Graduate Studies at APSc


To be admitted for study toward the M.S. or Ph.D. degree in Materials Science in the Department of Applied Physical Sciences at UNC, an applicant must have completed an undergraduate degree in one or more of the chemical, physical, biological or materials sciences or in engineering or mathematics. Exceptions to this policy will be made at the discretion of the Graduate Admissions Committee.

The Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical portions of the Graduate Record Examination are required, and a GRE Advanced test in an appropriate subject, for example Physics, Chemistry, or Engineering, is recommended.

Other application requirements are described on the Graduate School website. The application forms are all electronic and available on that same site.


Financial Aid

Applicants to the program will automatically be considered for the limited number of assistantships and fellowships administered by the University but acceptance to the program does not guarantee financial aid. Applicants are also urged to apply for the various national fellowships and scholarships in science and technology, e.g. those sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Departments of Energy and Defense, and industrial sponsors.

Degree Requirement

Doctor of Philosophy
The Ph.D. degree is a research degree and students normally begin research during their first year. As soon as the entering student has selected a research adviser, an advisory committee is established to develop an appropriate course of study designed to meet individual needs. The Ph.D. degree consists of completion of a suitable program of study, a preliminary doctoral oral exam, a written comprehensive examination that is satisfied by cumulative examinations, an original research project culminating in a dissertation, and a final oral examination.

Master of Science
The Master of Science (non-thesis) degree requires a minimum of thirty semester hours. The candidate must earn at least twenty-four hours of graduate credit in fundamental and applied science courses from across the university. Courses from Duke or North Carolina State will count towards the degree upon approval of the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate School. The student’s program of study is determined by the student’s advisory committee. A written report submitted to the student’s research director describing work done and a written examination that may be satisfied by cumulative examinations are also required. Admission to the Ph.D. program after completing the M.S. degree in the department requires approval a Graduate Studies Committee.

More Information
Other details about the curriculum, including a list of course, can be found in the Graduate Record.

Materials Research Society

The Carolina Chapter of the Materials Research Society is an organization of graduate and undergraduate level materials researchers from a variety of departments at UNC-CH who wish to promote communication and knowledge transfer for the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research. It is the goal of the Carolina Chapter of the MRS to broaden the understanding of materials research to all Carolina students through meetings, speakers and other collaborative efforts. Applied Physical Sciences financially supports many of these activities of the MRS chapter and encourages all Materials Science graduate students to participate.



The Department of Applied Physical Sciences engages a broad materials science community at Carolina that extends throughout multiple science departments in the College of Arts & Sciences and into many other Schools on campus. Our partners include the

Carolina Institute for Nanomedicine
Triangle MRSEC
UNC EFRC for Solar Fuels
Departments of Biomedical Engineering
Physics and Astronomy

With research collaborations, affiliated faculty advising Materials Science graduate students, the diverse array of CHANL users, and the many campus participants in the launch of the CreatorSpaces Hub, Applied Phyiscal Sciences benefits through these many opportunities for interdisciplinary interaction.