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Materials Science and Engineering

Admissions FAQs

Are you considering applying to the graduate program in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Clemson University? We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about applying to MSE that will be a great resource for you as you go through the application process.

If you have any questions that are not answered in the section below, contact us at

General Applications Questions

Interested applicants should refer to the Graduate Admissions website. Here, you will find a link to the application, information on required supporting material, and admissions Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Please carefully review this information before you apply – most of the information related to applying to a graduate program at Clemson University can be found there.

  • How do I apply, and what are the application deadlines?

    For information on applying to Clemson and other information, please go to the Graduate School website: In the Admissions dropdown, you will find options for preparing to apply and apply to graduate school. The institution code for Clemson is 5111. A department code is not required.

    Every attempt is made to finalize the entire selection process at least one month after our committee receives the completed application. Our Department's deadlines for our review committee to receive completed applications are:

    • October 15 for Spring admission
    • December 5 for Summer and Fall admission

    We continue to accept/review applications after the deadlines, but offers of assistantships decrease significantly, especially for international students.

  • What documents are required, and do I need to send anything?

    A resume, statement of purpose, unofficial transcript, 2 letters of recommendation, and official language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, Duolingo) are all that are needed for applying.

    Nothing should be mailed. The application and support documents are all uploaded during the application process.

  • What are my chances of being admitted to the graduate program in MSE?

    The criteria utilized by the Graduate Standards Committee in deciding on acceptance or rejection into the Department of Material Science and Engineering is based on a multitude of information that an applicant supplies to the graduate school. For example, GPA, letters of recommendation, reputation of an applicant's undergraduate institution, and number of research and teaching assistantships are some of the criteria.

    It is only possible to assess individual applicants based on the entire applicant pool. The yearly application and acceptance rates can be viewed on the Clemson Factbook.

    Clemson Factbook
  • What are my chances of receiving financial aid?

    Completed applications will be reviewed by the Department of MSE Graduate Standards Committee and then passed along with their recommendations to the Department Chair for a final decision. If the application is accepted, an offer for a Teaching Assistantship (TA) or a Research Assistantship (RA) will be made ONLY if and when funding is available AND if there is a compatible match between the applicant's background for filling a TA spot or an RA position.

    In a typical year, within the pool of accepted applicants

    • 6% offered an RA
    • 20% offered a TA

    Please DO NOT contact our faculty members asking for financial assistance, as they do not have the ability to respond to every email from students inquiring about graduate school. All faculty have access to the accepted applications, and if interested in offering an assistantship, they will contact the applicant directly.


    Graduate Assistantship: A graduate assistantship is a part-time employment opportunity that provides partial tuition and may include a stipend. The allocation of assistantship funding is driven primarily by students’ faculty research advisors.

    Teaching Assistantship: Eligible first year graduate students are awarded a Teaching Assistantship (TA) for the first two semesters. This assistantship includes a Stipend and a Graduate Assistant Differential (GAD).

    Research Assistantship: In certain instances, first year students may be awarded a Research Assistantship (RA) or a combined RA/TA. In both cases, the assistantship includes the stipend and GAD. After the two semesters, most students will be placed on an RA or on a research stipend (which does not include a GAD).

    Fellowships: Fellowships are monetary awards that require no service or work from the student. Typically, fellowships are awarded on merit. The Graduate School maintains a list of available fellowships on its website that includes information on many external fellowships.

  • If I am accepted but not offered an assistantship, can I still attend graduate school?

    Yes. For both domestic and international applicants, there is the option to request your application be deferred to another semester in hopes that an assistantship will be offered at a later date. An application is valid for one year from the original semester start date indicated on it. After one year, a new application will have to be submitted, and the process will begin all over again.

    PLEASE NOTE: Clemson University does not waive tuition, and the cost of attending Clemson (tuition, supplies, fees, and living expenses) is about $36,000 per year.

    If no assistantship is offered, an international applicant can still come to Clemson by submitting a Financial Certification (IA50). This form must be submitted before an I20 can be issued.

Graduate Program

Information on Materials Science and Engineering Courses for the Clemson University Graduate Program can be found in the Graduate Student Course Catalog. For answers to commonly asked questions, please view the Graduate FAQ page.


As the Student Services Program Manager for the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, I am here to assist with any questions you have regarding our programs at Clemson University.

Student Services Program Manager
Laura Kinard
Address: Sirrine Hall
Phone: 864-656-1512