Curriculum

Program and Curriculum Overview

The overall objective of the School of Materials Science and Engineering (SMSE) program is to develop students to be science and engineering professionals who use their interdisciplinary problem-solving skills to address global challenges in the field of materials science and engineering (MSE).
SMSE’s curriculum educates future materials scientists and engineers to understand how different combinations of molecules can result in different thermal, mechanical, electrical, optical, and magnetic properties; to measure those properties at the atomic, electronic, surface, and bulk level; and to manufacture usable devices from the resulting materials. Curriculum also includes elements that address materials technology transfer, materials manufacturing, materials and society, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of MSE, and other professional development skills necessary for success in the materials community.

Core Classes:

Core concepts:  The pathways towards commercialization of materials from research. This course will cover case studies, technology readiness levels, proposal writing, entrepreneurship, and intellectual property practices. 1 unit. FA18.

There are 5 single unit courses available, of which the student must take 3.  Two courses, indicated below, are mandatory.

  1. 502A- Structure and Scattering (Required): This course is concerned with: (1) understanding the atomic level arrangements of materials, (2) Defects related to these structures, and (3) introduction to X-ray Diffraction, X-ray Scattering, and Electron Diffraction.  
  2. 502B- Computational Methods (Required): Introduction to various mathematical and computational methods that are used to model materials:  Simulation/Modeling, Monte-Carlo, Monte-Carlo Potts, Density Functional Theory, and Molecular Dynamics.
  3. 502C- Microscopy: This course introduced the student to quantitative microscopic techniques using Optical Microscopy (including interferometry and confocal techniques), Scanning Electron, Transmission Electron Microscopy, scanning probe microscopy.
  4. 502D- Spectroscopy: This course includes an introduction to X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy, Raman and Infrared, and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy
  5. 502E- Bulk Properties and Performance: This course will discuss physical properties and how they relate to functionalization of materials including   Electronic, Magnetic, Optical, and other topics of current interest.
  6. 502F- Experimental Methods: Vacuum systems, Cryogenic experimentation, temperature characterization, data acquisition and digitization, device and circuitry design.

This course discusses the mechanical behavior of metals, polymeric, ceramic, and composite materials in mechanical designs from a structure->processing->properties perspective.  Practical and specific performance analyses of structural materials are examined. 3 units. 

The determination of whether and the means by which a given reaction can occur. Macroscopic and microscopic solid-state thermodynamics with experimental methodologies for characterizing them, with a focus on thermodynamic and statistical mechanical aspects of material structure-property relationships.

Introduction to the electronic properties of materials, including band structures, quantum mechanics and optical characteristics.

Seminar on professional and personal skill development regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion as it pertains to opportunities in materials science and engineering. 

Seminar on the connections between materials and society, fusing basic concepts in materials science and engineering with perspectives and methods from anthropology, history, and sociology.

Seminar on professional and personal skill development pertaining to careers in materials science and engineering (MSE) and presentations from speakers in various MSE careers roles. 

Specialty MSE Courses

Principles of green engineering in the context of materials, human dependence on materials, and the environmental consequences of materials selection. Perspective, background, methods, and data for evaluating and designing with materials to minimize the environmental impact.”

Trans-disciplinary overview of the electronics industry, with an emphasis on sources and impacts of e-waste on human & natural systems, students will learn systems approaches to mitigating environmental and social impacts of electronics—from product design, materials & manufacture to use, re-use, recycle and disposal. Apply these learnings in trans-disciplinary project teams to evaluate opportunities for improving the sustainability of the industry and its products. 3 units. SP18.

The determination of whether and the means by which a given reaction can occur. Macroscopic and microscopic solid-state kinetics with experimental methodologies for characterizing them, with a focus on the kinetic aspects of material structure-property relationships.

The mechanics, thermodynamics and kinetics of defects in crystalline solids including point defects, dislocations and grain boundaries.

MASTER’S TOTAL DEGREE CREDITS  =  minimum of 30 credits

Ph.D TOTAL DEGREE CREDITS = minimum of 72 credits

Additional Materials Across Campus:

For the most up-to-date list of approved specialty courses, please refer to the School of Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Student Handbook or check with the program manager.

Prerequisite: CBE 210; MATH 340. Definition, correlation, and estimation of thermodynamic properties; non-ideal chemical and physical equilibria. 3 units.

Prerequisite: CHEM 343 or CHEM 346; or CHEM 474 or CBE 310. Fundamentals of polymer science: synthesis, characterization, processing of polymers. Physical properties of polymers; rheology of melts and solutions. 3 units.

Prerequisite: CHEM 461; CHEM 476.

Physical and descriptive chemistry of solids including characterization and synthetic methods. 3 units.

Prerequisite: CHEM 346; CHEM 476.

Fundamentals of polymer chemistry: synthesis, characterization, physical properties. 3 units.

Prerequisite: CHEM 571 or concurrent registration. Chemical aspects of preparation and processing of materials in electronic devices, “molecular electronics,” and nanostructured materials. 3 units.

Prerequisite: CHEM 343 or CHEM 346; CHEM 461; CHEM 476. Structure and bonding; crystallography; properties; synthesis; characterization of metals, semiconductors, and network solids. 1 unit.

