Materials Science (M.S.)

Materials Science (M.S.)

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Why get a master’s degree in materials science?

Graduate students in the materials science program at UNH benefit from studying in interdisciplinary fields drawing from faculty representing seven different departments in science and engineering disciplines. Students gain versatile experiences attractive to a wide range of industries. The degree is a unique combination of both fundamental science and engineering, preparing students to tackle technical problems from a materials perspective in fields such as sustainable energy, sustainable and biodegradable materials, stimuli responsive coatings, and advanced electronic materials. The M.S. and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering degrees are truly sought after and can open more doors to opportunities than traditional single-discipline degrees. 

Why choose UNH’s materials science program (MSP)?

Our materials science program offers unique experiences. Research can be conducted under a single faculty member, however, in many cases several faculty collaborate from different disciplines. Past and current students have had the chance to contribute to materials critical to space telescopes with farther reach than the Hubble, novel materials from boron nitride and the opportunity to work with local companies, as well as the newly formed biomaterials research center (NH BioMADE) with research in prosthetics, tissue engineering and biosensors. The MSP, in collaboration with the UNH Physics Department, also offers a five-year program awarding a B.S. in physics and culminating in a materials science M.S.

Potential careers

  • Advanced electronics 
  • Advanced manufacturing 
  • Biomaterials and biosensors 
  • Materials physics 
  • Nanotechnology and nanomaterials 
  • Professor in academia 
  • Research scientist 
  • Sustainable energy 
  • Theoretical computation


Demeritt Hall
Materials Science Program
Durham, NH 03824

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Curriculum & Requirements

We offer degrees to qualified students interested in interdisciplinary research with an emphasis on the synthesis, characterization and utilization of nanoscale materials.  All MSP students learn about the interplay of structure, processing, characterization, and properties of materials with useful applications. Our seventeen faculty members are active collaborators with research and development groups located around the world, and are experienced in managing research projects with practical results. Graduates of our program work in research, engineering and process development positions in a variety of fields.

M.S. Degree Requirements

The Master’s Thesis Option requires a total of 30 credits, which include 24 course credits and 6 thesis credits (MS 899 Master's Thesis).  At least 6 credits must be at the 900 level.

The Master’s Project Option also requires a total of 30 credits, which includes 27 course credits and 3 project credits (MS 898 ).  The project may be theoretically or experimentally based but will be significantly less intensive than a thesis.  The project will be defined and evaluated by the student’s advisor.  At least 6 credits of coursework must be at the 900 level.  The remaining course requirements are the same as that of the Master’s Thesis Option.

MS 960Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Materials I3
MS 961Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Materials II3
Select one course each satisfying the following areas:9-12
Synthesis and processing
Structure-property relationships
MS 900Seminar (two semesters)2
Select one of the following:
Thesis Option:
MS 899Master's Thesis (6 credits)6
Select one additional elective3-4
Project Option:
MS 898 (3 credits)3
Select two additional electives6-8

All students are expected to take at least 6 course credits at the 900 level. Students who have done graduate work at other schools that included courses similar to those in the Materials Science Program may petition for waivers of UNH degree requirements. Other courses that may count as electives in the Materials Science Program are taught by faculty in chemistry, mechanical engineering, physics, and other departments. For a complete list of these courses, please see the Graduate Student Handbook on the materials science website.


Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Feb. 15 (for funding); April 1 (recommended US; final international); June 1 (final)
  • Spring: Dec. 1
  • Summer: April 1
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: MA RI

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts are required for any school you earned a degree from, attended for at least one year, or attended for 2 or more semesters. Exceptions to this rule may be approved at the discretion of the program you are applying to and the UNH Graduate School Admission’s office.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Test Scores: GRE Required

GRE required. Request official test scores to be sent directly to the Graduate School by the testing service. Test scores more than five years old are not acceptable. Student copies and photo copies of scores are not considered official. Our CEEB code is 3918.

For general information about test scores, including waiver requests and current COVID related impacts, please visit our Test Scores webpage.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Additional Department Requirements:

Accelerated Master's program only open to select group of current UNH undergraduate students. Criteria eligibility is as follows: Applicants must apply during Spring semester of their Junior year; Only open to students in a Bachelor of Science program/Materials Science Option within the Physics program; Have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher; Check with program for GRE requirement

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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