Undergraduate Program in Materials Science

The objectives of the undergraduate program in the Materials Science Program of the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics are as follows:

  1. Professional employment in industry, including materials production, automotive, aerospace, microelectronics, information storage, medical devices, energy production, storage and conversion, and in engineering consulting firms;
  2. Graduate studies in materials science and engineering or related fields;

The undergraduate curriculum is designed to provide the basis for developing, improving, and understanding materials and processes for application in engineered systems. It draws from physics, chemistry and other disciplines to provide a coherent background for immediate application in engineering or for subsequent advanced study. The emphasis is on fundamentals relating atomic-to-microscopic-scale phenomena to materials properties and processing, including design and control of industrially important materials processes. Core courses and electives combine rigor with flexibility and provide opportunities for focusing on such areas as nanomaterials, materials for green energy, materials for infrastructure and manufacturing, materials for health and biotechnology, and materials for next generation electronics.

The unifying theme of understanding and interrelating materials synthesis, processing, structure, and properties forms the basis of our program and is evident in the undergraduate curriculum and in faculty research activities. These activities include work on polycrystalline silicon for flat panel displays; semiconductors for lasers and solar cell applications, magnetic heterostructures for information storage and novel computation architectures; electronic ceramics for batteries, gas sensors and fuel cells; electrodeposition and corrosion of metals; and the analysis and design of high-temperature reactors and first principles calculations. Through involvement with our research groups, students gain valuable hands-on experience and are often engaged in joint projects with industrial and government laboratories.

Students are strongly encouraged to take courses in the order specified in the course tables; implications of deviations should be discussed with a departmental adviser before registration. The first two years provide a strong grounding in the physical and chemical sciences, materials fundamentals, and mathematics. This background is used to provide a unique physical approach to the study of materials. The last two years of the undergraduate program provide substantial exposure to modern materials science and include courses in processing, structure and properties of materials that extend the work of the first two years. Graduates of the program are equipped for employment in industry.
Graduates are prepared for graduate study in materials science and engineering and related fields.

Required Materials Science Courses
Students are required to take 13 Materials Science courses for a total of 37 points. The required courses are MSAE E3010, E3012, E3013, E3100, E3156, E3157, E3201, E4102, E4200, E4202, E4206, E4215, and E4250.

Technical Elective Requirements
Students are required to take nine technical electives (27 points) from the list given below, which offers significant flexibility in allowing students to tailor their degree program to their interests.

  • A ll 3000-level or higher courses in the Materials Science program of the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, except those MSAE courses that are required.
  • A ll 3000-level or higher courses in Applied Physics or Applied Math Programs of the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics
  • A ll 3000-level or higher courses in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics program, Department of Chemical Engineering, Department of Computer Science, Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering, Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, and Department of Mechanical Engineering, except for courses that require graduate standing
  • Courses in the Department of Chemistry listed in the Focus Areas below.

Focus Areas for technical electives are listed below. Students may choose from any one area if they so choose. They are not required to do so.

APPH E3100y: Intro to quantum mechanics
CHEM GU4071x: Inorganic chemistry
MSAE E4090y: Nanotechnology
APPH E4100x: Quantum physics of matter
CHEM GU4168x: Materials chemistry, I
ELEN E4193x: Modern display technology
MECE E4212x or y: Microelectromechanical systems
BMEN E4550y: Micro- and nanostructures in cellular engineering
ELEN E4944x: Principles of device microfabrication

APPH E3100y: Intro to quantum mechanics
ELEN E3106x: Solid state devices-materials
APPH E4100x: Quantum physics of matter
ELEN E4301y: Intro to semiconductor devices
ELEN E4944x: Principles of device microfabrication

EAEE E3103x: Energy, minerals, materials systems
EAEE E4004x: Physical processing and recovery of solids
CHEE E4050x: Industrial and environmental electrochemistry
CHEM GU4071x: Inorganic chemistry
APPH E4130: Physics of solar energy
EAEE E4190x: Photovoltaic systems engineering and sustainability
EAIA E4200y: Alternative energy resources
MECE E4210x: Energy infrastructure planning
MECE E4211y: Energy: sources and conversion
EAEE E4550x: Catalysis for emissions control

CIEE E3255y: Environmental control and pollution reduction systems
CIEE E3260y: Engineering for community development
ENME E3114y: Experimental mechanics of materials
MECE E3610y: Materials and processes in manufacturing
ENME E4113x: Advanced mechanics of solids
ENME E4114y: Mechanics of fracture and fatigue
ENME E4115y: Micromechanics of composite materials
CIEN E4226y: Advanced design of steel structures
CHEE E4530x: Corrosion of metals

CHEM UN3443x-UN3444y: Organic chemistry
APPH E3400y: Physics of the human body
CHEM GU4168x: Materials chemistry, I
BMEN E4210y: Thermodynamics of biological systems
BMEN E4301x: Structure, mechanics, and adaptation of bone
BMEN E4310x or y: Solid biomechanics
BMEN E4450y: Dental and craniofacial tissue engineering
BMEN E4501x: Tissue engineering, I: biomaterials and scaffold design
CHEE E4530y: Corrosion of metals
BMEN E4550x: Micro- and nanostructures in cellular engineering

* Note that BIOL UN2005x: Introductory biology, I and BIOL UN2006y: Introductory biology, II are prerequisites for a number of courses in this track.

CHEM UN3443x-UN3444y: Organic chemistry
CHEN E4201: Applications of electrochemistry
CHEE E4252: Intro surface & colloid chemistry
CHEN E4620: Intro polymers / soft materials
CHEN E4640: Polymer surfaces and interfaces

Nontechnical Elective Requirements
All materials science students are also expected to register for nontechnical electives, both those specifically required by the School of Engineering and Applied Science and those needed to meet the 27-point total of nontechnical electives required for graduation.

Transfer Students
Combined Plan 3-2/Transfer students and students transferring from another SEAS department into the Materials Science Program in the junior year (upon approval of the Materials Science Undergraduate Transfer Committee) will take the following courses to satisfy the degree requirements: MSAE E3010, E3012, E3013, E3100, E3156, E3157, E3201, E4102, E4200, E4202, E4206, E4215, and E4250.

Combined Plan 3-2/Transfer Students will be guided by their academic advisers to avoid duplication of courses previously taken. The course tables describe the four-semester program schedule of courses leading to the bachelor’s degree in the Materials Science Program of the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics.