The Minor in Materials Science & Engineering

Materials science and engineering (MSE) is an interdisciplinary field that applies the fundamental knowledge of the physical sciences to create engineering innovations. In general, the term engineering refers to actively designing a system for a given application; MSE enables the design of systems from the atoms up. MSE focuses on the interrelationship between a material's structure (from the subatomic level to the macro scale) and the properties or behaviors that the material exhibits. Materials synthesis and processing techniques enable engineers to control and change the material structure in order to obtain the desired properties. Understanding the structure–properties–processing relationship requires a fundamental knowledge of the underlying chemistry and physics; this is key to obtaining materials with the desired performance for engineering applications in a wide variety of fields, from computing to medicine to energy.

The minor in MSE builds upon the fundamental insights into material structure and properties gained through required introductory courses in chemistry and materials science. Students then select at least two courses from specialization "pick lists" to gain depth in a particular application area. A free elective provides the opportunity to gain additional depth in the fundamentals or exposure to another application area.

Students will be approved for the minor after discussing appropriate course selection with the adviser for the minor. Some courses have prerequisites.


Units required: 17

Courses Units
Three required courses 8
Two courses from specialization "pick lists" 6
One free elective 3
Total 17

 Required courses*:

Chem 111AGeneral Chemistry I3
Chem 105Introductory General Chemistry I (plus quantum module)3
Chem 151General Chemistry Laboratory I2
MEMS 3610Materials Science3
or EECE 305 Materials Science
Total Units8

Specialization "Pick Lists"

Students should select at least two courses from any one of the following categories.

Structural Materials:

MEMS 3601Materials Engineering3
MEMS 5506Experimental Methods in Solid Mechanics3
MEMS 5507Fatigue and Fracture Analysis3
MEMS 5601Mechanical Behavior of Materials3
MEMS 5602Non-metallics3
MEMS 5605Mechanical Behavior of Composites3
MEMS 5612Atomistic Modeling of Materials3
MEMS 5615Metallurgy and Design of Alloys3

Electronic/Optical Materials:

Chem 542Special Topics in Inorganic Chemistry (The Chemistry of Energy Storage)3
Chem 543Physical Properties of Quantum Nanostructures3
ESE 436Semiconductor Devices3
ESE 531Nano and Micro Photonics3
ESE 536Introduction to Quantum Optics3
MEMS 463Nanotechnology Concepts and Applications3
Physics 472Solid State Physics3

Biomaterials/Soft Materials:

BME 432/BME 532Physics of Biopolymers3
BME 523Biomaterials Science3
Chem 452Synthetic Polymer Chemistry3
MEMS 5606Soft Nanomaterials3
MEMS 5607Introduction to Polymer Blends and Composites3
MEMS 5608Introduction to Polymer Science and Engineering3
MEMS 5613Biomaterials Processing3
MEMS 5614Polymeric Materials Synthesis and Modification3

Materials for Energy and Environmental Technologies:

Chem 542Special Topics in Inorganic Chemistry (The Chemistry of Energy Storage)3
EECE 504Aerosol Science and Technology3
EECE 505Aquatic Chemistry3

Natural Materials:

EPSc 336Minerals and Rocks in the Environment3
EPSc 352Earth Materials5

Free Electives

To complete the minor, students may select one additional course from the categories above or from the list of courses below:

Chem 465Solid-State and Materials Chemistry3
MEMS 4101Manufacturing Processes3
MEMS 5102Materials Selection in Design3
MEMS 5603Materials Characterization Techniques I3
MEMS 5604Materials Characterization Techniques II3
MEMS 5610Quantitative Materials Science & Engineering3
MEMS 5612Atomistic Modeling of Materials3
MEMS 5801Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems I3
Physics 217Introduction to Quantum Physics3
Physics 318Introduction to Quantum Physics II3
Physics 537Kinetics of Materials3

For more information, email Professor Katharine Flores, adviser for the minor in materials science and engineering (MEMS).