Students with an interest in the characterization, selection and processing of engineering materials, and in materials problems related to engineering design may work toward a MS in Materials Science.
This degree is awarded in conformity with the general requirements of the Viterbi School of Engineering. Students may elect to work for this degree in either the Materials Science or Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering departments.
The specific courses that constitute an acceptable program must be approved in advance by the administering department.
International students: This program is eligible for the OPT STEM extension.
Visit our Profiles Page to learn more about our students and alumni
Please Note: Requirements for graduation, course offerings, course availability, track offerings and any other degree requirements are subject to change. Students should consult with an academic advisor prior to registering for any classes.
- A minimum of 28 units is required for the general MS in Materials Science degree
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation
Detailed Program Curriculum Materials Science Course Guide Schedule of Classes
|Spring 2024 ||September 15, 2023
|Fall 2024 ||December 15, 2023*
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Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in any engineering or engineering-related disciplines including but not limited to: Materials Science, Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.
The following materials are required to be included with your online application:
- Transcripts: Upload Electronic Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. A mailed hard copy or official e-transcript is not required for admission to our programs.
- Submit an electronic copy of official transcripts (.pdf recommended) and other degree related documents through the online graduate application (International applicants, visit USC Graduate Admission’s Country Requirements page for details on required documents)
- Unofficial transcripts from university student portals are not acceptable
- If the transcript includes a separate grading scale, make sure it is also uploaded
- For upload purposes, all transcript related documents for a single school must be submitted as one document
- If you are admitted, you will be given specific instructions on submitting your hard copy transcripts
- Personal Statement : The personal statement should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the proposed program at the Viterbi School of Engineering, your preparation for this field of study, study interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study.
- GRE: General GRE test scores are not required for 2024
- Letters of Recommendation (3 Required): Letters of recommendation should be from faculty or others (supervisors, professional colleagues, etc.) qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study.
ADDITIONAL MATERIALS FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS
English Language Proficiency: In addition to application requirements above, international students whose first language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS. There is no minimum TOEFL or IELTS score required for admission to the Viterbi School. For possible exemption from additional language requirements, you must achieve an Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 90, with no less than 20 on each section or an IELTS score of 6.5, with no less than 6 on each band score. Please review USC Graduate Admission – Proficiency in English.
IMPORTANT: USC does not accept Duolingo and TOEFL Essentials test scores.
APPLY NOW - USC GRADUATE APPLICATION
The following is an overview of the tuition & fees for graduate engineering students. Both on-campus and DEN@Viterbi students pay the same tuition.
Per Unit Rate
|Fall 2023 - Summer 2024*|
|Fall 2022 - Summer 2023*|
|* Tuition is the same for on-campus and online students
MANDATORY STUDENT FEES - 2023/24
|Student Health Center Fee|
|Norman Topping Student Aid Fee|
|ENGR Student Programming Fee (On-Campus students)|
|ENGR Student Programming Fee (DEN@Viterbi students)|
$40 - $100 per course
|Health Insurance (U.S.-based health insurance is required, but it does not have to be through USC)|
Fall 2023: $948
Spring 2024: $1,765
ESTIMATED COST OF ATTENDANCE - 28 UNIT PROGRAM
This downloadable Cost of Attendance document breaks down the tuition and fees by semester. Although the actual number of courses taken each semester may vary by student as can the amount of time taken to complete the program, it can be submitted to banks and scholarship institutions.
USC students may pay their tuition and fees online, via wire transfer or using a payment plan. Details can be found on the USC Student Financial Services Payment Options page. You can check your account balance through the On-line Academic Student Information System (OASIS). Log into OASIS through MyUSC.
USC also provides a Tuition Refund Insurance option that enables students to receive a 100% refund of term tuition and fees if they are are forced to withdraw for medical reasons.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am from Shandong, China and received my bachelor’s degree in Materials Science at Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, China. Then I pursued my master’s degree in Materials Science at USC. Now I am an upcoming USC PhD student in Materials Science.
What sparked your interest in chemical engineering?
I love doing research and enjoy the sense of achievement when I make progress and breakthroughs. Before coming to USC, all my research was completed experimentally and I had no experience in atomistic simulation. Because materials science has so many branches, like semiconductors, metals, and polymers, I was hesitant to choose just one of them at that time. But after taking some courses and doing some research regarding computational materials, I decided to concentrate on computational materials in my Ph.D. program. Here are two main reasons why I chose these materials.
First, I found that atomistic simulations were extremely practical and promising since they were time-saving, cost-effective, and more secure than experiments. For example, when I was working at Professor Rehan Kapadia’s lab at USC, poisonous gas needed to be used for chemical reactions. To find the best growth condition for indium phosphide (InP) and indium arsenide (InAs), we needed to try different condition parameters. Once the trial failed, the samples were wasted, and it took a couple of hours to prepare for a new trial. But as computational power has increased, researchers can simulate the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process to find the best preparation conditions to replace the time-consuming process of trial and error.
Secondly, although atomistic simulations are limited by the system size and simulation time, they can probe into the atomistic scale and provide people with explanations and understandings of unaccountable phenomena. The simulations can even help people discover previously unknown properties of materials as well as invent new ones.
What attracted you to choose USC for your graduate studies?
The research in Professor Paulo Branicio’s lab at USC matches my interest. Professor Branicio mainly focuses on simulating materials under extreme conditions, high strength ceramics, and phase change materials by using atomistic simulation. I joined professor Paulo Branicio’s lab working on atomistic simulations of field-assisted sintering (FAST) of nanoceramic, in which simulations were performed with our in-house parallel molecular dynamics Fortran codes. The Center for High-Performance Computing (HPC) at USC was another attraction for me, as it provides me the opportunity to run a large-scale and prolonged simulation. Also, I like Los Angeles, where the weather is perfect.
Tell us about some exciting and unforgettable incidents from your time so far at USC.
My research advisor, Professor Paulo Branicio, invited me and his group members to a barbecue in his house last summer. We celebrated the end of summer and had some tasty grilled meat, which was an exciting and unforgettable time for me. Also, Professor Paulo Branicio is such a nice person who is always supportive and encouraging. Working with him is a great experience for me. That’s another reason why I chose to continue my academic life at USC.
- University of Southern California - Research Assistant
This program is not available via DEN@Viterbi.
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