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Columbia University Course/Program Name
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National :01 Oct
International :01 Oct

MS Materials Science and Engineering

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

2 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

53460 USD
53460 USD

Application fee

International 85 USD
National 85 USD
Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600
GRE (avg)315
GMAT (avg)715

World University Ranking

About this course

Materials science and engineering is concerned with synthesis, processing, structure, and properties of metals, ceramics, polymers, and other materials, with emphasis on understanding and exploiting relationships among structure, properties, and applications requirements. Our graduate research programs encompass projects in areas as diverse as polycrystalline silicon, electronic ceramics grain boundaries and interfaces, microstructure and stresses in microelectronics thin films, oxide thin films for novel sensors and fuel cells, optical diagnostics of thin-film processing, ceramic nanocomposites, electrodeposition and corrosion processes, structure, properties, and transmission electron microscopy and crystal orientation mapping, magnetic thin films for giant and colossal magnetoresistance, chemical synthesis of nanoscale materials, nanocrystals, carbon nanotubes, nanostructure analysis using X-ray and neutron diffraction techniques, and electronic structure calculation of materials using density functional and dynamical mean-field theories. Application targets for polycrystalline silicon are thin film transistors for active matrix displays and silicon-on-insulator structures for ULSI devices. Novel applications are being developed for oxide thin films, including uncooled IR focal plane arrays and integrated fuel cells for portable equipment. Long-range applications of high-temperature superconductors include efficient power transmission and highly sensitive magnetic field sensors.

Thin film synthesis and processing in this program include evaporation, sputtering, electrodeposition, and plasma and laser processing. For analyzing materials structures and properties, faculty and students employ electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, cathodoluminescence and electron beam–induced current imaging, photoluminescence, dielectric and anelastic relaxation techniques, ultrasonic methods, magnetotransport measurements, and X-ray diffraction techniques. Faculty members have research collaborations with Lucent, Exxon, IBM, and other New York area research and manufacturing centers, as well as major international research centers. Scientists and engineers from these institutions also serve as adjunct faculty members at Columbia. The National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory is used for high-resolution X-ray diffraction and absorption measurements.

Entering students typically have undergraduate degrees in materials science, metallurgy, physics, chemistry, or other science and engineering disciplines. First-year graduate courses provide a common base of knowledge and technical skills for more advanced courses and for research. In addition to course work, students usually begin an association with a research group, individual laboratory work, and participation in graduate seminars during their first year.

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Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility Requirements

The basic requirement for admission as a graduate student is the bachelor's degree received from an institution of acceptable standing. Ordinarily, the applicant will have majored in the field in which graduate study is intended, but in certain programs preparation in a related field of engineering or science is acceptable. The applicant will be admitted only if the undergraduate record shows promise of productive and effective graduate work.

The M.S. degree is required for admission into the Ph.D. and Eng.Sc.D. degree programs. A student who holds an appropriate bachelor's degree in engineering may apply for admission for study for either the M.S. only or M.S. leading to Ph.D.

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Course Modules


Candidates for the Master of Science degree in Materials Science and Engineering will follow a program of study formulated in consultation with and approved by a faculty adviser. Thirty points of credit are required at a minimum.

The following five courses (15 points) are required for the degree:

MSAE E4100: Crystallography

MSAE E4201: Materials thermodynamics and phase diagram

MSAE E4202: Kinetics of Transformations in Materials

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

MSAE E4215: Mechanical behavior of materials (3 pts)


If a candidate has already taken one or more of these courses at Columbia University, substitutions from the Type I Elective list may be approved.

The remaining 15 points will be chosen from elective courses, 9 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 E4207: Lattice vibrations and crystal defects

MSAE E4250: Ceramics and composites

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:

BMEN E4300: Solid biomechanics (3 pts)

BMEN E4301: Structure, mechanics, and adaptation of bone (3 pts)

BMEN E4501: Tissue engineering, I (3 pts)

APPH E4100: Quantum physics of matter (3 pts)

APPH E4110: Modern optics (3 pts)

APPH E4130: Physics of solar energy (3 pts)

APPH E6081: Solid state physics, I (3 pts)

APPH E6082: Solid state physics, II (3 pts)

ELEN E4301: Introduction to semiconductor devices (3 pts)

ELEN E4411: Fundamentals of photonics (3 pts)

ELEN E4944: Principles of device microfabrication (3 pts)

EAEE E4001: Industrial ecology of earth resources (3 pts)

EAEE E4160: Solid & hazardous waste management (3 pts)

ENME E4113: Advanced mechanics of solids (3 pts)

ENME E4114: Mechanics of fracture & fatigue (3 pts)

ENME E4608: Manufacturing processes (3 pts)

CHEE E4252: Introduction to surface and colloid chemistry (3 pts)

CHEE E4530: Corrosion of metals (3 pts)

CHEN E4620: Intro to polymers and soft materials

CHEN E4640: Polymer surfaces and interfaces

CHEM G4168: Materials chemistry

MECE E4211: Energy sources and conversion

APMA E4101: Introduction to dynamical systems (3 pts)

APMA E4200: Partial differential equations (3 pts)

APMA E4300: Introduction to numerical methods (3 pts)

APMA E4400: Introduction to biophysical modeling (3 pts)

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

All degree requirements must be completed within five years. A candidate is required to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. Applicants for admission are required to take the Graduate Record

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How to Apply

Application Requirements 
The following materials must accompany the online application:

  • Official transcript copy from every post-secondary institution attended
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test Scores
  • Personal statement
  • Resumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • $85 non-refundable application fee

Additional Requirements 
If you meet the following criteria you must submit additional material(s) as indicated:

  • Applied Physics Doctoral applicants: Official GRE Physics Subject Test Score
  • International applicants or applicants whose undergraduate degree was received in a country in which English is not the official and spoken language must meet the following additional requirements: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic) official scores required. An exception is made for applicants who have earned an undergraduate degree or complete a master's degree in the United States before enrollment, in this case the applicant is not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission.
  • Doctoral applicants to Computer Science must send the following documents by postal mail upon submission of the application (applicants to other programs will be asked to provide these documents at a later date):
    1. Official transcript from every post-secondary institution attended, from the institution in a sealed envelope
    2. Official copies of diploma/degree certificates (international students only)
    3. Translation of the official transcript(s) and degree/diploma certificate(s) is required if the institution(s) you attended does not issue transcripts in English. The translation must be conducted by a reputable service provider.  Personal transcript translations will not be accepted.

Candidates should NOT submit copies of awards, financial documentation, or other additional documents that are not required with the applicaiton. Submission of extra documents will not enhance chances of being admitted. Documents submitted will not be returned.

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