The master's program provides training in solid-state fundamentals and materials engineering at a more advanced level than the undergraduate program. To receive the master's degree, a student must take 45 units of courses (approximately 15 quarter-long classes). The list of classes that are required is given in the Materials Science and Engineering section of the Stanford Bulletin. Some students take five classes per quarter and graduate in one year, but most take between four and five quarters to graduate. Many master's students chose to earn 6 to 9 units of credit by doing research with a professor in the lab and writing a master's report. Students who do exceptionally well in the master's program and decide that they would like to stay at Stanford to earn a PhD degree may petition into the PhD program.
Newly-admitted MatSci MS students (as well as other admitted or current students) are invited to take their first Stanford classes online during the Summer quarter prior to arrival on campus. Summer classes begin in late June, are offered 100% online, and can be accessed worldwide. Taking classes during Summer gives students the opportunity to complete graduate classes while off campus, and may allow students to graduate earlier. A list of classes offered in Summer can be found on the SCPD webpage, and may be eligible for elective/core units.
Honors Cooperative Program
Some of the department's graduate students participate in the Honors Cooperative Program (HCP), which allows academically qualified engineers and scientists in industry to be part-time graduate students in Materials Science while continuing professional employment. Prospective HCP students follow the same admissions process and must meet the same admissions requirements as full-time graduate students. This program works best for students employed locally because some on-campus course work will be necessary.