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Materials Science and Engineering

Department Overview

302 Roberts

Materials science and engineering is an interdisciplinary field that addresses the structure, processing, and property relationships in materials for engineering applications. Basic principles of chemistry and physics are applied to provide an understanding of the structure of materials and the manner in which the structure determines the properties. Scientific processing methods are then applied to yield the necessary properties, which then can be integrated with, and designed to accommodate the needs of, modern technology.

Advances in materials enable technological progress in many fields. Historically, this connection between materials and technology has been so intimate that major periods in civilization have been named after the dominant material used in that era (e.g., Bronze Age, Iron Age). In the past few decades, at the core of the progress in such diverse fields as transportation, communication, electronics, energy and environment are significant advances in materials. Materials science and engineering is a broad and growing discipline.

Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Washington has recently experienced rapid expansion into new research areas, including polymers, hybrids, biomaterials, biomimetics, nanomaterials, photonic and magnetic materials. These areas have applications in current and emerging industries, and complement existing strength in ceramics, metals, electronic materials, and composites.

Undergraduate Program

Adviser
302A Roberts, Box 352120
(206) 543-2600
mse@uw.edu

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering offers the following programs of study:

  • The Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering degree
  • The Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering degree with an option in nanoscience and molecular engineering
  • A minor in materials science and engineering

Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126; PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123; CHEM 142, CHEM 152; English composition; CSE 142 or AMATH 301; MSE 170.

Department Admission Requirements (Current through Summer 2018)

Applicants are considered in three groups - Direct Freshman Admission, Early Admission, and Upper-Division Admission. Admission is competitive. Completion of minimum requirements described below does not guarantee admission. Applicants not admitted under one admission group may subsequently apply to another admission group after completing more coursework. All applicants have the right to appeal the department's admission decision.

Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering Option (NME): Admission to the NME option for MSE majors is by self-selection and normally occurs upon completion of NME 220, all MSE prerequisites, and formal admission to the MSE Department. A small number of advanced students may be admitted into the NME option upon application to the department. Admission is based on the student's academic record, including grades in NME 220 and any MSE courses already taken and on prior experience/work in the field of nanoscience and/or molecular engineering. Students applying for the NME option should indicate that interest in the Materials Science and Engineering application and discuss their interests and background in the essay.

Direct Freshman Admission

  1. Open to freshman students formally admitted to the UW
  2. High school GPA of 3.70 or higher; SAT (or equivalent) scores of 1300 or higher
  3. Indication on the application that Materials Science and Engineering is the first choice for the major

Early Admission

  1. Course requirements: MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126; 10 credits of physical science at the level of PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123, or CHEM 142, CHEM 152, or above; 5 credits of English composition. All courses must be completed prior to the July 1 application deadline.
  2. Applicants must be currently enrolled at the UW and must have completed a minimum of 15 credits taken in residence at the UW. Applications are accepted for autumn quarter only. Application deadline is July 1.
  3. Grade requirements: Minimum 2.0 grade in each course required for admission and minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA for all courses required for admission
Upper-Division Admission
  1. Course requirements: MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 307; PHYS 121, PHYS 122; CHEM 142, CHEM 152; CSE 142 or AMATH 301; MSE 170; 5 credits of English composition
  2. 64 credits completed by application deadline. Applications are accepted for autumn quarter only. Application deadline is July 1.
  3. Grade requirements: Minimum 2.0 grade in each course required for admission and minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA for all courses required for admission.

Department Admission Requirements (Beginning Autumn 2018)

Engineering Undeclared Students

See section on College of Engineering admission for additional details on Direct-to-College admission and placement process for Engineering Undeclared students.

  1. Deadlines for requesting placement into the major: July 1 and January 15
  2. Course requirements: MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126; CHEM 142, CHEM 152 (or CHEM 145, CHEM 155); PHYS 121; 5 credits English composition. All courses completed prior to the deadline
  3. Grade requirements: Minimum 2.0 grade in all courses required for placement; minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in courses required for placement

MSE 170 strongly recommended

If the number of Engineering Undeclared students requesting placement exceeds the department capacity for Engineering Undeclared students, a matching process is implemented. Factors considered include performance in prerequisite courses, quality of overall academic record, content of personal statement, applicable work or extracurricular activities, and other special circumstances as disclosed by the applicant.

Other Current UW Students and Transfer Students

Current UW students without Engineering Undeclared status and transfer students may apply. Admission is competitive.

  1. Admission is for autumn quarter only. Application deadline: April 5
  2. Minimum course requirements: MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126; CHEM 142, CHEM 152; PHYS 121, PHYS 122; 5 credits English composition. All courses completed prior to application deadline. In addition, AMATH 301 or CSE 142; MATH 307; and MSE 170 completed with minimum 2.0 grades prior to autumn quarter
  3. Grade requirements: Minimum 2.0 grade in each course required for application; minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in courses required for application
  4. Students are encouraged to complete A A 210, CEE 220, HCDE 231, MATH 308, and PHYS 123 prior to autumn quarter.

