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M.S. Materials Science

We See Your Future in Science
Expand your science expertise with a Master of Science in Materials Science program focused on interdisciplinarity and creativity.
Norfolk State University
Master of Science in Materials Science

Are you fascinated by science but don’t want to limit yourself to one specialty? Explore the rich, multidisciplinary world of materials science with a Master of Science in Materials Science from Norfolk State University. As a materials science degree major at NSU, you’ll take courses in the physics, engineering and chemistry departments to prepare yourself for doctoral materials science degree programs  or a huge variety of technical jobs.

NSU’s materials science degree program emphasizes the real-world application of the most current research theories and methods — allowing you to gain hands-on experience while building an impressive resume and lasting professional connections. You’ll also graduate with a publishable thesis and experience presenting your work at local and national conferences.

A unique materials science degree

Offering one of only four materials science degree programs in the country focused on photonic materials and devices, NSU produces graduates who are in high demand for their expertise and experience in optical engineering and related fields. With reliance on light sources such as LEDs and laser diodes increasing both in the private and public sectors, there’s an unprecedented need for skilled professionals with training in photonics.

M.S. in Materials Science at a Glance

Average Class Size: 10 Students
Formats Offered: In Person
Total Credit Hours: 33

View Materials Science degree plans of study  | Request more information  | Apply now 

Why Study Materials Science at NSU?

For 30 years, the materials science degree program at Norfolk State University has helped aspiring engineers and technicians develop the skills and professionalism to stand out in their fields and push the boundaries of scientific inquiry.

As a Materials Science major at NSU, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art labs and classrooms, you’ll work with internationally recognized faculty members and you’ll be a part of a close-knit community of like-minded scholars and engineers.

Cutting-edge materials science facilities

Our Center for Materials Research is dedicated to ongoing interdisciplinary research in optics, plasmonics and meta-materials; nanomaterials and nanotechnology; advanced functional materials and devices; and semiconductor materials and devices. Research and collaborate with your peers to make meaningful scientific discoveries in a wide range of fields. You’ll also have access to labs dedicated to topics such as spectroscopy and quantum studies.

Get hands-on experience in materials science

When you graduate from our materials science degree program, you’ll have many hours of experience applying your skills and knowledge to real-world applications. In addition to the work that you’ll do in the Center for Materials Research, you’ll also have opportunities to work on projects with external research organizations including the NASA Langley Research Center, Thomas Jefferson National Laboratories, Cornell University, University of Michigan, University of Arizona and Purdue University. You’ll also regularly attend national and international conferences where you can present your research results to professionals.

Experienced and industry-connected materials science faculty

Our distinguished faculty help set us apart from other materials science degree programs. Thanks to small class sizes, you’ll often get one-on-one time with faculty mentors, both in class and during office hours. You’ll work closely with professionals who are internationally revered for their experience and skills in every area of materials science.

What Courses Will I Take as a Materials Science Student?

When you earn your Master of Science in Materials Science at NSU, you’ll develop an exhaustive knowledge of materials science and related scientific fields — helping you become an expert in your chosen field.

Our materials science degree requires a minimum of 33 credit hours distributed in the following subgroups: 18 hours of core courses, nine hours of approved technical electives and a minimum of six hours of research in materials science courses. In addition to these credit hours, you’ll prepare a research thesis and oral defense of your findings.

Sample courses that make us one of the most distinctive materials science degree programs in the country:

  • Mathematical Methods
  • Materials Science
  • Polymers and Polymer-Based Composite Materials
  • Electronic and Photonic Materials
  • Instrumentation for Materials Science
  • Quantum Mechanics for Materials Scientists

View the full materials science program curriculum 

Where Will My Materials Science Degree Take Me?

Thanks to its inherent interdisciplinarity, a degree in materials science can prepare you for careers in almost every technical and engineering field. From aerospace and automotive manufacturing to utilities and sporting equipment, materials science is everywhere. NSU’s focus on photonics sets us apart from most other materials science degree programs and helps you stand out both on the job market and on the job.

Career outlook for Materials Science majors

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for materials scientists is predicted to grow 6% over the next decade, as fast as the average for other occupational fields.

Nearly 100% of our Materials Science graduates either find employment upon graduation or are accepted into Ph.D. programs.

How Do I Get Started in the Materials Science Program at NSU? 

When you choose to earn a Master of Science in Materials Science from NSU, you make an investment in yourself and those you will help with your research. That’s why we invest in supporting you at every stage of your NSU journey. From questions about applying  to finding the right financial aid  for you, our dedicated advisors and counselors in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology  are here to assist you.

“I have developed transferable skills that I apply every day in my current role as a materials process engineer. I worked across institutions and on interdisciplinary teams. The materials science program has been instrumental in my sensitivity to team dynamics, through workshops centered around emotional intelligence and relationship management. I now use these experiences to effectively contribute to project deliverables that require input from various departments and specialties.” 

– Monique Farrell, 2016 M.S./Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Norfolk State University. Currently a materials process engineer III at Northrop Grumman Corporation

Degree Programs Related to Materials Science

Accreditation for Norfolk State University

Norfolk State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Norfolk State University also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Norfolk State University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (