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Materials Science and Engineering

Materials scientists and engineers are at the forefront of exciting innovations in technologies which depend critically on high quality new materials. Discovering new materials (simply called "Stuff" in a recent PBS NOVA series) and integrating it into engineering design is a daunting but rewarding task. This is the heart of the discipline of MSE. Metals, ceramics, glasses and polymers are all used for a variety of functions in cell phones, semiconductors, automobiles, airplanes, tennis rackets, bicycles, space shuttle tiles or surgical implants. Thus, newly engineered materials play a vast role in technology, health and the well-being of society. Materials science and engineering majors study how the structure of materials at even the minutest level (nano, micro, atomic) dramatically affects properties and behavior of materials. Materials scientists and engineers contribute to improved design, quality and performance of small and big engineering components and systems. Our MSE program provides the fundamental basis you'll need to work in research, processing and materials design.

Real World Outcomes: 

Graduates with a degree in materials science and engineering benefit from the practical nature of the program when seeking employment. Graduates from the MSE major work in technical positions in industries ranging from electronic/photonics, automotive/aeronautical to bio and nanotechnology applications.

More examples of what you can do with this major


You will begin with a rigorous series of courses in mathematics, natural sciences and basic engineering to prepare yourself for more advanced study. At the upper-division level, you will take MSE courses in materials thermodynamics, structure evolution, phase changes, transformation kinetics, and mechanical, electrical and magnetic properties. Parallel with this, you may choose to specialize in any one of the following areas: biomedical engineering, biosystems engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering or mechanical engineering. Regardless of your specialization, you will master principles of fundamental MSE, perform experiments, and conduct laboratory analysis and materials testing. In your senior year, you will be required to complete a capstone course in materials engineering design to integrate your coursework and prepare for the transition to a job in industry or for opportunities for graduate study.

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