Prerequisite: CHEM 343 or CHEM 346; CHEM 461; CHEM 476. Structure and bonding, mechanisms, properties, applications, synthesis, characterization of polymers, complex fluids, and biomaterials. 1 unit.

Prerequisite: CHEM 343 or CHEM 346; CHEM 461; CHEM 476. Structure and bonding, synthesis, properties, characterization of carbon nanotubes, metal and semiconductor nanocrystals, and nanocomposites. 1 unit.

Prerequisite: CHEM 474.

Theory and practice of structural computations using single crystal X-ray diffraction data.  1 unit.

Prerequisite: CHEM 474. Theory and practice of determination of crystal and molecular structure by single crystal X-ray and neutron diffraction. 3 units.

Prerequisite: CHEM 476 or CBE 310. Capillarity; interfacial thermodynamics, electrical aspects of surface chemistry, adsorbed layers. 3 units.

Prerequisite: CIVE 360. Analysis of stress and strain failure theory; selected topics in solid mechanics, plate analysis; introduction to elastic stability. (NT-O).  3 units.

Prerequisite: MATH 340. Theory and application in elasticity, porous flow, heat conduction, and other engineering problems. (NT-O).  3 units.

Prerequisite: CIVE 560. Analysis of stress and strain in solids emphasizing linear elasticity and plasticity; introductions to creep, viscoelasticity, and finite deformations.  3 units.

Prerequisite: CIVE 560. Fracture mechanics including linear elastic, elastic-plastic, and dynamic fracture; on ductile and cleavage fracture in metals. (NT-O).  3 units.

Prerequisite: ECE 342; PH 353. Fundamentals of quantum confinement; nanostructures optical properties; fabrication and characterization. (NT-O). 3 units.

Prerequisite: ECE 331 with a C- or better or MECH 344. Credit not allowed for both ECE 569 and MECH 569.

Micro-electro-mechanical processes and applications in sensors, optics, and structures. (NT-O).  3 units.

Prerequisite: One course in thermodynamics. Microstructures of physically vapor-deposited films; thin-film morphological development; atomistic processes of condensation, nucleation, and growth. 3 units.

Prerequisite: MATH 340 or MATH 345. Calculus of variations, perturbation methods, models of continuum, dimensional analysis, stochastic models, integral equations, diffusion. 3 units.

Prerequisite: MATH 340 or MATH 345 or MATH 530.

Second order linear PDEs, elliptic and parabolic equations, equations of math physics, separation of variables, Fourier series. 3 units.

Prerequisite: MATH 340 or MATH 345 or MATH 530. Credit not allowed for both MATH 550 and ENGR 550. Finite elements, finite differences, spectral methods, method of lines, conservation laws; stability and convergence analysis for PDEs.  3 units.

Prerequisite: MATH 369. Finite dimensional vector spaces, inner products, dual spaces, transformations, projections, adjoints, norms, eigenvalues, eigenvectors. 3 units.

Prerequisite: CS 156 or CS 160 or CS 253 or MATH 151; MATH 560. Numerical linear algebra, solving nonlinear systems, least squares, and minimization. 4 units.

Prerequisite: BC 351 or BMS 300 or BMS 500/NB 501 or BZ 310. Cell and tissue engineering concepts and techniques with emphasis on cellular response, cell adhesion kinetics, and tissue engineering design. ($, NT-O). 3 units.

Prerequisite: CIVE 360; MECH 331. Materials aspects of advanced composite constituents and how their combination yields synergistic results. (NT-V). 3 units.

Prerequisite: MECH 331 or MECH 431. Credit not allowed for both MECH 531 and BIOM 531. Selection of structural engineering materials by properties, processing, and economics; materials for biomedical and biotechnology applications. (NT-O). 3 units.

Prerequisite: MECH 331. Credit not allowed for both MECH 532 and BIOM 532.  Failure mechanisms from materials viewpoint with emphasis on use in design. Fracture, creep, fatigue, and corrosion. (NT-V/O). 3 units.

Prerequisite: ECE 331 with a C- or better or MECH 344. Credit not allowed for both MECH 569 and ECE 569. Micro-electro-mechanical processes and applications in sensors, optics, and structures. (NT-O). 3 units.

Physiological and medical systems analysis using engineering methods including mechanics, fluid dynamics, control electronics, and signal processing. 3 units.

Prerequisite: MECH 331. Credit not allowed for both MECH 573 and BIOM 573. Structure-function relationships of natural biomaterials; application to analysis of biomimetics. 3 units.

Prerequisite: CIVE 560. Stress distribution near cracks; energy criteria for fracture; design criteria; fracture toughness testing. (NT-T). 3 units.

Prerequisite: PH 361; PH 451. Crystal structures and bonding, electronic levels and vibrations, dielectric, optical and magnetic properties, quasiparticles, superconductivity. 3 units.

Prerequisite: PH 531. Electronic band structure and conduction phenomena; cohesive energy; lattice dynamics and thermal properties; metals; insulators; semiconductors. 3 units.

Prerequisite: PH 462; PH 531; PH 652. Second quantization; electrons; phonons; electron-phonon interaction; superconductivity; magnetism; spin waves; density-functional methods; symmetry. 3 units.