Materials Science & Engineering, Bachelor of Science College of Engineering

Materials Science & Engineering Undergraduate Program

The Materials Science & Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Materials science and engineering is directed toward an understanding of the structure, properties, and processing of materials. Society demands new and improved materials with capabilities far superior to common metals, polymers, and ceramics. New materials are needed for high-speed transportation systems, surgical and dental implants, new generations of power plants, renewable energy sources, and solid-state electronic and photonics devices in computer and communication technology. Both the development of new materials and the understanding of present-day materials demand a thorough knowledge of basic engineering and scientific principles, including crystal structure, elastic and plastic behavior, thermodynamics, phase equilibria and reaction rates, and structural and physical and chemical behavior of engineering materials.

Materials engineers study phenomena found in many different engineering operations, from fracture behavior in automobiles to fatigue behavior in aircraft frames, from corrosion behavior in petro-chemical refineries to radiation-induced damage in nuclear power plants, and from the fabrication of steel to the design of semiconductors. Materials engineers are also increasingly involved in developing the new materials needed to attain higher efficiencies in existing and proposed energy conversion schemes and will play a central role in the development of new technologies based on composites and high-temperature superconductivity.

The undergraduate materials science and engineering program provides the background for activities in research, processing, and the design of materials. The curriculum is based on a common core of courses basic to engineering; courses taken during your first two years provide a strong foundation in fundamental engineering concepts.


We educate students in the fundamentals of materials science and engineering, balanced with the application of these principles to practical problems; educate students as independent, critical thinkers who can also function effectively in a team; educate students with a sense of community, ethical responsibility, and professionalism; educate students for careers in industry, government, and academia; teach students the necessity for continuing education and self-learning; and foster proficiency in written and oral communications.

Students are encouraged to adhere carefully to all prerequisite requirements. The instructor is authorized to drop students from a course for which stated prerequisites have not been completed.

Exclusive of General Education units, the minimum number of units required for the Materials Science & Engineering major is 157.

Honors Program

An Honors Program is available to qualified students in Materials Science & Engineering. It is a two-year program designed to challenge the most talented students in these majors. Students are invited to participate in their sophomore year. In the upper division coursework, students will complete either an honors thesis or a project that might involve local industry. Students must maintain a grade point average of 3.500 to continue in the program. Successful completion of the Honors Program will be acknowledged on the student's transcript.

Lower Division Required Courses
MAT 021ACalculus4
MAT 021BCalculus4
MAT 021CCalculus4
MAT 021DVector Analysis4
MAT 022ALinear Algebra3
MAT 022BDifferential Equations3
PHY 009AClassical Physics5
PHY 009BClassical Physics5
PHY 009CClassical Physics5
PHY 009DModern Physics4
CHE 002AGeneral Chemistry5
or CHE 002AH Honors General Chemistry
CHE 002BGeneral Chemistry5
or CHE 002BH Honors General Chemistry
CHE 002CGeneral Chemistry5
or CHE 002CH Honors General Chemistry
ENG 003Introduction to Engineering Design4
ENG 017Circuits I4
or ENG 035 Statics
ENG 045Properties of Materials4
or ENG 045Y Properties of Materials
Materials Science Engineering
EMS 002Materials Marvels: The Science of Superheroes3
Chemical Engineering
ECH 060Engineering Problem Solving Using MATLAB4
Choose one: a grade of C- or better is required:4
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Academic Literacies
Major Works of the Ancient World
Major Works of the Medieval & Early Modern World
Major Works of the Modern World
Major Works of the Contemporary World
Introduction to Native American Literature
Lower Division Required Courses Subtotal79
Upper Division Required Courses
ENG 190Professional Responsibilities of Engineers3
Materials Science Engineering
EMS 160Thermodynamics of Materials4
EMS 162Structure & Characterization of Engineering Materials4
EMS 162LStructure & Characterization of Materials Laboratory 3
EMS 164Kinetics of Materials4
EMS 170Sustainable Energy Technologies: Batteries, Fuel Cells, & Photovoltaic Cells4
EMS 170LSustainable Energy Technologies Laboratory3
EMS 172Smart Materials4
EMS 172LSmart Materials Laboratory3
EMS 174Mechanical Behavior of Materials 4
EMS 174LMechanical Behavior Laboratory 3
EMS 180Materials in Engineering Design4
EMS 182Failure Analysis4
EMS 188AMaterials Design Project4
EMS 188BMaterials Design Project4
EMS 181Manufacturing of 3D & Composite Materials4
or EMS 183 Processing of 2D & Nanomaterials
Choose one:4
Engineering Analysis
Introduction to Probability Theory
Probabilistic Systems Analysis for Civil Engineers
Mathematical Methods in Biochemical & Chemical Engineering
Introduction to Numerical Analysis & Methods
Introductory Methods of Mathematical Physics
Choose one:3-4
Physical Chemistry: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
Inorganic Chemistry: Fundamentals
Organic Chemistry
and Optics Laboratory
Electricity & Magnetism
Advanced Laboratory in Condensed Matter Physics
Stellar Structure & Evolution
Environmental Physics & Society
Focused Electives
Courses used to satisfy degree requirements are not eligible to be used to satisfy the elective requirement.12
Students may elect to choose up to 5 units from the following lower division courses:
Introduction to Biology: Essentials of Life on Earth
Properties of Materials in Biological Systems
Fundamentals of Bioengineering
Circuits I
Remaining units must be satisfied by the following:
Biotransport Phenomena
Structural Analysis
Structural Design: Metallic Elements
Principles of Device Physics I
Principles of Device Physics II
Integrated Circuits Fabrication
Electronic Circuits & Systems
Fluid Mechanics
Mechanics of Materials
Any upper division courses in Materials Science & Engineering (EMS); a maximum of 4 units combined in Materials Science & Engineering (EMS) courses numbered 190-197 or 199 can be used to satisfy focused electives requirement.
Choose one; grade of C- or better is required:0-4
Writing in the Disciplines: Engineering
Writing in the Disciplines: Food Science & Technology
Writing in the Professions: Business Writing
Writing in the Professions: Science
Writing in the Professions: Technical Writing
Passing the Upper Division Composition Exam.
Upper Division Required Courses Subtotal78-83
Total Units157-162