Undergraduate Degree Concentrations

Concentrations are not required, but are intended to provide students with the option to obtain a more focused education in a particular sub-field within materials science.  To satisfy the requirements for a concentration, students must select six courses.  Upon completion the concentration is denoted on the official transcript.

Nanoscale Materials Science

  • MSE 220 – Structural Materials
  • MSE 221 – Quantum Physics of Materials
  • MSE 215  – Introduction to Nanoscale Functional Materials
  • MSE 260 – Energetics of Macro and Nano-Scale Materials
  • MSE 330 – Self Assembly of Soft Materials
  • MSE 440 – Phase Transformations

Note: MSE students automatically receive this concentration as the courses above are part of the MSE core curriculum.

Areas of Specialization:

The following is a list of suggested electives organized by topic.  In addition, some students might be eligible to complete an interdepartmental senior design project related to an area of specialization.  To develop a specialization, the faculty recommends completing 3 courses.  Students are welcome to have multiple areas of specialization.  At present specializations are not designated on official transcripts.

Biomaterials and Biomimetics

This specialization focuses on the interaction between material properties and biological function. Students who choose this specialization can learn how to design materials that interact with the human body for medical or therapeutic purposes, such as artificial ligaments. Students can also learn about biomimetics, a field where engineers mimic structures found in biology to design innovative new materials. Some companies in this field include Arthrex, Johnson & Johnson, and Integra LifeSciences.

Recent MSE internships:  R&D engineer at Janssen Biotech, Analytical chemist at Merck Research Laboratories

  • MSE 430 – Polymers
  • MSE 650 – Mechanics of Soft and Biomaterials
  • BE 512 – Biomaterials
  • BE 518 – Optical Microscopy
  • BE 553 – Tissue Engineering
  • MEAM 302 – Fluid Mechanics
  • MEAM 575 – Micro and Nano Fluidics
  • PHYS 280 – Phys Models Bio Systems: Physical Models of Biological Systems

Electronic and Optical Materials

This area encompasses technologies such as LEDs and OLEDs, printed circuit boards, semiconductor equipment, photovoltaics, liquid crystal displays and quantum dots. Innovations in these fields will fuel the growth of emerging technologies such as flexible electronics and sensor materials. Companies that work with these technologies include Dow Electronic Materials, Intel, and Samsung SDI.

Recent MSE internships: Product Engineer at GT Advanced Technologies, Product Manager at Intel Corp, Advanced optics strategic sourcing analyst at Microsoft, Research engineer at Graphene Frontiers

  • MSE 465/565 – Fabrication and Characterization of Micro and Nanostructured Materials
  • MSE 515 – Mathematics for Materials Science
  • MSE 536 – Electronic Properties of Materials
  • ENGR 504 – Fundamental Concepts in Nanotechnology
  • ESE 215 – Electrical Circuits and Systems I
  • ESE 218 – Electronic, Photonic, and Electromechanical Devices
  • PHYS 364 – Laboratory Electronics
  • PHYS 528 – Introduction to Liquid Crystals

Energy Conversion and Storage

This specialty emphasizes the design and implementation of energy-related technologies such as solar cells, fuel cells, electrochemical storage systems, and thermoelectric devices. Students will also get to explore thermodynamic principles and heat transfer in further depth. Some companies in this field include ExxonMobil, BP, Samsung SDI, and Tesla Motors.

Recent MSE internships: Engineer at GT Advanced Technologies, Energy engineer at DNV Energy

  • MSE 455/555 – Electrochemical Engineering of Materials
  • MSE 530 – Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria
  • MSE 545 – Materials for Energy Storage and Generation
  • MSE 401 – Energy and Its Impacts: Technology, Environment, Economics, Sustainability
  • ESE 518 – Battery and Super-Capacitor Systems
  • MEAM 333 – Heat and Mass Transfer (prerequisites)
  • MEAM 502 – Energy Engineering (prerequisites)
  • MEAM 503 – Direct Energy Conversion: from Macro to Nano (prerequisites)

Materials Modelling and Simulation

This area provides a computational foundation for research and industry. Modelling and simulation skills are critical for predicting the behavior and properties of different material structures. Modelling and simulation in R&D teams are used to help expedite the development of new materials while saving the money and time usually required to gather insights through early-stage experimentation. Companies who look for students with this specialization include Scienomics and Advanced Material Simulation, as well as most major companies innovating in materials.

Recent MSE internships: Simulations engineer at SunEdison, Research engineer at CapeSym

  • MSE 515 – Mathematics for Materials Science
  • MSE 561 – Atomic Modelling in Materials Science
  • MSE 575 – Statistical Mechanics
  • CIS 110 (or ENG 105) – Introduction to Computer Programming
  • CIS 120 – Programming Languages and Techniques I
  • ENM 321 – Engineering Statistics
  • ESE 210 – Intro to Dynamic Systems

Product Design, Manufacturing, and Materials

This specialization focuses on quantitative techniques for quality control, failure analysis, materials selection and manufacturing controls. Students in this field will learn how to balance the creativity of product innovation with the constraints of industrial manufacturing. Companies looking for materials engineers with this specialty range from Mattel to Boeing.

Recent MSE internships: Materials and Process engineer at Boeing Company, Strategy intern at Luxottica Group, Product engineer at Newell Rubbermaid

  • MSE 455/555 – Electrochemical Engineering of Materials
  • MSE 465/565 – Fabrication and Characterization of Micro and Nanostructured Materials
  • MSE 525 – Nanoscale Science and Engineering
  • MSE 537 – Nanotribology
  • MEAM 201 – Machine Design and Manufacturing (prerequisites)
  • MEAM 415 – Product Design
  • MEAM 504 – Tribology
  • MEAM 514 – Design for Manufacturability (prerequisites)
Also In This Section:


Dr. Vanessa Chan 
Professor and Undergraduate Chair

Ms. Vicky Lee
Undergraduate Program Coordinator
LRSM, Room 201
Phone: 215-898-8337