Admitted MS Students FAQs

As a student admitted to the Materials Science and Engineering M.S. program, we're sure you have questions. If you don't find your answer below, please contact the graduate field representative at

FAQs for Admitted Students

Obtaining Information about Cornell MSE

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What resources are available to help me decide if Cornell MSE is the right program?

Key resources include:

Can you arrange a visit for me?

Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange in-person visits. We encourage you to make use of the online resources listed above to help you make your decision.

Academic Program

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Who can be my advisor?

Your advisor can be any member of the Graduate Field of Materials Science and Engineering.

Does my advisor have to be a member of the Graduate Field of Materials Science and Engineering?


I would like to be mentored by a member of the Cornell faculty who is not a member of the Graduate Field of Materials Science and Engineering. How can I arrange that?

Faculty who are not members of the Graduate Field of MSE may serve as minor field members on your special committee. 

Is there a list of advisors who are taking MS students that I can review? 

Prior to orientation, the field solicits MS project descriptions from advisors that are compiled for MS students to review at orientation. Faculty typically submit 0-3 project descriptions. Students may then discuss these projects during their meetings with faculty and graduate students when they arrive in the fall. The specific advisors who are looking for MS students changes somewhat from year to year depending on the availability of suitable projects for MS students, availability of mentors in the lab, whether an advisor is going on leave or sabbatical, etc. To our knowledge, the only MSE field member who generally does not work with MS students is Prof. Schlom.

Can I have this information earlier?

Unfortunately, no. In our experience, faculty are not able to predict the availability of specific MS projects far in advance. The field has many events for students in early fall to facilitate the match process and ensure that they have ample information to meet prospective advisors and research groups, including lab open houses, research group meetings, and panels with our graduate student group Lattice.

Financial Support

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What sources of financial support are available?

Sources of financial support are summarized here.

Note that if you follow the links to the GRAPES database you can search by fellowships available for MS students.

More information about loans is here.

What scholarships does the MSE department offer for MS students?

Eligible students from groups traditionally underrepresented groups in the chemical sciences who eventually plan to pursue a Ph.D. are encouraged to apply to Ezra’s Bridge.

What RA/GRA/TA positions are available through the MSE department?

Unfortunately, MSE does not provide direct financial support through RA/GRA or TA positions for MS students. Please see FAQ above for information about additional sources of financial support.

Could I get a TA position through another department?

MSE M.S. students may apply for positions in other departments, but they are not always available. Therefore, financial support through TA positions is not guaranteed.

Do you offer tuition waivers or financial aid for the M.S. program?

We do not offer tuition waivers or financial aid.

If we complete our coursework in fewer than four semesters do I need to pay tuition for all four semesters?

Yes, tuition is required for all four semesters. Enrollment is required in research and seminar credits for four semesters.

M.S. Program Outcomes

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Where can I find out more about postgraduate activity of students in the MS program?

Cornell maintains a career outcomes dashboard. Use the drop down menu to include all of the years available to get a sense of the aggregate data.

Can M.S. students at Cornell MSE apply to Ph.D. programs in the future?

Yes, approximately 45% of our MS students pursue a Ph.D. after their M.S. degree. The overwhelming majority of these students attend a different institution for their Ph.D.

Can M.S. students at Cornell MSE apply to the Cornell MSE Ph.D. program?

We discourage students from matriculating in the M.S. program with the sole purpose of completing a Ph.D. at Cornell. Most students who complete their M.S. at Cornell who go on to do a Ph.D. do so at a different institution. However, M.S. students at Cornell are allowed to apply to our Ph.D. program, and we will consider their applications for admission.