All first year students are highly encouraged to work with the Graduate Advisor, Alex Schultz, to build their first semester schedule.

The Pro MS and PhD in Materials Science & Engineering are technical degrees. Coursework requirements reflect the program's focus on preparing students to be technical leaders in the field.

All MSE MS and PhD students must complete 30 course credit hours including three core MSE courses (9 credits), four courses within a specialized track (12 credits), and at least three breadth electives (9 credits). All graduate students must declare a track from the list in the coursework section by the second semester. All graduate students should take the three required core courses as soon as they are offered. Do not wait to take a core class. All core classes are not offered each semester.

Professional MS students should declare a track in consulation with MSE's Gradaute Advisor, Alex Schultz. The Professional MS is a coursework-only degree.

PhD students should consult with their faculty research advisor/PI on all coursework decisions. Independent Study and MSE Fundamentals (Bootcamp) will count as breadth electives. Pass/fail courses do not count toward the degree. Audited courses do not count towards the degree and cannot be paid for through tuition remission.

Special  topics or new classes that fit the student's degree plan can become part of the MSE program by petition. Generally, additions to or substitutions of the core courses are strongly discouraged. 

MSEN 5000 Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering (Bootcamp) will be offered to new incoming PhD graduate students during the Augmester (first two weeks of August). It is an intensive 2-week course designed to provide students with both the techincal and soft skills to succeed in the PhD program.Bootcamp credits will count toward the breadth elective requirements.

Look up course descriptions in the course catalog: https://catalog.colorado.edu/.

Please be aware that graduate level classes are not necessarily offered every semester or every year. Graduate-level courses are coded 5000+.


A. Required Core Courses For All Tracks (3 Courses = 9 credits)

  • Materials Composition and Structure (MSEN 5470), White
  • Materials Characterization for Engineering (MSEN 5270), Toney
  • Materials Thermodynamics and Kinetics (MSEN 5370 in development for AY 21-22 launch)

B. Specialized Track Courses (4 Courses = 12 Credits)

Electronic, Magnetic and Photonic Materials Soft Materials Structural Materials Materials for Energy

Biomaterials Computational Materials Science Materials Characterization and Processing

Click a specfic track button above to see it's reccomended cources. For the open track, students can choose any four courses from the list of approved courses in each track.

C. Breadth Electives (3 Courses = 9 Credits)

  • Pro MS students may take up to 6 credits of Engineering Management Courses as part of their breadth electives. 
  • Independent study courses count as breadth electives for both MS and PhD students. To enroll in an independent study please complete this form, including your signature and the signature of the faculty supervisor, and send via email to the graduate advisor. Only the graduate advisor can sign you up for an independent study.
  • Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering  (Bootcamp) counts as a breadth elective. 
  • PhD students should discuss appropriate courses for their breadth electives with their faculty research advisor/PI.