Program Requirements

M.S. Degree Requirements

The Cornell Graduate School requires successful completion of coursework and acceptance of a written master’s thesis for all M.S. students. Students must have four semesters of full-time, registered graduate student status before they may defend their master’s thesis defense in the M Exam. Students typically conduct this oral 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.

Students in the M.S. program must take four 5000+ level technical courses during their two years of study. M.S. students typically take two or three regular courses each semester (6-7 credits) along with research and seminar credits for a total of at least 15 credits. M.S. students must enroll in MSE 8000 (9 credits - independent research), MSE 8010 (1 credit - weekly seminar), and MSE 8020 (2 credits - research group meetings) each semester. As a rule of thumb, each credit in a lab/research course should correspond to at least 3 hours/week in the lab. 

M.S. students should design a course sequence to serve their educational objectives in consultation with their faculty research advisor. Special committee members may require additional courses as part of the M.S. program.

 

Accelerated M.S. Requirements

The accelerated M.S. program is a one-year thesis based master's program for Cornell MSE senior thesis undergraduates who applied for and were accepted into the accelerated program specifically.

Students in this program must take at least two 5000+ level technical courses during the year they are an M.S. student. These courses may be from any Cornell STEM field but must be different than courses they took during their undergraduate program. M.S. students must enroll in MSE 8000 (9 credits - independent research), MSE 8010 (1 credit - weekly seminar), and MSE 8020 (2 credits - research group meetings) each semester. As a rule of thumb, each credit in a lab/research course should correspond to at least 3 hours/week in the lab. Students must have two semesters of full-time, registered graduate student status before they may defend their master’s thesis defense in the M Exam. 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.