Admissions FAQ

MSE Graduate admission requirements are found on the Graduate College’s website.

Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding admission to the graduate program.

A. No, for Fall 2024 admission you will not need to take the GRE General Test. If a student has taken the GRE they are welcome to submit their score.

A.  At this time the Materials Science Department at Iowa state University is not requiring the GRE General Test.

A.  Our admission requirements can be found here.

A. Most new students are admitted in the Fall semester. To receive primary consideration for graduate assistantships and timely review of your application, applicants For Fall admission consideration need to apply by Feb 3. Questions about  Spring admission should be directed to the graduate program coordinator.

A. The MSE Graduate Program does not require a fee at the time of application. 

A. You will receive a letter from the department when your application has completed the review process. If you have not received the letter, then your application is still under review. This process can take time. Any questions related to the status of your application should be directed to the graduate program coordinator. 

A. Approximately 150-250 students apply to the MSE graduate program for fall admission each year. The acceptance rate is 12%.

A. The statement of purpose needs to answer the following four questions (150 word limit on each question):

  • Why do you wish to pursue graduate studies in Materials Science and Engineering at ISU?
  • What are your career goals after completing your degree?
  • How have your background, education, and/or experiences prepared you for graduate study?
  • What are your research interests for a thesis or dissertation (for MS and PhD applicants only)?

A. There is no financial aid for graduate study. However, graduate assitantships are part time jobs at the university that provide a monthly stipend and reduce tuition cost to one half of in-state tuition. Assistantships are assigned based on availability and student performance. You can apply for an assistantship but there is no guarantee that you would receive one while you are here. In addition there are a limited number of fellowships available to supplement the stipend.

The Office of the Registrar provides the most current information on Tuition and Fee rates.

More information on stipends and other financial information can be found on the MSE website.

A. This will depend on your major and courses you have taken. If you have an engineering degree, you will not need additional courses. Other degrees may require additional course work.

A. You will register the week before classes start in your first semester. At that time you will meet with your major professor or the Director of Graduate Education (DOGE).

A. The University’s Graduate Admissions Office will send your I20 form. This process could take 1-2 months, so plan accordingly. 

A. Some graduate students will be contacted directly by a faculty member from the MSE department prior to being accepted if he/she has reviewed the application and decides to extend an offer.

Other students will be initially accepted under department support and will be expected to find a major professor within two semesters of beginning the program at ISU. Check out the list of Faculty by Research Areas to find potential faculty members to contact and then either visit, call, or email to check if they have any available positions in their research groups.

A. The Graduate College website provides useful information on both on-campus and off-campus housing options.