The Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California equips its students for successful careers in the field of Materials Science and Engineering. Whether your goal is to join the workforce with a Bachelor’s degree, or to further your education in graduate school, our program is ideal. The curriculum consists of courses taught by a world-renowned faculty decorated both for their teaching skill and their research prowess. The courses are designed to teach timeless fundamentals underlying the discipline, while preparing the students to apply modern day approaches to materials problems. In addition to coursework, there is ample opportunity to become involved in cutting edge Materials Science and Engineering research by joining one of the many faculty led research groups.
The curriculum consists of a carefully chosen set of core courses, accompanied by a set of electives enabling the student to excel in a sub-discipline of their choosing either tailored especially for them (through discussions with their academic advisor) or by following one of five previously developed emphases (Biomaterials, Electronic Materials, Structural Materials, Materials Physics and Chemistry, Energy Technology and Nanomaterials).
The program is designed around a set of curricular outcomes. Specifically, upon completion of our ABET accredited program in Materials Science and Engineering, the graduate will:
- be able to apply general math, science and engineering skills to the solution of engineering problems.
- be aware of the social, safety and environmental consequences of their work, and be able to engage in public debate regarding these issues.
- be able to apply core concepts in Materials Science to solve engineering problems.
- be knowledgeable of contemporary issues relevant to Materials Science and Engineering.
- be able to select materials for design and construction.
- understand the importance of life-long learning.
- be able to design and conduct experiments, and to analyze data.
- understand the professional and ethical responsibilities of a materials scientist and engineer.
- be able to work both independently and as part of a team.
- be able to communicate effectively while speaking, employing graphics and writing.
- possess the skills and techniques necessary for modern materials engineering practice.
How Student Outcomes Connect to Curriculum
The courses within the Materials Science and Engineering meet the desired outcomes according to the grid below. In this grid, items colored dark blue are addressed in detail within the given course. Light blue items are addressed partially, yet still significantly, by the course in question. White items are addressed only modestly in the specified courses. All courses listed only by number are courses taught within the Materials Science and Engineering Department, those beginning with the letter “E” are taught within the setting of the entire College of Engineering.
Assessment of Outcomes
The extent to which students are achieving these outcomes is measured for each course offering using two methods. First, we conduct an extensive exit survey of the students enrolled in the course probing the specific outcomes for that course. (For specific course outcomes, see the on-line course descriptions.) Second, each course is designed with specific, graded assignments (often the final exam) designed to measure, explicitly and objectively, the students’ attainment of pertinent outcomes. The results of the surveys and measurements are considered in detail by the Departmental Undergraduate Program Committee, which, when necessary, provides written feedback to each course instructor.
Educational Objectives for Graduates
Stated succinctly, Graduates from our program will:
- Know the fundamental science and engineering principles relevant to materials.
- Understand the relationship between nano/microstructure, characterization, properties and processing and design of materials.
- Have the experimental and computational skills for a professional career or graduate study in materials.
- Possess a knowledge of the significance of research, the value of continued learning and environmental/social issues surrounding materials.
- Be able to communicate effectively, to work in teams and to assume positions as leaders.
Achievement of these goals will enable our students to pursue vigorously their careers as Materials Scientists and Materials Engineers, whether the student prefers continuing study within top-ranked graduate programs or to join directly the workforce.
Materials Science and Engineering also has four ABET accrediated joint major programs, with Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Nuclear Engineering. All of these MSE joint majors meet the same MSE program objectives and student outcomes as the MSE single major, listed above. In addition, each of these MSE joint majors meets the program objectives and outcomes of their other respective single major programs.
The MSE/ChemE joint major also meets the Chemical Engineering program objectives and student outcomes .
The MSE/EECS joint major also meets the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science program objectives and student outcomes .
The MSE/ME joint major also meets the Mechanical Engineering program objectives and student outcomes.
The MSE/NE joint major also meets the Nuclear Engineering program objectives and student outcomes.