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Master's Program

The master's program provides training in solid-state fundamentals and materials engineering at a more advanced level than the undergraduate program. It is a terminal degree.

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. No thesis or research are required, but some master's students opt to earn 6 to 15 units of credit by doing research with a professor in the lab and writing a master's report. Students interested in this opportunity should make arrangements with a faculty member to supervise their research and enroll in MSE 200. See the Student Services Manager after the MSE Orientation, for details and approval.

Applications for the 2018 MS class are now CLOSED.

We will not be updating any files - please do not inquire.

We will now be reviewing all files and updating statuses - it will take us awhile, so PLEASE do not inquire about your application status.  We will contact you if we need anything.

However - if your school does not provide a GPA based on a 4.0 scale, please refer to Frequently Asked Questions and our tips and tricks (PDF) to provide us adjusted GPA - ASAP.


Graduate Admissions Office Application

The fee for online graduate applications is $125.

The university application is on the Graduate Admissions website. Please read all the information provided before applying (any general graduate admission information given on the Materials Science and Engineering website is subject to revision by the Graduate Admissions Office). GRE and TOEFL tests must be taken early enough for us to receive the test scores by the application deadline. No late test scores, recommendation letters, transcripts or other applicable supporting materials will be accepted.

Review our Frequently Asked Questions and our tips and tricks (PDF) for applying BEFORE posing your questions! 

The application consists of the following required materials, all of which must be received by the appropriate deadline for the application to be considered complete:

  • Online application, statement of purpose and unofficial transcript(s).
  • A minimum of three (3), maximum of six (6) recommendation letters submitted online directly by the recommenders.*
  • Official test scores reported by ETS. Stanford's institution code is 4704; no department code is needed.
  • One (1) official transcript from all post-secondary institutions you have attended for at least one year in a degree program**. You'll be asked to provide a second official transcript if you get admitted to the program.

Student Services Office
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
496 Lomita Mall, Durand Building, Room 102
Stanford, CA 94305-4034

*Letters of Recommendation must be submitted on line, paper recommendations are not permissible.

**Please refer to the transcript information found in our Frequently Asked Questions.  The MatSci Department STRONGLY encourages electronic transcript submissions.

All other non-essential mailings will not need to be included in the application.

We urge you to apply early and make every attempt to get your questions answered early. Please refer to Frequently Asked Questions and our tips and tricks (PDF) BEFORE submitting your questions. Due to volume of inquiries that we receive, we have compiled the most asked questions and have summarized the answers into these two documents.

Please refer to our Program Requirements page before submitting your questions about programatic requirements.

Should your question not be answered in our Frequently Asked Questions and tips and tricks (PDF), please direct your questions to:

Late applications on a space-available-only basis

We can accept late applications only if there is still space in our incoming class. Please contact the department if you are unable to apply by the deadline.

Full-time study starts in fall quarter

Full time MS students generally begin during the fall quarter. Starting a different quarter is highly unlikely due to the nature and structure of our program.

Part-time study available

Working students can earn the MS degree through the Stanford Center for Professional Development on a part-time basis.

Honors Cooperative Program

Some of the department’s graduate students participate in the Honors Cooperative Program (HCP), which makes it possible for 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.

Many graduate courses offered by the School of Engineering on campus are made available through the Stanford Center for Professional Development, which delivers more than 250 courses a year online. For employees who are not part of a graduate degree program at Stanford, courses and certificates are also available through a non-degree option (NDO) and a non-credit professional education program. MSE offers one certificate.  For a full description of educational services provided by SCPD, visit their website or email

Application deadline for 2018-19 is January 9, 2018.

Suitable backgrounds

Any engineering discipline or related science discipline (such as physics, chemistry, etc.), or mathematics is a good base for graduate study in materials science and engineering.

Notification of admission decisions

You will receive email as well as an admission letter posted in your application regarding any admissions decisions. 

You can expect an answer by the end of March, 2018.  We work diligently to finalize the list and get word out as soon as possible.  Please DO NOT CALL/EMAIL asking for your status as it slows the process.