Program Requirements

M.S. Degree Requirements

The Cornell Graduate School requires successful completion of coursework and acceptance of a written master’s thesis. Students must have registered and completed four semesters of full-time graduate study before they may defend their master’s thesis defense in a “B” exam. Students typically take this exam after the second year of study. A written master’s thesis, approved by the special committee and conforming to standard formatting requirements, must be submitted to the Cornell Graduate School before the M.S. degree is awarded.

M.S. Course Requirements

Students in the M.S. program typically take two or three regular courses each semester (6-7 credits) along with research (MSE 8000, 8-9 credits) for a total of 15 credits. As a rule of thumb, each credit in a lab/research course should correspond to at least 3 hours/week in the lab. A central focus of the M.S. degree is the Master's Thesis, which must be completed and defended within two years.

M.S. students must enroll in MSE 8010 (department colloquium) and MSE 8020 (Special Seminar, i.e., Research Group Meetings). Satisfactory progress in MSE 8010 requires that all colloquia be attended, although one unexplained absence will be excused.

M.S. students should design a course sequence to serve their educational objectives in consultation with their faculty research advisor.