Graduate Student Handbook



It is our sincere pleasure to welcome you to the Materials Science & Engineering (MSEN) Graduate Program at the University of Arkansas. It is our goal to provide you with both state of the art academic instruction, and the organizational skills to fully utilize that instruction, that will allow you to excel in your professional career. We are your partner and take a personal responsibility to make your experience at the University one that you will not soon forget.


The Materials Science & Engineering program at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, is an interdisciplinary graduate program designed to expand a student's knowledge beyond the boundaries of traditional departmental based graduate programs. Students in the Materials Science & Engineering program participate in cross-departmental research, take applications-intensive classes from multiple engineering and science departments, and develop workplace productivity skills in a simulated industrial environment.

The outcome of their graduate education in this interdisciplinary environment will be a better understanding of materials and their properties; processes for producing materials and modifying their properties; creation of devices and systems with features enabled by this manipulation of material properties; and an understanding of the economics that affect successful introduction of these devices and systems into industry and society.


The Materials Science & Engineering program reports directly to Dean of the Graduate School of the University of Arkansas, but closely aligns its policies with the policies of both the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering. The Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) approved the predecessor Microelectronics-Photonics M.S. degree in July 1999 for fall semester 1999 implementation, and the Ph.D. degree in July 2000 for implementation in the Fall 2000 semester. The ADHE approved the reconfiguration of the Microelectronics-Photonics graduate program to the Materials Science & Engineering program in January 2020 for implementation in the Fall 2020 semester.

Traditional students in the M.S. MSEN program are required to complete an interdisciplinary research- thesis based degree, an external technical organization-based research-project degree, or a non-research degree. The two research-based degrees provide the base to continue toward the Ph.D., and the non- research is intended primarily to support non-traditional students with professional experience or students on career paths that do not directly involve research. All three degree paths require a mixture of physics/chemistry, engineering, technical elective, and business management classes; resulting in a degree that is highly marketable to career opportunities in the development and manufacturing of high tech materials and devices.

The program's faculty and post-doc staff voluntarily associate themselves with MSEN to better coordinate research and educational efforts in this field. The MSEN faculty members’ home appointments are in the departments of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, BioMed Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Systems Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Physics. It is expected that students accepted into the MSEN program will begin working with the staff in their research laboratories shortly after their arrival at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

U of A Graduate School Catalog

This graduate handbook is designed to supplement the material found in the Catalog of the Graduate School of the University of Arkansas. The material found in this handbook is indicative of the current philosophy of the program, and may include changes that are being submitted into the UA approval cycle for publication in the next year’s Graduate Catalog.