Master of Engineering

Inside Look: What it's like to earn a Master of Engineering (M.Eng) in materials science and engineering at Cornell

The Cornell MSE Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program is a professionally oriented degree program designed to give students a competitive advantage in the workplace. Since “everything is made of something,” Cornell M.Eng. graduates can be found in almost every field related to the physical sciences and engineering. Many students leverage the advanced problem solving skills developed in this program to pursue leadership careers in business, technology management, or governance. Cornell is one of only a few institutions in the U.S. to offer this type of program.

Cornell MSE M.Eng. graduates are leaders in entrepreneurship, industry, government, and non-profits who typically join the professional ranks with higher starting salaries and advanced levels of responsibility, compared to those entering with bachelor’s degrees.

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Orientation Week

Our new student MSE MEng Orientation program, organized the week before fall classes begin, is designed to help you navigate your transition to the Cornell MSE MEng program. During this week there are leadership activities, an etiquette lunch, team-building activities, Resume/Cover letter workshops as well as other activities. 

Masters Program Comparison
Program AttributeM. EngM.S. (Master of Science)
Length of ProgramOne Academic Year (2 Semesters)Two Academic Years (4 Semesters)

30 Credits
(average 15 per semester)

21 Credits:

  • MSE Core Courses: MSE 2060, 3030 and 3040 (or equivalents) and one "properties" class (MSE 2610, 2620, 3010, 3050 or 4020)
  • MSE Electives and Materials Application electives (or similar content at Graduate level)
  • Project 4-8 credits
  • a minimum of 6 credits in MSE beyond the project
  • 2 credits of MSE Seminar (1/semester)

3 Credits: 

  • One management course (NCC 5540, CHEM 5720, CEE 5900, CEE 5910, CEE 5930, NBA 6650 or CEE 6900

6 Credits:

  • Technical Electives consistent with preparing for a career in a materials related field

60 credits 
(typically 1-2 traditional courses per semester,  plus 8-9 credits of research) 

Typical Timeline:

  • Upon arrival on campus: choose a research advisor and special committee member representing academic minor; select first semester courses
  • First semester: Focus on coursework; begin research
  • Second semester: Focus on coursework; develop outline for master's thesis
  • First summer: Focus on research
  • Third semester: Complete coursework; focus on research
  • Fourth semester: If not continuing for second summer, finalize research, write and defend thesis and submit to Cornell Graduate School. If planning to continue for second summer, focus on research and move toward completion.
  • Second summer (if applicable): Write and defend thesis and submit it to Cornell Graduate School.

Industry project worth 4-8 credits 

Projects are typically conducted with outside companies, with some opportunities to work with faculty. 

Research Thesis and defense 

Research is conducted under MSE department or field faculty members.

Career Outlook

Industry, MS, MBA, PhD 

PhD, Industry, government 
FlexibilityStudents may take courses outside of MSE in areas such as Business, Computer Science,  other engineering disciplines. Students may tailor their studies to their particular interests and backgrounds, incorporating core topics in materials science as well as specialized courses and research flexibility conducted with and advised by Cornell MSE Field Faculty.
Program Cost
Tuition: $56,550/ academic year 
Health Insurance: $3,116/academic year
Est. living expenses (9 months): $20,413
Student Activity Fee: $85/academic year 

Total est. program cost: $86,968 
Tuition: $29,500/ academic year 
Health Insurance: $3,116/academic year
Est. living expenses (12 months): $27,218
Student Activity Fee: $85/academic year 

Total est. program cost: $119,838