Program Overview and Objectives

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Materials Science and Engineering Profession

Materials Science & Engineering is the study of mechanical, physical, and chemical properties of engineering materials, such as metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites. The objective of a Materials Engineer is to predict and control material properties through an understanding of atomic, molecular, crystalline, and microscopic structures of engineering materials. A Materials Engineer is an essential member of an engineering team responsible for synthesis and processing of advanced materials for manufacturing. A graduate's work may be in areas as diverse as automobile, aerospace, biomedical, or microelectronics manufacturing. Opportunities are available through these industries in the area of research, quality control, product development, design, synthesis, and processing operations.

What does a Materials Science & Engineering Major do?

For career information, see these links: American Ceramics Society (ACerS,, Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE,, Materials Research Society (MRS,, and The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS,

Historical Enrollment and Degree Data for Engineering Programs at MSU.

MSE Program Educational Objectives

The MSE program prepares students to apply their understanding of the processing, application, and sustainable use of engineering materials essential to the realization of new ideas coming from engineers, scientists, enterprises, and society. Our overarching objectives are to equip graduates with the confidence that comes from professionalism, and provide them with the tools needed to contribute meaningfully within any of the diverse professional career paths they may choose.

Since the discipline creates bridges between science and engineering, MSE majors must communicate effectively with people in many different specialties, and work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. MSE graduates must be aware of the economic, social, and environmental implications entailed in the processing and use of materials, and must have a solid grounding in professional engineering ethics.

The faculty provide a rigorous academic environment so that graduates will have mastered the analytical and technical skills needed to successfully compete as professionals, entrepreneurs, or as postgraduate scholars.

The graduates of the MSE Program will:

  • Achieve success in Materials Science & Engineering or another chosen career;
  • Advance to leadership roles within their profession and community;
  • Contribute effectively to their disciplines, economies and society;
  • Compete with confidence for opportunities for postgraduate education;
  • Enjoy the benefits of a lifetime of learning and professional development.

MSE Student Outcomes

The MSE program has adopted the ABET Student Outcomes with slight modifications to provide the foundation for learning goals of our curriculum. The learning goals for MSE courses are found here.

(a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
(c) an ability to design a system or process to produce a material or component
(d) an ability to function on teams, including multi-disciplinary teams
(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
(g) an ability to communicate effectively
(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context
(i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues               
(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.