What is Materials Science and Engineering?
Materials Science is often described as architecture of atomic and molecular structures. Materials scientists use the relationship between the structure of materials and their properties to develop materials that have certain characteristics. Materials scientists work with every material imaginable in every setting imaginable, including the human body. To learn more about MSE as a career, check out our Learn More About MSE page.
What makes the MSE Department special?
Reputation: We are consistently ranked in the top 20 nationally by US News and World Report for Materials Science programs. This high ranking is based on the world-renowned quality of our professors, the research programs, our students and our laboratories.
Career Development: We work with you to hone the skills you will rely on throughout your career: understanding of scientific fundamentals, mastery of technical concepts, resume writing and interviewing, presentation skills, and technical reporting of scientific information.
People: Materials Science and Engineering is a small and friendly department. Students, professors and professional staff all get to know each other. There is plenty of opportunity for personal attention, for learning, professional growth and social gathering.
How will MSE prepare me for the real world?
Our graduates go out into the world with real world experience. Many of our students work in MSE research labs, where they gain the sort of practical experience that is highly valued by employers.
In Senior Design, teams of senior undergraduate students work with a faculty member and an industrial partner to solve a real-world problem. Solutions proposed by our students have saved private industries millions of dollars in new materials development and production costs, and resulted in publication in the peer-reviewed literature.
What will I learn in MSE?
The freshman year is dedicated to learning mathematical, scientific and communication fundamentals: Calculus, Physics, Chemistry and English. In addition to science and communications, sophomores begin taking engineering specific courses: overview of Materials Science theory, concepts and experimental methods. Courses continue with concepts of energy, crystal and microstructures, transformation kinetics common to all materials. Specific courses in metals, ceramics, polymers and electronic materials are taken in sophomore, junior and senior years. A full list of courses can be viewed in the curriculum (PDF).
Laboratory experiences are built into the entire curriculum, with the Senior Design project as the capstone experience of the undergraduate program. Our extensive research laboratories are used throughout the curriculum in teaching the most advanced experimental methods.