Undergraduate Curriculum

Materials science and engineering is the basis for all engineering. Improvements in the quality of life require knowledge of the processing and properties of current materials and the design, development and application of new materials. The Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE) curriculum provides an understanding of the underlying principles of synthesis and processing of materials and of the interrelationships between structure, properties, and processing. Students learn how to create advanced materials and systems required, e.g., for flexible electronic displays and photonics that will change communications technologies, for site specific drug delivery, for self-healing materials, for enabling the transition to a hydrogen-based economy, and for more efficient photovoltaics and nuclear systems for energy production. The curriculum uses concepts from both basic physics and chemistry and provides a detailed knowledge of what makes the materials we use every day behave as they do.

Students in the first two years take courses in general areas of science and engineering as well as courses introducing the concepts in MatSE. In the third year, students study the common, central issues related to MatSE. In the senior year, students focus on an area of MatSE of their greatest interest, providing them with the detailed knowledge to be immediately useful to corporations, become entrepreneurs, or to provide the underpinning knowledge for graduate study. Note: students interested in biomaterials take a specific set of courses to provide them with a background in biology and chemistry while maintaining a strong engineering focus. The curriculum requires 128 hours.

Focus Areas
Technical Electives
Junior Labs
Polymer Science and Engineering Minor
MatSE Minor

Curriculum Map
Resource for students and advisors:

For students entering Summer 2018 and later: 
Non-Biomaterials  |  Biomaterials

For students entering before Summer 2018: 

Non-Biomaterials  | Biomaterials 

 

Suggested Curriculum Sequence

The schedule that follows is illustrative, showing the typical sequence in which courses would be taken by a student with no college course credit already earned and who intends to graduate in four years.  Each individual's case may vary, but the position of required named courses is generally indicative of the order in which they should be taken. The first two years of the Suggested Sequence is the same for all MatSE students. The third and fourth years vary with the Focus Area chosen. Refer to the appropriate third and fourth year sequence.

First Year

First Semester Hours
CHEM 102 General Chemistry I 3
CHEM 103 General Chemistry Lab I 1
ENG 100 Engineering Orientation 0
MATH 2211 Calculus I 4
MSE 182 Introduction to MatSE 2
RHET 105 (or Liberal education elective)2,3 Writing and Research 4
  Semester Hours 14
Second Semester  
CHEM 104 General Chemistry II 3
CHEM 105 General Chemistry Lab II 1
MATH 225 Introductory Matrix Theory 2
MATH 231 Calculus II 3
MSE 1834 Freshman Materials Laboratory 1
PHYS 211 University Physics: Mechanics 4
RHET 105 (or Liberal education elective)2,3 Writing and Research 4
  Semester Hours 17

Second Year

First Semester  
CS 101 Intro Computing: Engrg Sci 3
MATH 241 Calculus III 4
MSE 201 Phases and Phase Relations 3
PHYS 212 University Physics: Elec Mag 4
Liberal education elective3 3
  Semester Hours 17
Second Semester  
ECE 205 Electrical and Electronic Circuits 3
MATH 285 Intro Differential Equations 3
MSE 206 Mechanics for MatSE 4
PHYS 214 Univ Physics: Quantum Physics 2
Liberal education elective3 3
  Semester Hours 15
  Total Hours:  63

All students except Biomaterials Area

Third Year

First Semester Hours
IE 300 or STAT 4005 Analysis of Data 3
MSE 3076 Materials Laboratory I 3
MSE 401 Thermodynamics of Materials 3
MSE 406 Thermal-Mech Behavior of Matls 3
Liberal education elective3 3
  Semester Hours 15
Second Semester  
MSE 304 Electronic Properties of Matls 3
MSE 3086 Materials Laboratory II 3
MSE 402 Kinetic Processes in Materials 3
MSE 405 Microstructure Determination 3
Topical lecture (intro level suggested)7 3
Liberal education elective3 3
  Semester Hours 18

Fourth Year

First Semester  
Topical lecture courses7,8 6
MSE 4049 Laboratory Studies in Materials Science and Engineering 3
Technical elective10 3
Liberal education elective3 3
Free elective 3
  Semester Hours 18
Second Semester  
MSE 395 Materials Design 3
MSE 4049 Laboratory Studies in Materials Science and Engineering 3
Topical lecture7,8 3
Technical elective10 3
Free elective 3
  Semester Hours 15
  Total Hours:  66

Biomaterials Area

Third Year

First Semester Hours
CHEM 232 Elementary Organic Chemistry I 3
MSE 3076 Materials Laboratory I 3
MSE 401 Thermodynamics of Materials 3
MSE 406 Thermal-Mech Behavior of Matls 3
MCB 150 Molec Cellular Basis of Life 4
  Semester Hours 16
Second Semester  
MCB 252 Cells, Tissues Development 3
IE 300 or STAT 4005 Analysis of Data 3
MSE 3086 Materials Laboratory II 3
MSE 402 Kinetic Processes in Materials 3
Liberal education elective3 3
  Semester Hours 15

Fourth Year

First Semester  
MSE 470 Design and Use of Biomaterials 3
MCB 450 Introductory Biochemistry 3
Topical lecture in biomaterials area7 2
Topical lecture outside of biomaterials area7 3
Liberal education elective3 3
Free Elective  3
  Semester Hours 17
Second Semester  
MSE 395 Materials Design 3
MSE 4049 Laboratory Studies in Materials Science and Engineering 3
Topical lecture in biomaterials area7 3
Topical lecture outside of biomaterials area7 3
Liberal education elective3 3
Free elective  3
  Semester Hours 18
  Total Hours:  66
1

MATH 220 may be substituted, with four of the five credit hours applying toward the degree. MATH 220 is appropriate for students with no background in calculus.

2

RHET 105 may be taken in the first or second semester as authorized. The alternative is a social sciences or humanities elective.

3

Liberal education electives must include 6 hours of social & behavioral sciences and 6 hours of humanities & the arts course work from the campus General Education lists. The remaining 6 hours may be selected from a list maintained by the college, or additional course work from the campus General Education lists for social & behavioral sciences or humanities & the arts. Students must also complete the campus cultural studies requirement by completing (i) one western/comparative culture(s) course, (ii) one non-western culture(s) course, and (iii) one U.S. Minority Culture(s) course from the General Education cultural studies lists. Most students select liberal education courses that simultaneously satisfy two or more cultural studies requirements. Courses from the western and non-western lists that fall into free electives or other categories may also be used satisfy the cultural studies requirements.

4

This course is highly recommended for freshmen, who may use it to help meet free elective requirements.

5

The replacement of IE 300 with STAT 400 is not allowed for students in the Biomaterials Area unless one of their biomaterials area topical lectures and one of their topical lectures outside the biomaterials area are deemed by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) to be an engineering course. The extra hour of credit for STAT 400 may be used to help meet free elective requirements.

6

Satisfies the General Education Advanced Composition requirement.

7

To be selected from list of topical lecture courses established by the department to provide an acceptable level of study in the student's chosen focus area.

8

During fourth year, strongly recommended is incorporation of one or more of an internship, co-op position, and a research project during summers or an academic semester, or both. For students who intend to continue in graduate school, recommended additionally is the undertaking of a research project (Senior Thesis) in the senior year. The project may take the place of 4-6 hours of free or technical electives.

9

Each section of MSE 404 is 1.5 hours.  Students take 2 unique sections of MSE 404 for 3 hours.

10

Selected from the departmental list of approved technical electives