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Major: Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)

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Accredited by ABET 
Offered by: Department of Materials Science and Engineering
210 Bard Hall, 255.9159,

Program Objectives

The MSE undergraduate Major is based on the following educational objectives:

  • Preparation: To prepare students to excel in graduate school or technical careers through a world-class, rigorous, and competitive program.
  • Core Competence: To train students across the spectrum of basic and applied materials science, recognizing and exploiting common descriptions in disparate systems.
  • Breadth: To train students with sufficient scientific and engineering breadth to design and create novel solutions to materials problems in engineering systems.
  • Professionalism: To develop in students professional and ethical attitudes, effective communication and teamwork skills, and an ability to place science and engineering issues and solutions within the broader societal context.
  • Learning Environment: To provide students with an academic environment committed to excellence and innovation that contributes to developing leadership, professionalism, and life-long learning for their professional careers.

Common Curriculum Recommendations

  • CHEM 2090: Engineering General Chemistry

Engineering Distributions

  • ENGRD 2610: Mechanical Properties of Materials: From Nanodevices to Superstructures
  • ENGRD 2620: Electronic Materials for the Information Age
  • Either course (ENGRD 2610 or 2620) satisfies the Major entry requirement.

Other Relevant Engineering Distributions

  • ENGRD 2020: Mechanics of Solids
  • ENGRD 2100: Introduction to Circuits for Electrical and Computer Engineers
  • ENGRD 2190: Mass and Energy Balances
  • ENGRD 2520: The Physics of Life
  • ENGRD 2600: Principles of Biological Engineering
  • ENGRD 2640: Computer-Instrumentation Design
  • ENGRD 2700: Basic Engineering Probability and Statistics
  • ENGRD 3200: Engineering Computation

Required Major Courses

  • MSE 2060: Atomic and Molecular Structure of Matter
  • MSE 2610: Mechanical Properties of Materials: From Nanodevices to Superstructures (required unless used as Engineering Distribution)
  • MSE 2620: Electronic Materials for the Information Age (unless used as engineering distribution)
  • MSE 3010: Materials Chemistry
  • MSE 3030: Thermodynamics of Condensed Systems
  • MSE 3040: Kinetics, Diffusion, and Phased Transformations
  • MSE 3050: Electronic, Magnetic, and Dielectric Properties of Materials
  • MSE 3070: Materials Design Concepts Ic
  • MSE 3110–3120: Junior Laboratory I and II
  • MSE 4020: Mechanical Properties of Materials, Processing, and Design
  • MSE 4030: Senior Materials Laboratory Id
  • MSE 4070: Materials Design Concepts II


  • Two materials-related electives covering two groups of different materials.b,e
  • Three materials application–related electives in at least two different types of applications. Two of the materials application-related electives must be taken from outside MSE.b,e
  • One additional technical elective must be taken from outside MSE.f




  • a. ENGRD 2610 or 2620 satisfies the Major entry requirement.
  • b. In addition to Major requirements, a course involving significant computational or mathematical modeling or advanced mathematics is required. This requirement is typically fulfilled by one of the Engineering Distribution, approved elective, Materials-related Elective, or outside Technical Elective courses. Courses satisfying this requirement will generally have MATH 2930, MATH 2940, or equivalent courses as a pre- or co-requisite. A list of courses meeting this requirement is available in the MSE office and online at
  • c. In addition to the first-year writing seminars, a technical writing course must be taken as an engineering distribution, liberal studies, approved elective, or Major course. The combination of MSE 3070/4070 with MSE 4030/4060 satisfies this requirement.
  • d. Research-oriented students may replace MSE 4030 (senior lab) with MSE 4050 and 4060 (senior thesis).
  • e. A list of approved materials-related and materials application-related courses is available in the MSE office and online at
  • f. The non-MSE Technical Elective must be an upper level (2000+) technical course and may be selected from engineering or other colleges subject to advisor approval.
  • g. The Major program includes nine (9) credits of courses outside the Major. These are satisfied by the non-MSE Technical Elective and by six (6) credits of the materials application related electives.
  • h. MSE 4030 and MSE 4070 are offered in both fall and spring semesters.