Materials Science & Engineering Department Brochure

The purpose of this distance learning program is to provide graduate level instruction in Materials Science and Engineering to industrial personnel throughout the State of Virginia and beyond. Courses may be taken either for credit leading to a Master of Materials Science and Engineering (MMSE) degree or for general information.

The courses are taught live in Charlottesville in the afternoon or early evening to graduate students at UVA and transmitted simultaneously to enrolled students. Two-way video and audio communication capabilities allow online learners to have direct interaction with the classroom. The lectures are video streamed so that any student who must miss a regularly scheduled class due to job commitments can view the lecture later.

Applicants for the MMSE Degree program must have a Bachelor’s Degree in engineering or related fields from a recognized college or university. Students may take classes individually, or may apply to the MSE MMSE-CGEP degree program. Classes taken before being admitted to the degree program may count towards the student’s degree requirements if the student chooses later to pursue a degree and the series of courses meet both the MMSE degree requirements and the approval of the program director.  Moreover, the GRE – required of all graduate engineering school applicants – may be waived in some of these cases. The application process is considered on-going, and will include official transcripts from prior educational institutions and three letters of reference. For more information on the admission requirements and procedures click here.


Degree Requirements

  • The requirement for the MMSE degree is the successful completion of 30 semester hours of graduate-level coursework (10 courses). It may be accomplished in 3-5 years or less by taking one or more courses per semester. No thesis is required.
  • The degree must be completed within 7 years. An extension can be granted upon submission of a petition to the Graduate Studies Committee.
  • Up to 15 hours of transfer credit is accepted from other institutions participating in the online graduate engineering consortium. A transfer form should be submitted for each course taken at other participating universities.
  • Up to 6 credits of electives may be earned in faculty-supervised independent study or advanced topics courses. Earning these credits usually involved student participation in ongoing research projects at MSE/UVA, and is not common for Virginia Engineering Online students.
  • The majority of courses (at least 6) should be MSE courses. The inclusion of each non-MSE course into the plan of study should be approved by the faculty advisor.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 must be maintained. For more information on the degree requirements, visit the UVA MSE department’s webpages.


Assessment Forms – Three assessment forms are required for all Master of Engineering students. The following three forms should be completed by a faculty member in the department and submitted to the departmental Graduate Administrator:

Engineering Plan of Study Assessment
Engineering Analysis Assessment
Engineering Technical Writing Assessment


Plan of Study

A faculty advisor is available to provide assistance in the selection of courses which will constitute an approved plan of study. A plan of study should be submitted by mid-term of the second semester and has to be approved by the faculty advisor. The plan can be altered later if program changes are made.

A program of studies leading to the MMSE degree must include four “core” courses:

  1. Electronic and Crystal Structure of Materials (MSE 6010)
  2. Defects and Microstructure in Materials (MSE 6020)
  3. Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria in Materials (MSE 6230)
  4. Kinetics of Transport and Transformations in Materials (MSE 6240)


The following courses are offered on irregular basis, once per 5-9 years.

  • Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties of Materials (MSE 6167)
  • Characterization of Materials (MSE 6120)
  • Chemical and Electrochemical Properties (MSE 6080)
  • Deformation and Fracture of Structural Materials (MSE 6320)
  • Physical Metallurgy of Transition-Element Alloys (MSE 6340)
  • Physical Metallurgy of Light Alloys (MSE 6350)
  • Introduction to Atomistic Simulations (MSE 6270)
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (MSE 6130)
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy and Related Techniques (MSE 6160)
  • Magnetism and Magnetic Materials (MSE 6140)
  • Thin Film Growth (MSE 6640)
  • Deformation and Fracture of Materials (MSE 7320)
  • Phase Transformations (MSE 7340)
  • Advanced Electrochemistry (MSE 7080)
  • Physics of Materials (MSE 7140)
  • Surface Science (MSE 7220)
  • Diffusional Processes in Materials (MSE 7240)
  • Nanomaterials (MSE 6310)

Recommended sequence of courses: from MSE 6230 to MSE 6240; from MSE 6230 to MSE 7340; from MSE 6080 to MSE 7080; from MSE 6320 to MSE 7320; from MSE 6230 & MSE 6010 to MSE 6020. In cases when it is not possible to take courses in the suggested order, student should contact instructor for permission and information on the background reading materials that can help to prepare for the course.


Long Range Course Planning

MSE plans to offer the following courses in future terms:

Spring 2018
Introduction to Atomistic Modeling (MSE 6270)- Leonid Zhigilei
Pysical Metallurgy (MSE 5350) – Jimmy Burns

Fall 2018
Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria of Materials (MSE 6230)- Elizabeth Opila
MSE Elective, TBD

Spring 2019
Kinetics of Transport and Transformation in Materials (MSE 6240)
MSE Elective, TBD

Fall 2019
MSE Elective, TBD
MSE Elective, TBD

Spring 2020
MSE Elective, TBD
MSE Elective, TBD

Fall 2020
Electronic and Crystal Structure of Materials (MSE 6010)
Characterization of Materials (MSE 6120)

Spring 2021
Defects and Microstructure in Materials (MSE 6020)
Deformation and Fracture of Structural Materials (MSE 6320)

Fall 2021
Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria of Materials (MSE 6230)
MSE Elective, TBD

Spring 2022
MSE Elective, TBD
MSE Elective, TBD


Note: “MSE Elective, TBD” is an MSE course that is not part of the 4-course MSE core.


The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only.  The Graduate Record represents the official repository for academic graduate program requirements. This publication may be found at