Factors considered include performance in prerequisite courses, quality of overall academic record, demonstrated ability to take at least 12 credits per quarter, record of honors, content of personal statement, applicable work or extracurricular activities, and other special circumstances as disclosed by the applicant.

Admission to the Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering Option (NME): Admission is by self-selection and normally occurs after completion of NME 220 and NME 221, completion of the major prerequisite courses, and formal admission to the MSE major. Transfer students should indicate an interest on their major application and discuss their interests/background in the application personal statement.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 180 credits to include:

General Education Requirements (87-92 credits)

  1. Written and Oral Communications: 8 credits, to include one 5-credit English composition course from the University list; ENGR 231. University-required 4 additional writing credits are met by major core courses.
  2. Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts (VLPA), and Individuals & Societies (I&S) (24 credits): Minimum 10 credits required in each area.
  3. Natural World (55-60 credits):
    1. Mathematics (24-25 credits): MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 307, MATH 308; one from MATH 309, MATH 324, IND E 315, or MATH 390/STAT 390
    2. Science (31-35 credits): CHEM 142, CHEM 152; PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123; two additional natural science courses from the department's approved list
Major Requirements (93credits)
  1. Engineering Fundamentals (24 credits): CSE 142 or AMATH 301, MSE 170, A A 210, CEE 220; two of the following: E E 215, M E 123, A A 260 or CHEM E 325, IND E 250
  2. Materials Science and Engineering Core (53 credits): MSE 310, MSE 311, MSE 312, MSE 313, MSE 321, MSE 322, MSE 331, MSE 333, MSE 342, MSE 351, MSE 352, MSE 362, MSE 399, MSE 431, MSE 442, MSE 491, MSE 492, MSE 499
  3. Technical Electives (16 credits): See department advising office for list of acceptable courses.
  4. Grade Requirement: Minimum 2.00 departmental cumulative GPA

Major Requirements for Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering Option (97 credits)

  1. Engineering Fundamentals (24 credits): CSE 142 or AMATH 301, MSE 170, A A 210, CEE 220; two of the following: E E 215, M E 123, A A 260 or CHEM E 325, IND E 250
  2. Materials Sciences and Engineering Core (53 credits): MSE 310, MSE 311, MSE 312, MSE 313, MSE 321, MSE 322, MSE 331, MSE 333, MSE 342, MSE 351, MSE 352, MSE 362, MSE 399, MSE 431, MSE 442, MSE 491, MSE 492, MSE 499. The senior project (MSE 499) must be in an NME area.
  3. Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering Courses (20 credits): NME 220, NME 221, NME 321, NME 421; additional approved nanoscience and molecular engineering electives to reach 20 credits. See adviser for list of approved electives.
  4. Grade Requirements: Minimum 2.00 departmental cumulative GPA

Continuation Policy

All students must make satisfactory academic progress in the major. Failure to do so results in probation, which can lead to dismissal from the major. For the complete continuation policy contact the department adviser or refer to the department website (http://www.mse.washington.edu/current/undergrad/continuation)

Minor

Minor Requirements: 30 credits as follows: MSE 170, MSE 321, MSE 322, MSE 331, MSE 333, MSE 342, MSE 351, MSE 352, MSE 362. Minimum 2.0 grade of 2.0 required for each course.

The following courses serve as prerequisites for the departmental courses in the minor: MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 307, and MATH 308 or MATH 318; CHEM 142 or CHEM 145, CHEM 152 or CHEM 155; PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123; MSE 170; English composition. Students should take these courses before beginning the minor program.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes:

    Undergraduate students are offered both broad core and in-depth courses. The broad core provides the needed background and understanding of all types of engineering materials, including metals, ceramics, polymers, electronic materials, and composites. The curriculum provides an opportunity to use basic knowledge in science and engineering fundamentals to synthesize and design materials for engineering applications. The undergraduate curriculum emphasizes hands-on experience, oral and written communication, and teamwork, and encourages participation in research. Graduates with a degree in materials science and engineering find employment in a broad range of industries including aerospace, biomedical, electronic manufacturing, materials processing, and transportation.

    The Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012, telephone: (410) 347-7700, and the department has adopted the following student outcomes:

