed within 5 years of the beginning of the first course credited toward the degree. This includes courses taken in the non-degree program.


MSAE students are advised to visit the Materials Science page on the APAM website for the most current information regarding program requirements.

Core courses:

The following six courses (18 points) are required for the degree:

18 points:

MSAE E4100: Crystallography

MSAE E4200: Theory of crystalline materials: phonons

MSAE E4201: Materials thermodynamics and phase diagrams

MSAE E4202: Kinetics of transformations in materials

MSAE E4206: Electronic & magnetic properties of solids (3 pts)

MSAE E4215: Mechanical behavior of structural materials (3 pts)

Course List



If a candidate has already taken one or more of these courses at Columbia University, substitutions from the Type I and Type II Elective list must be approved by consulation with their faculty adviser and approval of the program committee.

The remaining 12 points will be chosen from elective courses, 6 points of which must be Type I and 6 points of which may be Type I or Type II:

Type I Electives:

MSAE E4090: Nanotechnology

MSAE E4101: Structural analysis of materials

MSAE E4102: Synthesis and processing of materials

MSAE E4132: Fundamentals of polymers and ceramics

MSAE E4203Theory of crystalline materials: electrons

MSAE E4250: Ceramics and composites

MSAE E4260: Electrochemical materials and devices: from structure to performance

MSAE E4301: Materials science laboratory

MSAE E4990: Special topics in materials science and engineering

MSAE E6085: Computing the electronics structure of complex materials

MSAE E6091Magnetism and magnetic materials

MSAE E6100: Transmission electron microscopy

MSAE E6225: Techniques in X-ray and neutron diffraction

MSAE E6229: Energy and particle beam processing of materials

MSAE E6230: Kinetics of phase transformations

MSAE E6251: Thin films and layers

MSAE E6273: Materials science reports

MSAE E8235: Selected topics in materials science

MSAE E4000-, 6000- or 8000-level courses not listed here

Type II Electives:

APCH E4080: Soft condensed matter

APMA E4001: Principles of applied mathematics

APMA E4101: Intro to dynamical systems

APMA E4150: Applied functional analysis

APMA E4200: Partial differential equations

APMA E4300: Intro to numerial methods

APMA E4302: Methods in computational science

APMA E4400: Intro to biophysical modeling

APPH E4100: Quantum physics of matter

APPH E4110: Modern optics

APPH E4130: Physics of solar energy

APPH E6081: Solid state physics, I

APPH E6082: Solid state physics, II

BMEN E4300: Solid biomechanics

BMEN E4301: Structure, mechanics, and adaptation of bone

BMEN E4340: Biomechanics of cells

BMEN E4501: Tissue engineering, I

CHEE E4252: Introduction to surface and colloid chemistry

CHEE E4530: Corrosion of metals

CHEM GU4168: Materials chemistry

CHEN E4620: Intro to polymers and soft materials

CHEN E4640: Polymer surfaces and interfaces

EACH E4560: Particle technology

EAEE E4001: Industrial ecology of earth resources

EAEE E4003: Introduction to aquatic chemistry

EAEE E4160: Solid & hazardous waste management

EAEE E4550: Catalysis for emissions control

EAEE E6150: Industrial catalysis

EAEE E6240: Physical hydrology

ELEN E4301: Introduction to semiconductor devices

ELEN E4411: Fundamentals of photonics

ELEN E4944: Principles of device microfabrication

ENME E4113: Advanced mechanics of solids

ENME E4114: Mechanics of fracture & fatigue

ENME E4608: Manufacturing processes

MECE E4211: Energy sources and conversion

MECE E4610: Advanced manufacturing processes

Columbia Video Network (CVN) students may have their programs approved by faculty. Special reports (3 points) are required of CVN students.

Tuition & Fees

2019 - 2020 Tuition & Fees

Please note that all tuition and fees are in U.S. dollars and are estimated. Tuition and most fees are prescribed by statute, and are subject to change at the discretion of the Trustees.

CVN Credit Tuition: $2,104 per point (Credit Hour)
CVN Fee: $395 non-refundable fee per course
Transcript Fee: $105 non-refundable one-time fee

Estimated cost of one nondegree course: $6,812 
Estimated total cost of certification (four online courses): $26,933

Estimated total cost of MS (ten online courses): $67,175
Estimated total cost of DES (ten online courses plus a minimum of 12 research credits): $92,423

Graduate Admission Application Fee: $150 non-refundable one-time fee
Certification Program Application Fee: $150 non-refundable one-time fee

Late Registration Fee: $100 non-refundable fee

CVN Withdrawal Fee: $75, plus prorated tuition and all non-refundable fees
For example: A three credit course would be $6,312 + transcript fee $105 (one-time) + CVN fee $395 = $6,812

For Drop/Withdrawal fees and dates, refer to the Academic Calendar for the current term.

Please note: CVN no longer offers courses for audit.


Payment should be mailed to:

Columbia Video Network
540 S.W. MUDD Building, MC4719
500 West 120th Street
New York, NY 10027


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