The master's degree requires 30 credits. There are several different approaches to obtaining an MS in Materials Science and Engineering:
For the taught MS the student must complete 30 credits of taught courses. For completion of the MS a final presentation of a paper in front of a faculty committee is required. The topic of the paper must be within the field of Materials Science and Engineering. Depending on how many courses a student takes per semester this degree is completed in one to two years. Link to more details.
A student completing a research MS is required to have completed 24 credits of taught courses and 6 credits of research under the supervision of a member of the MSE graduate faculty. The MS degree culminates in the student writing a research dissertation that is presented to an MS thesis committee. This degree usually takes around two years to complete as a full time student. Link to more details.
BS-MS (Rutgers undergraduates)
Current Rutgers undergraduate students in relevent disciplines with >3.0 GPA may continue without interruption to complete the MS degree in materials. Interested juniors and seniors should contact the graduate program for more information (email: email@example.com). There is still a requirement to complete 30 academic credits and either a research dissertation or a final presentation of a paper in front of a faculty committee. Link to more details.
While most students study for their degree on a full-time basis (at least 9 credits per semester) there are a number who take courses on a part-time basis (typically 3-6 credits per semester). This is a particularly attractive option for students who are continuing to work in industry or at Government research labs. Given the 30 credit requirement part-time students should expect to take more than two years to complete their degree.