University General Course Catalog 2016-2017 
    May 27, 2024  

Materials Science and Engineering, M.S.

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I. Contact Information

Devicharan (Dev) Chidambaram, Associate Professor

Departmental website:

II. Brief Introduction

Most fields in science and engineering are concerned with materials, such as plastics or metals, in one way or another, but only materials engineers are experts in the connections between a material’s atomic structure and its physical properties as well as the ways changing that structure can affect a material’s performance.

Materials science engineers are at the forefront of developing and testing new materials that can stand up to extreme environments, such as high heat or high pressure, or that are lighter or stronger than their predecessors. These new materials may be used in diverse industries such as health care, manufacturing or energy.

Our students use state-of-the-art characterization tools such as chromatographs, electron microscopes, diffractormeters, and spectrometers to study these materials, and they gain both classroom knowledge and research experience as they work closely with our accomplished faculty.

Materials science engineers graduate with a broad base of knowledge, covering areas from extracting minerals and metals from ore to the production of steel to the development and fabrication of pure metals, alloys and other materials, development of materials for nuclear and fossil fuel reactors, development of advanced electronic and space-related materials, synthesis of novel catalysts to convert waste to energy, development of new high efficiency solar cells, development of new materials for energy storage (such as batteries), synthesis of novel materials to clean the environment, biomaterials and biomedical implants. This skill set is particularly useful for students who want to pursue a career in any industry, but materials engineers can be found everywhere from the aerospace industry to the electronics industry and the health sciences field.

III. Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes

Mission Statement:

To provide nationally recognized leadership in engineering, research, education, and service in materials science and engineering. To educate high quality students with the academic experience and knowledge to become leaders in education, research, and service in materials science and engineering. To generate new knowledge that has a significant impact in the development and application of existing and new materials. 

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • an ability to apply engineering research and theory to advance the art, science, and practice of the discipline,
  • an ability to design and conduct experiments as well as to analyze, interpret, apply, and disseminate the data,
  • an understanding of research methodology.

IV. Admission Requirements

The department offers programs leading to the master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in materials science and engineering. The general university requirements for these advanced degrees are listed in the Graduate School  section of this catalog.

Students must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university to gain admission to graduate school.  Students must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Hold a cumulative grade-point average of 2.75 for four years of undergraduate work, or
  2. Hold a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 for the last two years of undergraduate work;
  3. Earn acceptable scores on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination, and
  4. Submit letters of recommendation from former professors indicating the student’s capability for advanced course work and research.

Prospective graduate students should contact the graduate program director for further information. Formal application is completed through the Graduate School .

V. Program Requirements

The master’s degree in materials science and engineering combines upper-level coursework with research on a topic within materials science leading to a thesis.

A. Committee Requirements

  1. Majority of the MS committee should consist of MSE faculty.
  2. At least one member (which may include the primary advisor) of the MS committee should be from the MSE core faculty.

B. Course Requirements

  1. A minimum of 12 coursework credits must be taken from regular MSE graduate courses (i.e. other than MSE 695 , 790 , 791 , and 795 ).
  2. Students must write and defend a thesis  that is approved by their advisory committee.
  3. Exceptions for not meeting the above coursework requirements will be granted only with the permission of the major advisor and the Graduate Director for the MSE program.

Students develop an individualized program of study with their advisory committee, describing the specific courses, research and related activities students will take to meet their degree requirements. The graduate dean must approve all programs of study. Students are encouraged to develop a program of study as soon as possible after arriving at the university.

VI. Total Units

30 units

VII. Note(s):

The division offers several graduate fellowships, research assistantships and teaching assistantships. Requests for assistance should be submitted prior to March 15, but all applications will be considered regardless of the date they are submitted.

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