Prospective Graduate Student FAQ’s

Prospective Graduate Student FAQ’s

Here you will find answers to the most common questions that prospective graduate students ask us. If you don’t find an answer to your question on this page, please contact the Academic Services Office to ask us directly!


What are the admission requirements?

The department follows the UF Graduate Admission requirements. Two separate UF units review your application for admission: the UF Office of Graduate Admissions and the Materials Science & Engineering Department. The office of Graduate Admissions determines your eligibility for admission to the university, and the department determines your eligibility for our graduate program. The UF Graduate Admission requirements can be found here: Grad School – How to Apply and the departmental admission requirements can be found here: Prospective Grad Students.


When is the application deadline?

Ph.D. Candidates

The department offers Ph.D. admission for Fall semesters only. The deadline for Ph.D. applications is December 5th.

M.S. Candidates

M.S. applications are considered for Fall, Spring, and Summer C only. The department has a rolling deadline for the M.S. program; however, we strongly encourage M.S. applicants to apply no later than 60 days before the start of a semester. Suggested deadlines:

  • Fall – December 5th
  • Spring – September 1st
  • Summer C – February 1st


Is the GRE required?

No, the GRE is not required.


Can I defer my admission?

Students are allowed to defer their admission up to a year from the start of the term for which they originally applied. Students must notify by the drop/add deadline of their admit term to request a deferment.


Can I still submit my application after the deadline?

Yes. Qualified applications received after the deadlines will be considered on a space-available basis.


How long does the admission process take?

The admission process depends on various factors. Graduate applications are not reviewed for admission purposes until the application is complete. Fall classes start at the end of August each year and Spring classes begin around the first week of January. Applications and supporting documents must be completed in time for the graduate admission office and department to render a decision and to provide admission letters to the applicant. Students should periodically check their email and the status of their applications.


What is the general timeframe for completing the graduate program?

Master’s students typically take one to two years to complete the program, while Ph.D. students typically take four to five years to complete their degrees.


What research opportunities are available?

Students who pursue a master’s or Ph.D. conduct state-of-the-art research under the supervision of our top research faculty. A list of faculty members within our department and their research areas can be found on our Faculty Research Areas page. Students can also view individual faculty profiles on our faculty page.


Does the graduate program provide financial support??

M.S. Candidates

For M.S. candidates, financial support is limited. The EDGE M.S. program is a fully self-funded program in which tuition is offered at a discounted rate. As such, EDGE students cannot be considered for assistantships or fellowships. There are some funding opportunities for residential M.S. students; however, the department and college of engineering do not provide scholarships or fellowships that provide full support for tuition and stipend costs. The department provides the Achievement Award Scholarship to offset out-of-state tuition fees for residential M.S. students who are classified as non-FL residents (international and domestic). M.S. applicants do not need to formally apply to be considered for this scholarship, as students are automatically considered and are notified of their eligibility for the award upon admission.

Full-time, residential M.S. students who are citizens of a Latin American or Caribbean country (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), are eligible for the Latin American Caribbean Scholarship and may apply by completing our LAC Scholarship Request form prior to registration each term. Residential M.S. students are also eligible for the Glenn and Deborah Renwick Engineering Scholarship. The Renwick Engineering Scholar Award provides $20,000 for non-Florida residents (out-of-state, international) and $10,000 for Florida residents (in-state) towards the completion of an engineering on-campus Master’s degree. Students are automatically considered via submission of their Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Master’s admission application. Engineering departments nominate specified students for consideration of this award. Selected students will be notified accordingly. Please note that the aforementioned scholarships cannot be combined, as students are only eligible for one award.

A limited number of M.S. students are able to obtain a research assistantship after they arrive on campus, but there is no guarantee of this, and it is up to the individual student to pursue assistantship opportunities upon arrival. The faculty member will elect to financially support the student via the assistantship which will provide a stipend and tuition support. These assistantships are coordinated by the individual faculty member and are not facilitated by the graduate program or admissions committee.  Approximately 2-5 percent of Master’s degree students are able to obtain assistantships after arriving.

