4+1 Program - Material Science and Engineering

4+1 Programs in Material Science & Engineering

The Materials Science and Engineering program offers an 4+1 program in Chemistry and in Physics allowing students to complete both a bachelor's and a master's degree in just five years. The 4+1 program is planned to give all students a strong research background combined with a strong foundation in either chemistry or physics and materials science.

4+1 MSE Requirements

How Does It Work?

Students finish the coursework for the bachelor's degree in a little over three years. In the fourth year, students combine bachelor's- and master's-level courses. In the fifth year, students are admitted to the Graduate School and focus solely on graduate work. 

Graduating students will have a either a BS in applied physics and engineering or a BS in chemistry with a concentration in materials and an MS in materials science and engineering. Students are admitted to the 4+1 program at any time up to the beginning of their senior year. Admission to the 4+1 program is limited to students who have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 in both the major and in all subjects. Students need to maintain this GPA to stay in the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When I move to the graduate portion of study, do I need to change labs?
    Students will continue working with their undergraduate MSE affiliated supervisor into their MSE MS research, which means 4+1 students would remain in the same research lab.  
  • Is there funding for MS students? Are there any tuition benefits for 4+1 students?
    RA and TA lines are for PhD degrees.  All MSE MS degrees are self-funded.  A typical MS degree takes 2 years to complete with a Thesis.  The 4+1 is accelerated so that students complete the same degree within 1 year i.e. 1 year less tuition.  Graduate credits taken during the senior year are charged at the undergraduate rate which is approximately half of the graduate tuition rate.
  • How is this pathway better than a typical MSE program?
    Essentially the accelerated timeline is a major benefit compared to a the traditional 4 years Major + 2 years MS.  MSE 4+1 students also take cross-listed courses in the senior year that count to the MS course requirements - see other benefits of the 4+1 below.
  • What types of jobs could a graduate look forward to after completing the program?

    A MS in MSE is a considered a professional degree i.e. a capstone for most industry positions.  A Physics or Chemistry MS is often viewed as a degree towards a PhD.  Students interested in industry placements will gain industry relevant skills and training along with opportunities for industry placements (depending on advisor and research project).  Binghamton MSE faculty have strong links with industry partners through the IEEC.

    For students considering to continue on to PhDs in Chemistry, Physics, MSE, the 4+1 can provide an opportunity to boost your resume (publications, grad level courses, conference presentations, new skills & training) for your PhD applications i.e. get into your preferred PhD program.  

  • How hard is it to get in?
    You must have a > 3.0 GPA in Physics or Chemistry Majors.  We also encourage students to begin working with MSE affiliated Chem/Phys faculty with independent study as soon as possible.
  • When should I apply?
    Students should let the Materials Science Graduate Director know that they are interested in the 4+1 program during their junior year to begin planning out courses to take in the senior year. Students will formally apply to the graduate portion of the 4+1 program in the fall of their senior year.


Email the department at mse@binghamton.edu