Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Fall 2024 MSE Ph.D. application will open September 15, 2023. If you have admissions questions, please contact

Students in the Cornell Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Ph.D. program come from a variety of engineering and physical science backgrounds. Some are MS&E undergraduates while many have degrees in areas such as mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, and other fields. At Cornell, we embrace this breadth of experience and offer students a unique opportunity to explore the broad and inherently interdisciplinary nature of MSE.

Our Ph.D. students have established a legacy of outstanding professional achievement, rising to the top of their respective fields. They pursue distinguished careers in the U.S. and abroad with employers in the corporate, government, and academic sectors.

Distinguishing Factors

  • Our graduate students are part of a relatively small, close-knit department with exposure and access to faculty in a wide range of specializations across campus. They may choose to work with one or more of them on their research, if their interests align.
  • Easy access to our state-of-the-art interdisciplinary centers and research facilities. While some other top engineering schools also have excellent facilities, Cornell’s facilities offer distinct advantages to materials scientists and engineers: 
  • Cornell's culture is rich in collaboration and interdisciplinary work. Our faculty regularly conduct research with members of other departments across campus and in other institutions, creating a vibrant atmosphere of inquiry and innovation. 
    • MSK-Cornell Center for Translation of Cancer Nanomedicine
    • Our graduate students form a vibrant community within this, extending their relationships beyond the laboratories to a range of social and extracurricular activities. One of the reasons for our success in collaboration is that Cornell has a longstanding history as “the friendly school” where faculty and students genuinely support and champion one another. It’s a way of life that extends long past graduation and makes the network of Cornell alumni warm and powerful.

Questions? Contact the graduate field representative at