Ph.D. Candidates

All applicants (international or domestic) who are admitted to our Ph.D. program are offered a fellowship, a research assistantship, or a combination of the two. Fellowships are provided by UF Graduate School and distributed at the departmental level. Graduate Research Assistantships are typically offered for students who are matched directly with a Doctoral Advisor who will provide financial support. Fellowships and Assistantships include a stipend, a tuition waiver (to the student), and health insurance. Students do not need to apply to be considered for these internal Fellowships or Assistantships. Please see additional information on fellowships. Applicants will be notified upon admission if they are awarded a fellowship or assistantship.


I submitted my transcripts online, but my application status shows them as not received. What should I do?

The application status portal is manually completed by the Office of Admissions, and it could take some time. Please allow a few weeks for your application status to be updated.


I have a previous degree from an English-speaking institution, do I still need to submit TOEFL (English Proficiency) Scores?

The TOEFL (English proficiency) Exemptions are granted if applicants:

  1. Have successfully completed one academic year in a degree-seeking program at a recognized/regionally accredited university or college in the United State or a country where English is the official language.
  2. Hold an earned equivalent of associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. degree from a recognized/regionally accredited college or university in the United States or country where English is the official language.


What is the minimum TOEFL score requirement?

For TOEFL (English Proficiency) requirements, please visit Grad School – International Applicants webpage.


Where do I submit my transcripts?

If possible, we strongly recommend sending your official transcripts and test scores electronically as this is the fastest delivery method. UF accepts electronic transcripts through FASTER, Parchment, National Student Clearing House, ScribbleSoft, e-Scrip Safe, Credential Solutions, SCOIR, or Transcripts Plus. When ordering your official documents, be sure to save any order confirmations for future reference.

If you cannot send electronic transcripts or test scores, you’ll want to send or forward your official documents in a sealed envelope from the issuing institution to the University of Florida’s Office of Admissions at:

Office of Admissions
201 Criser Hall, PO BOX 114000
Gainesville, FL 32611-4000

Unofficial transcripts may also be considered for initial review; however, official transcripts are required to finalize your admissions record. Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded when submitting your graduate application or through the transcript upload option in the application status portal.


Is it possible to earn the M.S. degree while pursuing a Ph.D. degree?

Yes! Please contact the Academic Services Office to discuss.


The Master's degree has two options: Thesis and Non-Thesis. What is the difference between the two?

The MSE and NE Master of Science degrees, Thesis and Non-Thesis, require 30 credits of course work.

For the thesis degree, students are required to have a minimum of five credits of supervised research (EMA6971/ENU6971). Students are also required to form a committee that will consist of the research advisor and two additional faculty members. The final Thesis Defense examination for the M.S. thesis degree is in the form of a public defense with open questioning followed by a closed session with private questioning by members of the supervisory committee. Students should coordinate for an appropriate time for the thesis defense with their committee. The focus of the oral examination is on the content of the presentation and oral communication skills.

For non-thesis, students may take up to five credit hours of supervised research (EMA6910/ENU6910); however, it is not required. For the non-thesis degree, the graduate coordinator is designated as the graduate committee chair, no other members are required. M.S. non-thesis students satisfy the final exam requirement by submitting a technical paper.

More information on the MS degrees can be found here:


Can I take classes online?

The department offers the M.S. degree in Materials Science & Engineering online through the UF EDGE (Electronic Delivery of Gator Engineering) Program. Our Ph.D. programs and the Nuclear M.S. degree are offered on-campus, only.

In the M.S. MSE EDGE program, students with an undergraduate engineering degree who are working full-time can complete the course in as short as 18 months or choose a longer completion time to accommodate their work schedule. The requirements are the same as our on-campus M.S. in MSE (Non-Thesis) program, but courses are offered asynchronously via streaming video and downloaded for offline viewing. Students interested in completing their Master of Science (Non-Thesis) degree via distance learning must be admitted into the EDGE graduate program in Materials Science & Engineering.


How much does it cost?

Current tuition and fee rates for on-campus students may be found here.

Current tuition and fee rates for EDGE (online) students may be found here.


Can credits from previous universities I've attended 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. Typically, transfer coursework older than seven years will not be accepted.


How do I begin the application process?


I have other questions not listed in the FAQs. Where should I go?

Are you interested in the MSE EDGE M.S. (Non-Thesis) program? Make sure you view the EDGE FAQs.

You may also view our Graduate Handbooks which provide in-depth information on our graduate program requirements.

If you’re still in need of assistance, feel free to reach out to the MSE-NE Academic Services Office at (352) 846-3312 or via e-mail.