Applying to the Program

How To Apply to the Materials Science and Engineering Department Graduate Program:


Application Deadlines:
Fall Term (September):
Ph.D. December 15 — M.S. January 15
Winter Term (January):
October 15


Application FAQ


Admission Decision Timeline:

January - February: PhD admission/financial aid offers are sent via e-mail to applicants.
Early March: MS admission offers are sent via e-mail to applicants.
Late March: Notification to applicants who do not receive admission are sent.
All applicants are notified via e-mail as soon an admission decision is reached.


Application Materials:


  • Three Letters of Recommendation - It is strongly recommended that you determine your three recommenders before starting your application as they cannot be modified on the form once entered.

  • Academic Statement of Purpose - The Statement of Purpose should be a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research background, your career goals, and how Michigan's graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.

  • Personal Statement - The Personal Statement should contain your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan.  For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were either especially plentiful or especially lacking, or are undocumented or DACAmented, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree. If you will be a graduate student with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), it is important to mention DACA in your personal statement since this is a consideration for some financial aid.  The personal statement has a 500 word limit and should be different from your Academic Statement of Purpose.

  • MSE Research Area Interest  Form (PhD only) - MS applicants can indicate their interest in the academic/personal statement.

  • Transcripts: Submit a transcript for each Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional or Doctoral degree earned or in progress.
    For instructions on submitting transcripts, please see the Rackham Graduate school websiteStep 1: Upload a Scanned Copy of the Official Transcript to ApplyWeb

**Updates and corrections to your application cannot be made after submission and additional documents cannot be added to your file after submission.  Please ensure that your submitted application is correct and all documents and information you wish to include is accurate at the time of submission.   

Step 1: Upload a Scanned Copy of the Official Transcript to ApplyWeb

  • All applicants must upload a scanned copy, front and back, of their official transcript/academic record issued by the Registrar or Records Office, to ApplyWeb for each bachelor’s, master’s, professional, or doctoral degree earned or in progress. The scanned copy of the official transcript is used for initial review by the graduate program faculty.
  • A downloaded transcript from your school portal or system is an unofficial transcript and not acceptable for review.
  • If you are attending or have graduated from a Non-U.S. institution, review the Required Academic Credentials from Non-U.S. Institutions for requirements by country.
  • If you have community or junior college, non-degree, or study abroad coursework, indicate this information on page nine of the application under the “Additional Education Information” section. Do not submit any transcripts from a community or junior college, non-degree, or study abroad coursework to Rackham unless you attended a Non-U.S. institution.
  • All applicants should report their Grade Point Average (GPA) on page 5 of the online application. The GPA should be reported using a standard U.S. four point scale.  Applicants who attended an institution outside the United States should follow the instructions to convert their international average grade point to a U.S. four point GPA (see "How to Convert Grades to a U.S. GPA" here).


Step 2: After an Offer of Admission, Submit the Official Transcript

An official transcript must be submitted to Rackham only after an offer of admission is made.

  • Submit an official transcript/academic record, front and back, issued by the Registrar or Records Office for each bachelor’s, master’s, professional, or doctoral degree earned.
  • Submit only official transcripts/academic records. These bear the issuing institution’s seal and the official signature of the Registrar or Recorder of Records.
  • U-M Ann Arbor Applicants (Current or Previous Students): Do not submit your U-M Ann Arbor transcript. Rackham will obtain your U-M Ann Arbor transcript internally. Submit only degree transcripts from other institutions you attended including U-M Dearborn or U-M Flint.


Ready to Apply?

Apply through Rackham Graduate School 


Have more questions?


Request Official Scores to be reported to the University of Michigan from ETS:

*Scores can be submitted after the application is submitted.  Your scores will be matched with your application after they are received by the university.

  •  GRE scores are not required for both PhD and Master's applicants, but master's applicants are encouraged to submit GRE scores if their undergraduate degree is from a university outside North America.
  • TOEFL Scores if applicable. (Institution Code: 1839, Department Code: 69) Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency. Applicants are required to provide an official score report from either the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS), or the Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English (ECPE). Photocopies and/or faxes of English proficiency scores will not be accepted.
    • Minimum score requirements for the MELAB, TOEFL, IELTS, and ECPE test can be found in the section:   Applicants Whose Native Language is Not English
    • Applicants who have earned a degree from an institution where the language of instruction is exclusively English, (e.g.:. U.S., United Kingdom, Australia) are exempt from submitting a MELAB, TOEFL, IELTS, or ECPE score.
    • Rackham English Proficiency Exemptions

      You qualify for an exemption from taking an English proficiency examination if one of the following criteria are met:

      • You are a native speaker of English.
      • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English only.
      • You completed all of your graduate education and earned a graduate degree at an institution where the language of instruction is English only.
        • If you completed a Master’s degree that was strictly research and no academic classes, that degree does not meet the exemption. This type of Master’s degree is generally awarded at a non-U.S. institution.
      • You are a current U-M student.

      Examples of meeting the English Proficiency Exemption criteria:

      1. You completed the last three years of your undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, and in addition, earned a Master’s degree that was one and one-half years in duration at the University of London.
      2. You completed the last two years of your undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne, and in addition, earned a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

      Example of not meeting the English Proficiency Exemption criteria:

      • You completed two years of an undergraduate degree program at an overseas institution (Fudan University) where the medium of instruction is a language other than English. You then transferred to an institution (Monash University) where all classes are taught exclusively in English and earned a degree from that institution.


MSE Departmental Financial Aid Information

 MSE PhD students are offered continuous support for the duration of their studies, through fellowships, research assistantships, teaching assistantships, or some combination of these.  All types of support provide similar funding with a monthly stipend, plus tuition, fees, and health benefits.  In addition to Department financial aid, applicants are also considered for various Rackham and College of Engineering fellowships, and are encouraged to apply for nationally competitive fellowships available from NSF, NASA, DoD, and other sources.  All support is contingent upon satisfactory progress toward the Ph.D. degree, and the availability of funds.


Contact Information:

University of Michigan

Materials Science and Engineering Department

Graduate Program Office, 3062 HH Dow

2300 Hayward Street

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2136

Phone: 734.763.9790

Fax: 734.763.4788


Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies

Office of Graduate Admissions

0120 Rackham Building

915 E. Washington St.

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1070

Tel: 734.764.8129

Fax: 734.647.7740



 Ann Arbor at night