    1. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering
    2. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
    3. An ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability and sustainability
    4. An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams
    5. An ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems
    6. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities
    7. An ability to communicate effectively
    8. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental and societal context
    9. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
    10. Knowledge of contemporary issues
    11. An ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
    12. An ability to apply advanced science (such as chemistry and physics) and engineering principles to ceramics, metals, polymers and composite materials systems
    13. An integrated understanding of the scientific and engineering principles underlying the four major elements of the field: structure, properties, processing and performance related to material systems
    14. An ability to apply and integrate knowledge from each of the four major elements of the field to solve materials selection and design problems
    15. An ability to utilize experimental, statistical and computational methods consistent with the goals of the program
    16. Experience in laboratory work and in research and/or design problem solving
    17. Preparation, as appropriate to the student and the area of interest, to enter graduate degree programs.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: Facilities include equipment for electron and optical microscopy, x-ray diffraction, high-temperature heat treatment and mechanical testing, specialized processing equipment, including hot and cold isostatic presses, nitrogen reaction furnaces, and automated TGA, DTA analysis systems. Equipment for analyses of particle size, surface areas, and pore size is also available. Students have liberal access to University computing facilities.
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Materials Science and Engineering students interested in paid internship experiences should contact the Engineering Co-op and Internship Program, 301 Loew Hall, Box 352180, (206) 543-8711, coop@engr.washington.edu.
  • Department Scholarships: In addition to need-based aid provided through the University's Office of Student Financial Aid, companies and individuals with interest in developing materials science and engineering students have provided scholarships for students admitted to the program. Specific information and application forms are available from the academic counselor in 302 Roberts.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: Keramos (materials honor society); American Ceramic Society (ACerS); ASM/TMS (the joint student chapter of ASM International and TMS); Society for the Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering (SAMPE).

Of Special Note:

Combined BS/MS Degree Program

Students earn both the BS and MS degrees in five years. This program, available to students after they are admitted to the department, is described below.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Adviser
302 Roberts, Box 352120
(206) 543-2600

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering offers programs of study leading to the Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (MS) and the doctor of philosophy (PhD) in bothmaterials science and engineering or materials science and engineering/nanotechnology.

The primary goals of the master's and doctoral programs are to prepare students for industrial employment and research/development careers and to generate new knowledge. Specific objectives are as follows:

  • Deepen knowledge and capabilities broadly and in a chosen specialty area.
  • Master and develop state-of-the-art research techniques appropriate to specialty.
  • Contribute new knowledge of lasting value to the field by creative and independent research.
  • Broaden candidate's knowledge of field and societal issues.
  • Learn to work effectively with colleagues and contribute to professional community.

Combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Science

Admission Requirements

Students may apply to enter the combined BS/MS program any time after being accepted into the MSE department as an undergraduate major. Requirements include:

  1. Overall minimum 3.00 GPA in the last 90 credits before application
  2. Minimum 15 credits of MSE courses completed with a minimum 3.40 GPA
  3. Statement of interest in and goals for the MS degree
  4. Approval by faculty adviser

Students accepted into the combined BS/MS program must also submit a Graduate School application for formal admission.

Degree Requirements

36 credits as follows:

Students combine their BS senior project requirement with the MS thesis and begin research starting summer or autumn quarter of their senior year. Thesis and non-thesis options are available to earn the MS degree.

  1. Core courses (9 credits): MSE 510, MSE 525, MSE 541
  2. Elective courses (9 credits): MSE 500 level, or approved related courses
  3. Seminar (3 credits): MSE 520
  4. Research (9 credits): thesis (MSE 700); or non-thesis (MSE 600)
  5. Additional coursework or research (6 credits)

Master of Science (Applied Program)

Admission Requirements

Minimum 3.00 undergraduate GPA in the last 90 graded quarter hours or the last 60 graded semester hours. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) results are also required for the general test.

Backgrounds in engineering and the physical sciences.

Program prerequisites which may be satisfied after entry:

  1. Fundamentals of materials science and engineering equivalent to MSE 170
  2. Crystallography equivalent to MSE 331
  3. Materials properties equivalent to MSE 351 and MSE 362
  4. Kinetics equivalent to MSE 322
  5. Thermodynamics equivalent to the level of MSE 421

Degree Requirements

36 credits, as follows:

  1. Required core courses (9 credits): MSE 570, MSE 525, MSE 541
  2. Elective courses (9 credits): MSE 500 level, or approved related courses
  3. Seminar (3 credits): MSE 520
  4. Non thesis (MSE 600) or thesis (MSE 700) (9 credits)
  5. Additional coursework or research (6 credits)

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Minimum 3.00 GPA in the last 90 graded quarter hours or the last 60 graded semester hours. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test.

Prerequisite Knowledge:

  1. Fundamentals of materials science and engineering equivalent to MSE 170
  2. Crystallography equivalent to MSE 331
  3. Materials properties equivalent to MSE 362 and MSE 351
  4. Kinetics equivalent to MSE 322
  5. Thermodynamics equivalent to MSE 421 (for students who do not have two undergraduate thermodynamics courses).

Degree Requirements

Minimum 90 credits

  1. Core courses (9 credits): MSE 510, MSE 525, MSE 541
  2. Elective credits (9 credits): MSE 500 level, or approved related courses
  3. MSE 520 (6 credits)
  4. General examination
  5. MSE 800 (36 credits)
  6. Dissertation (30 credits)
  7. Final examination

Financial Support

Doctoral students are eligible for a variety of competitive financial awards while they pursue their MSE degrees. Awards include teaching and research assistantships and a broad spectrum of internal and external fellowships. Almost all doctoral students receive some financial support. Further details are on the departmental website and in the Graduate Student Handbook.