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Graduate Admissions

The Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Department encourages applications from students with undergraduate backgrounds in materials science and engineering, chemistry, physics, geology, and most fields of engineering.

Students are accepted into the department in competition with students from all over the world. The MSE Graduate Committee is only able to assess complete applications.

The MSE department reviews all applications holistically. Excellent letters of recommendation or superior research/work experience can help balance test scores or GPAs that might not be as strong. When you complete the online application, please be sure to answer the "Additional Educational Experiences" questions so we can get an understsanding of who you are and why MSE is your passion. 

GPA:  In general, the MSE Department normally expects applicants to have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) or better for either the B.S. degree program or the last 60 hours of course work.

GRE:  Students applying to MSE must take the GRE. We would like our applicants to have scores of at least 150 on Verbal, 155 on Quantitative, and a 4.0 on the Analytical Writing section. However, it is fine to apply if your scores don't meet these minimums. We will view your entire application in order to make our decision.

TOEFL/IELTS:   International applicants must take the TOEFL unless they have completed a degree at an English speaking university. We expect a minimum TOEFL score of  90 (IBT) or IELTS score of 6.5 for admission. Additionally, TOEFL scores of 20 or greater are required in each subsection (Listening, Writing, Speaking, and Reading).

All scores should be sent to the Graduate School using code 5859. MSE does not have a department code for electronic test scores.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for fall semester entry. We do process spring applications but financial assistance opportunities are more prevalent in the fall. The department processes applications on a rolling basis. To be given full consideration for admission and assistantships/fellowships, applications must be received by January 15th for the fall term and September 1st for the spring term. All application materials must be received by the deadlines for admission. The Graduate School's deadlines can be found here.

All applications are processed by the Graduate School and are then sent to the departments for review. If you have questions about the process, please review their FAQ here: https://graduateschool.vt.edu/admissions.html

Applicants should apply online. All application materials should be uploaded with the online application. Nothing should be sent to the MSE department.

After the Graduate School receives your application, you will be sent an email with instructions on how to check your application status online. Please allow for processing time as you are monitoring the status. If you need to make changes to your application, please contact the Graduate School directly. 

For your protection, information on application status cannot be released by telephone or to third parties. The MSE department can only recommend admission. Official notification from the Graduate School will be sent via email. Estimated date for decisions to be posted for applicants in the U.S. is March 15th for complete applications received by January 15th. Estimated date for decisions to be posted for applications outside the U.S. is May 15th for complete applications received by January 15th. Please be aware that the online status only indicates if the application is complete at the Graduate school, not necessarily with the Department.

If you have any questions, please contact Kim Grandstaff via email.

The MSE Department is always interested in hearing from undergraduate students who expect to continue their graduate studies. Visitors are always welcome in the department both to talk to faculty and staff about their career interests as well as to attend classes which may be of interest to them. Please contact Kim Grandstaff via email to discuss your interest and schedule appointments.

 (updated 10/28/2019)