Course 3: Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
Course 3 Materials Science and Engineering serves the needs of students who intend to pursue employment in materials-related industries immediately upon graduation, as well as those who will do graduate work in the engineering or science of materials. The program is designed to be started at the beginning of the sophomore year, although it can be started in the spring term of the sophomore year or in the junior year with some loss of scheduling flexibility.
The first four academic terms of the program contain required core subjects that address the fundamental relations between processing, microstructure, properties, and applications of modern materials. The core subjects are followed by a sequence of restricted electives that provide more specialized coverage of the major classes of modern materials: biomaterials, ceramics, electronic materials, metals, and polymers, as well as cross-cutting topics relevant to all types of materials. Course 3 students write either a senior thesis or reports based on industrial internships. This provides an opportunity for original research work beyond that which occurs elsewhere in the program.
Participation in laboratory work by undergraduates is an integral part of the curriculum. The departmental core subjects include extensive laboratory exercises, which investigate materials properties, structure, and processing and are complementary to the lecture subjects. The junior-year core includes a capstone laboratory subject, 3.042 Materials Project Laboratory, that emphasizes design, materials processing, teamwork, communication skills, and project management. Undergraduate students also have access to extensive facilities for research in materials as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and thesis projects. Engineering design figures prominently in a substantial portion of the laboratory exercises. Students develop oral and written communication skills by reporting data and analysis in a variety of ways.
Students may substitute industrial internship reports (12 units of Industrial Practice, 3.930/3.931 Internship Program) for the senior thesis (3.THU Undergraduate Thesis). Students select this option during their sophomore year, and take 3.930 in the summer after the sophomore year and 3.931 in the summer following the junior year. This option provides students with industrial experience concurrently with academic work through cooperative work assignments matched to each student's capabilities and arranged by the department. A company representative and a faculty advisor act as co-supervisors during the students' assignments. Students earn a salary during their work periods and also receive academic credit.
Course 3 Materials Science and Engineering is ABET accredited.