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MSE Information

What is Materials Science and Engineering?

Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) is a discipline that is on the leading edge of technology through the development of new materials and the improvement of existing materials for applications in all engineering fields. It is at the forefront of modern technological advances and its graduates are in great demand.

Materials engineers can be found working in all technological fields, usually as part of a multidisciplinary team. For this reason, materials engineers receive a broad engineering education that includes design, mechanics, chemistry, physics, mathematics and electronics. The processing and testing of materials are core subjects in the MSE curriculum which stresses “hands-on” learning though laboratory classes that introduce students to modern processing and characterization techniques.

Modern engineering materials are used in a broad spectrum of products, including automobiles, aircraft and spacecraft, jet and rocket engines, surgical implants, computers, cell phones, optical displays, textiles, and sports equipment. The types of engineering materials include metals and alloys, polymers and plastics, ceramics, semiconductors, and composites.

The department has one of the lowest student-faculty ratios (about 4:1) in the College of Engineering. This allows MSE students to receive a great deal of individual interaction with the faculty, especially in laboratory courses.

The B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. 

The educational objectives of the program for the degree of B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering are:

  • Our graduates will demonstrate a thorough understanding of general engineering principles and a deep understanding of the discipline of materials science and engineering.
  • Our graduates will contribute to their disciplines and society and advance to leadership roles in their chosen career field.
  • Our graduates will be prepared to successfully complete competitive postgraduate education programs.

Highlights of Materials Science and Engineering

The MSE department has a large research program that receives about $6 million in research funding each year. This expansive research initiative provides opportunities for undergraduate students to work in areas of cutting-edge technology through paid part-time research assistantships. Additionally, MSE faculty members frequently assist undergraduate students with finding summer industrial internships in the engineering field. Students are encouraged to participate in materials-related professional societies such as the American Society for Materials and the Society of Plastics Engineers which hold several joint professional-student activities each year.