University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering
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Frequently Asked Questions about Graduate Admissions

What is the difference between the Materials Science Program and Materials Science and Engineering?

For most purposes there is not much difference betweent the two programs.  Students are encouraged to apply to both.

The difference between the two titles are as follows:

Graduate Degree in Materials Science
A student in this program will study materials as an interdisciplinary subject at the intersection of chemistry, physics, biology, geology, and the engineering disciplines. He or she must satisfy a minimal set of required courses, then a course plan of advanced graduate level courses developed by the student and the advisor. Students interested in a career in basic research may find this path more appropriate.

Graduate Degree in Materials Engineering
A student in this program will study materials as a modern foundational engineering discipline, underlying design and performance throughout engineering, and informed by traditional engineering disciplines of metallurgy, ceramics, and polymers. Students must complete a program of specialized coursework developed by the student and the advisor, but there are no specific course requirements beyond an introductory seminar. Students interested in a career in industry may find this path more appropriate.

Both programs have the same faculty.

If I am applying to both the Materials Science Program and the Materials Engineering Program, do I need to submit two separate applications and sets of transcripts?

Yes, you must submit an application and two sets of transcripts to both the Materials Science Program and to the Materials Engineering Program. 

 

Please send your application and additional documents for the Materials Science Program to:

Materials Science Program

MSE Building

1509 University Ave

Madison Wi, 53706

 

 

Please send your application and additional documents for the Materials Engineering Program to:

Lynn Neis

Room 276MSE

1509 University Ave

Madison, WI 53706

 

For the online application please click here.

Is financial aid offered for students?

Our policy is to admit all students with financial aid in the form of research assistantships and fellowships. Some students are offered teaching assistantships.  We admit students on government fellowships provided that they meet our admission standards. In very rare instances we admit self-funded students, but this is discouraged. Please see our financial support page.

How many students apply to Materials Engineering per semester, and how many of these do we admit?

Approximatley 200 students apply to the Materials Engineering Program per year, 80% of these for Fall semster addmission. Each year we admit approximatley 5-10 students total.

For information on the number of students accepted into the Materials Science Program, please visit thier website

Do we accept applicants from outside the US?

Yes, we look at all completed applications.

What are admission standards, and what criteria do we employ for admissions?

We choose students with excellent backgrounds in science or engineering. We do not favor any one particular metric, such as GRE score, but it is generally important that applicants have broad, rigorous science and math courses and done well in these courses.

The grade system at my university is based on something other than a 4.0 scale. Does this put me at a disadvantage?

We take into account different grade scales and grading practices at different universities and in different countries.

What is the minimum GRE score needed to be considered for graduate program?

There is no minimun GRE score, we try and look at the student as a whole.  The scores of the students admitted recently ranged from 500-800 in verbal, 750-800 in Quantitative, and 600-800 in Analytical.

My GRE scores are not so good. Will this hurt my chances?

The GRE is not the only criterion for admission to the program.

Where should I send my test scores?

Please send all of your test scores (GRE, TOEFL, &/or IELTS) to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate school, using our institutional code: 1846.  The graduate school provides your scores to the departments you are applying to.  If you have further questions about the graduate school application project please visit thier website.

I made some bad grades. Will this hurt my chances?

Yes, but grades are not the only criterion.

Is previous research or lab experience important?

Yes, but it is not the only factor considered.

Will I be admitted if I am a qualified applicant?

Undoubtedly more qualified applicants apply than we can accept (we estimate about 2-3 times as many), so please do not take a declination to reflect negatively on your future possibilities elsewhere.

I was declined previously. Is there a chance I could reapply and get it?

This is unlikely unless you were placed on the waiting list the previous year.

Do the Materials Programs accept students applying for a Masters Degree?

Yes, however the a thesis for degree completion is required.