Graduate Program FAQ’s

Graduate Program FAQ’s

This page contains information for Incoming MSE and NE graduate students. If you’re looking for Prospective Graduate student Resources, please Check out our Prospective Grad Student FAQ Page.


How do I get started?


How do I register for classes?

Course registrations are processed by the Academics Services Office. You must complete a graduate registration form, which can be found on our MSE Forms Webpage. Please read the instructions on the form carefully. Master’s non-thesis registration forms are approved by the Graduate Coordinator of their respective programs. Master’s thesis and Doctoral student registration forms are approved by their research advisor, as well as the Graduate Coordinator. Once approved, the forms are routed to the Academic Services Office for processing.


When is the deadline to register for classes?

Registration deadline varies by semester. Dates and deadlines can be found on this page: Dates and Deadlines < University of Florida ( To allow time for your registration request to be processed, we recommend that you submit the registration form no later than two weeks prior to the registration deadline for the upcoming term.


Is there a required number of credits to take per semester?

For graduate students to be registered full-time requires 9 credit hours. For Ph.D. students, most appointments require that you register for 9 credits in the Fall and Spring, and 6 credits in the Summer. Typical first semester registration for a full-time student in the department will consist of two core courses and one departmental elective, for a total of 9 credits. Registration for EDGE students may vary. Most EDGE students are working professionals that cannot attend full-time. As such, EDGE students typically register for 1 to 2 classes per term and concentrate on completing the core courses first.


How do I select which classes to sign up for?

Your research advisor and/or the Graduate Coordinator, if you have not yet identified a research advisor, can assist you in the course selection process as well as answer questions regarding the curriculum. Students can view a list of course offerings via UF Schedule of Courses or EDGE Course Listings.


How do I access course materials?

Most of our faculty utilize Canvas for instruction. Students are automatically given access to their course in Canvas on the first day of classes. Instructors may allow students to access their course in Canvas prior to the start of classes; however, this is at the discretion of the instructor.

Login to eLearning and find your course on your Dashboard. If you do not see it there, access your full list of courses, then select the courses you would like to see on your Dashboard. If you still do not see the course you are looking for, confirm with your instructor that the course should be available in Canvas.

Please view the Quickstart Guide for more information on how to get started using Canvas.


Where can I find information about University and Department specific requirements for Graduate Students?

Our Departmental Student Handbooks and the UF Graduate Catalog are great resources. Students may also contact the Academic Services Office for assistance. The Student Handbooks can be found on this page: Student Handbooks – Department of Materials Science & Engineering ( The UF Graduate Catalog can be found on this page: Graduate Catalog < University of Florida (


Is a placement exam required?

Incoming Materials Science & Engineering students must pass a placement exam on the fundamentals of materials science or take our introductory materials science course, EMA 6001 Properties of Materials – A Survey, before starting the core courses on materials properties. The placement exam will assess your level of preparation in the core concepts of the discipline. The purpose of this diagnostic tool is to help you enroll in the courses that will maximize your potential success in the degree program. The Placement Exam is self-administered and is a guide to evaluate your preparation for the MSE courses. There is no placement exam requirement for Nuclear Engineering students.


I have an undergraduate degree in Materials Science & Engineering. Do I still need to take the placement exam?

The department recommends that you take the placement exam even if you have an undergraduate degree in Materials Science & Engineering.


How will the placement exam be administered?

The placement exam will be offered online. The exam will be available to students from July 1st to August 18th at 11:59 p.m. (midnight) Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).


What is the nature of the placement exam?

The exam will be a combination of multiple-choice and open-ended questions.

The exam will cover the typical syllabus of an introductory materials science and engineering course, which includes crystallography and structure of metals, ceramics, and polymers; defects; mechanical properties; phase diagrams; electrical and magnetic properties. While not tied to a specific book, the test will be at the level of a typical introductory book. Textbook examples include Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction by Callister, Materials Science and Engineering: An Integrated Approach by Callister and Rethwisch, and The Science and Engineering of Materials by Askeland and Wright (earlier editions by Askeland and Phule). Any edition of these books or similar level books will be an appropriate resource. The open-ended questions require an understanding of what is covered in these books and ask the student to apply a higher level of thinking, similar to what is expected in our graduate courses.


What is the passing score for the placement exam? Can I take EMA 6001 instead?

Students who do not take the exam or score less than 75% will be required to take EMA 6001.


Can credits from other universities be transferred?

Graduate level courses from another university may be considered for transfer to count towards the M.S. or Ph.D. degree, with approval of your supervisory chair or the Graduate Coordinator. For the M.S. program, up to nine credits may be transferred. For the Ph.D. program, up to 30 credits may be transferred. All work transferred must be coursework completed with a grade of B or better. To initiate the transfer of credit process, students must contact the Academic Services Office. The final decision will be made by the Graduate School. Petitions for transfer of credit for a master’s degree must be made during the student’s first term of enrollment. Petitions for transfer of credit for a Ph.D. degree must be made no later than the third term of Ph.D. study.


What if my question wasn’t answered in the FAQ?

If your question wasn’t answered, please feel free to reach out to the Academic Services Office. You may call our office at 352-846-3312 or e-mail your questions to