Master of Engineering

uc davis materials science engineering meng master engineering

Earn a Master's Degree in One Year

About the M.Eng. Degree

The one-year Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree is the most flexible degree we offer. With a wide variety of elective courses to choose from, you can mold the degree to fit your interests and goals, whether they include training in additional engineering, computer science or management courses. 

Students with a background in any science or engineering-related field are encouraged to apply. Minimum qualifications for the degree involve a full year of physics, chemistry and engineering-level math, including linear algebra and differential equations. No prior research experience is required, though demonstration of success in some undergraduate core coursework in materials science and engineering will strengthen your application.  

The M.Eng. degree can be completed at full-time or part-time status and is open to both recent graduates and those currently in the workforce. The majority of our master’s students find jobs in industry after graduation. Check out our "After UC Davis" page for examples of where some of our graduates have found employment. 

Degree Requirements

You will begin with the core courses for the degree and our "Preparing for Graduate Student Success" course (EMS 200), which will match you with a major professor over the course of your first fall quarter. The five core courses are listed below: 

  • EMS 260: Advanced Thermodynamics of Solids.

  • EMS 262: Advanced Topics in Structure of Materials.

  • EMS 264: Transport Phenomena in Materials Processes. 

  • EMS 272: Advanced Functional Properties of Materials. 

  • EMS 274: Advanced Mechanical Properties of Materials. 

For electives, you can select from any available upper-division undergraduate course (courses numbered 100-199) or graduate-level course (courses numbered 200-299). Popular electives include those from physics, chemistry, computer science, management and other engineering disciplines. In consultation with your major professor, you will select courses each quarter based on your career goals and aspirations.  

Sample schedule (full-time student)

Fall   Winter   Spring  
EMS 260                        4 EMS 272     4 Elective (1XX/2XX) 3-4
EMS 262 4 EMS 274 4 Research / Individual Study 8-9
EMS 264 4 Elective (1XX/2XX) 4 Capstone Project  
EMS 200 1 Advance to Candidacy   Graduate  
Capstone project

The capstone project is a report, usually completed in the last quarter of study, about how your coursework relates to the projects in your major professor’s lab. This report may consist of experimental, theoretical or computational work and should be directed towards the solution of a specific scientific or engineering problem. This report is then graded by three faculty members, including your major professor, on a pass, no pass or fail basis. Since the M.Eng. is a coursework-based degree, there is no need to write a thesis. 

Check out our full list of degree requirements for more information.  

M.Eng. degree reconstruction for 2019 

We are currently in the process of restructuring this degree to give students a more hands-on approach to materials science and engineering, including opportunities for more internships and collaboration with industry. We anticipate that the new requirements will be ready by fall 2019. Students who are admitted for fall 2019 under the existing degree requirements will be given the option to complete the degree under either the current or new requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How will I pay for my master's degree?
  • The majority of our master’s students receive a fee remission, which covers almost all of the in-state fees and health insurance costs, from employment as a teaching assistant (TA) or reader either within or outside of the department in fields such as chemistry, math or other engineering disciplines. If you have filed a FAFSA, you may be eligible for further aid through the Office of Financial Aid. For more information, check out "Funding Your Degree." 
  • How likely is it that I will obtain a teaching assistant or reader position? 
  • For the 2017-18 academic year, 100 percent of our master’s students who wished to obtain a teaching assistant or reader position were able to. Some students were also employed in other departments, such as Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Math. The Graduate Studies employment webpage also offers a full listing of jobs available to graduate students
  • How is the Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree track different from the Master of Science (M.S.) degree track? 
  • Though the two degree tracks have a lot of overlap, there are a few key differences. The M.Eng. degree is more coursework-based, culminates in a capstone project and can be completed in one year. The M.S. degree tends to be more research-based, culminates in filing a thesis with the Office of Graduate Studies and typically takes two years to complete.