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MATSC-BS - Materials Science and Engineering (BS)

Materials Science and Engineering Undergraduate Matriculated BS - Bachelor of Science

Program Overview

The mission of the undergraduate program in Materials Science and Engineering is to provide students with a strong foundation in materials science and engineering with emphasis on the fundamental scientific and engineering principles which underlie the knowledge and implementation of material structure, processing, properties, and performance of all classes of materials used in engineering systems. Courses in the program develop students’ knowledge of modern materials science and engineering, teach them to apply this knowledge analytically to create effective and novel solutions to practical problems and develop their communication skills and ability to work collaboratively. The program prepares students for industry careers and graduate school studies.

The BS in Materials Science and Engineering provides training for the materials engineer and preparatory training for graduate work in materials science. Capable undergraduates are encouraged to take at least one year of graduate study to extend their coursework through the coterminal degree program, leading to an MS in Materials Science and Engineering. Coterminal degree programs are encouraged for undergraduate majors in Materials Science and Engineering and undergraduate majors in related disciplines.

Free Form Requisites

Degree requirements are as follows:

Course List




One additional course (a)



Must include a full year of calculus-based physics or chemistry, with one-quarter of study (4 units) in the other subject. (b)

Technology in Society


One course minimum (c)

School of Engineering Fundamentals


One course minimum. At least one additional course (d)

Department Requirements: MSE Fundamentals, Depth & Focus Areas

Materials Science Fundamentals


Completed ALL of the following: MATSCI 142, 143, 144, 145

Materials Science Fundamentals

One additional MATSCI course

Materials Science & Engineering Depth


Four laboratory courses for 15 units. One course must be a WIM.

Focus Area Options: 4 Course (e,f)


Total Units


a.       See a list of approved math courses at AP/IB Credit may also be used to meet the 20 units minimum but cannot replace the three required courses.

b.       See a list of approved science courses at AP/IB Credit may also be used to meet the 20 units minimum in some cases; see the AP chart in the Bulletin or check with the School of Engineering in 135 Huang Engineering Center.

c.       See a list of approved Technology in Society courses at The course chosen must be on the approved list of the year taken.

d.       See a list of approved Engineering Fundamentals Courses at The course chosen must be on the approved list of the year taken.

e.       Focus Area Options: 4 Courses of a min of 13 units from one of the following Focus Area Options below. If the focus area contains only 12 units, but the combined unit total in major (SoE Fundamentals, MSE Fundamentals, MSE Depth, and the Focus Area) is at 60 or more, it will be allowed, and no petition is necessary.

f.        The self-defined focus area option requires additional approval; program deviation forms for this option can be found on the MSE website.

Self-defined Option

Either Physics or Chemistry

Students may also define their own focus area containing a minimum of 13 units (4 courses) that comprise a cohesive program of study. Many students use this option to create an interdisciplinary focus area that combines parts of the listed focus area options above. Students should also choose this option if including courses not listed in one of the focus area tracks and should include a petition form along with their final program sheet when conferring their degree. The minimum Combined GPA for all courses in Engineering Topics (Engineering Fundamentals and Depth courses) is 2.0.

Coterminal Master of Science Program in Materials Science and Engineering

Stanford undergraduates who wish to continue their studies for the Master of Science degree in Materials Science and Engineering through the Coterminal program may apply for admission after earning 120 units toward graduation (UTG), as shown on the unofficial undergraduate transcript. Applicants must submit their application no later than eight weeks before the start of the proposed admit quarter. The application must prove that the student has the potential for strong academic performance at the graduate level.

Materials science is a highly integrated and interdisciplinary subject; therefore, students of any engineering or science undergraduate major are encouraged to apply.

Information and other requirements pertaining to the Coterminal program in Materials Science and Engineering may be obtained from the department’s student services manager.

University Coterminal Requirements:

Coterminal master’s degree candidates are expected to complete all master’s degree requirements as described in this bulletin. University requirements for the Coterminal master’s degree are described in the “Coterminal Master’s Program” section. University requirements for the master’s degree are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

After accepting admission to this Coterminal master’s degree program, students may request the transfer of courses from the undergraduate to the graduate career to satisfy the requirements for the master’s degree. Transfer of courses to the graduate career requires review and approval of both the undergraduate and graduate programs on a case-by-case basis.

In this master’s program, courses taken during or after the first quarter of the sophomore year are eligible for consideration for transfer to the graduate career; the timing of the first graduate quarter is not a factor. No courses taken prior to the first quarter of the sophomore year may be used to meet master’s degree requirements.

Course transfers are not possible after the bachelor’s degree has been conferred.

The University requires that the graduate advisor be assigned in the student’s first graduate quarter even though the undergraduate career may still be open. The University also requires that the Master’s Degree Program Proposal be completed by the student and approved by the department by the end of the student’s first graduate quarter.