Master of MS&E (MMSE)

DescriptionThe Master of Materials Science and Engineering (MMSE) degree is a non-thesis, course-only master’s degree. The MMSE degree is available to on-campus students and to distance education students enrolled through the Engineering Online (EOL) program. The same degree requirements apply to on-campus and distance education students. For distance education students who are already employed, the MMSE program enables them to further their education with a master’s degree that can be completed with the convenience and flexibility of online video lectures and exams administered by a local proctor.
EligibilityApplicants to the MMSE program typically have a BS degree in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), another field of engineering, or a related technical discipline such as chemistry or physics. GRE scores are not required for admission to the MMSE program. If your undergraduate degree is not MSE, the MSE admissions committee may recommend that you begin your graduate work at NC State in the Post-Baccalaureate Studies (PBS) program, as a Non-Degree Studies (NDS) student.


Starting your graduate studies as an NDS student has some advantages:

You won’t lose any time. Up to 12 credit hours of coursework can be taken as an NDS student. If you are later admitted to the MMSE program, up to 12 credit hours can be transferred from NDS to the MMSE program. Only courses in which a grade of B or better is received can be transferred. Should you receive a grade lower than B in a course as an NDS student, this course will not transfer to MMSE and it will not be included in the calculation of your graduate grade point average (GPA). Per NC State policy, a GPA of 3.0 or higher must be maintained to continue in any graduate program. So NDS is a low-risk way to “test the waters” in the MMSE program before committing to it.

Once enrolled in NDS, it is recommended that you register for MSE 500 as your first course. This is a fast-paced overview of the field and will give you a good indication of how well prepared you are for additional graduate-level coursework in materials science and engineering. You can be reconsidered for admission into the MMSE program after you have successfully completed at least two MSE courses as an NDS student.

General Information
  • All distance education courses in the College of Engineering are offered through Engineering Online (EOL). At the discretion of EOL, courses for which there is a low enrollment may be canceled in any given semester.
  • All MSE online courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise noted.
  • Consult the NC State Course Catalog to identify courses outside of MSE that may be of interest to you. Not all of these courses will be available online, nor will they all be available every semester.
  • Consult the NC State Registration and Records Class Search (link) to look for on-campus and online courses being offered in any given semester. Online courses are designated with a section number of 6xx.
  • Consult the schedule of courses to determine which courses are available online in any given semester.
How to ApplyWhen filling out the application, on-campus students should apply to the MR-MSE track. Distance education students should apply to the MR-MSE/MTZ (distance) track.
After you are admitted to the MMSE program, you should register for courses through Engineering On-Line.
University Admission RequirementsTo be admitted to the NC State Graduate School, you must:


have a minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0. have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate work. take the TOEFL exam if you are a non-native English speaker and achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (PBT) or 80 (IBT). The institutional code for the Educational Testing Service to report TOEFL scores to North Carolina State University is 5496. International students who have successfully completed at least one year of full-time study in a degree program at a four-year US college or university are exempt from the TOEFL requirement. Learn more from the NC State Graduate School including detailed TOEFL scores requirements and other information.

MSE Departmental RequirementsIn addition to meeting university admission requirements, applicants to the MMSE Program must also:


  • provide three letters of recommendation from people familiar with your work
  • provide transcript(s) from your undergraduate institution(s).
  • submit a statement of purpose
  • GRE scores are not required for admission to the MMSE Program.
Application DeadlinesApplications will be reviewed by the MSE admissions committee after the deadline dates below. Applications remain active for one year after submission.


Summer and Fall admission: March 1st  |  Spring admission: October 1st

Degree RequirementsTo receive the MMSE degree, you must:

  • complete a total of 30 credit hours of coursework at the 500 or 700 level. This must include a minimum of 18 credit hours from MSE 500-level and 700-level courses. The remaining hours may come from graduate-level courses in MSE or other technical disciplines.
  • maintain a 3.0 minimum overall GPA. A course in which a student earns below a C- or a “U” will not be included in the minimum hours required for a given degree. Depending on the course, students may be required to repeat it.

  • prepare a graduate plan of work (POW) upon completion of 15 credit hours of coursework. Instructions for creating and modifying a POW are available in MyPackPortal. After submitting your POW it will be reviewed by your advisor. If no changes are necessary, it will be approved by your advisor and the MSE Director of Graduate Programs. The POW can be modified as necessary at any time before graduation.
  • Students will be terminated from the MMSE Program if:
    they have completed 18 credit hours and have a GPA less than 2.778, or they have completed more than 18 credit hours and have a GPA less than 2.667, or they have completed 30 or more credit hours and have a GPA less than 3.000.
Transferring CoursesA maximum of 12 credit hours may be transferred into the MMSE Program from another university or from the NC State PBS program, subject to approval by the MSE Graduate Program Director. Only courses in which a B or better grade is received are eligible for transfer.
Projected MSE CoursesTo view the projected MSE Courses for upcoming semesters, please see our list of Projected MSE Courses.


For information on all courses, please visit the NC State Course Catalog.