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The department provides a broad-based graduate education in materials, one component of which emphasizes the commonality among the various classes of engineering solids. Thus thermodynamics, kinetics, structural analysis and crystallography, defect theory, and principles of the solid state are strong features of our program. In addition, other courses relative to the application of materials and the relationships among materials properties, structure, and the manner in which materials have been processed are also offered. Extensive research programs complement formal course work. Active recent programs on polymers, environmental effects on material behavior, electronic materials, analytical electron microscopy, solid state phase transformations, fatigue and fracture, tribology, composite materials, and materials processing reflect the diversity of the faculty's research interests. In addition, the department houses the Center for Light Metals which oversees a variety of research on AI, Mg, and Ti alloys, and composites containing these metals. The Center for Electrochemical Sciences and Engineering, a VCIT Center, conducts interdisciplinary research involving five departments. The surface science laboratory conducts fundamental studies of surfaces of materials and provides surface analysis services.
The graduate program consists of regular graduate courses and thesis research. While a few courses are considered fundamental, there is great flexibility in allowing students to adapt their choice of courses according to their particular field of interest and specialization. Major emphasis is placed on acquisition of knowledge and understanding by students, rather than on passing a certain number of courses. The Master of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Master of Science or the Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science degrees are offered.
Minor Six courses constitute a minor. Required courses: MSE 305 and MSE 310L . Select one of the following: MSE 102, ENGR 209, ME 339, or AE 439. Select three courses from the following: MSE 301, MSE 304, ENGR 495, ENGR 497, ENGR 499, MSE 524, and MSE 532. Students studying civil engineering; applied mechanics; MANE; chemical engineering; systems engineering should consider: MSE 301, ENGR 495, MSE 524, and MSE 532. Students studying electrical engineering; computer science; systems engineering should consider MSE 304, ENGR 497, ENGR 499, or MSE 524. Recommended but not required for the minor, are the laboratories associated with courses MSE 301 and ENGR 495.
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