What Are the Courses in a Materials Engineering Degree Program?

The courses required in a materials engineering degree program will depend on which level of degree you're seeking. Topics and core courses in all levels include material structures, defects, thermodynamics and kinetics. Prerequisites also include advanced math courses. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Materials Engineering Overview

Degree programs in materials engineering are available at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. In addition, some schools offer programs in the related field of materials engineering technology, although these technology programs don't typically prepare you to work as a licensed engineer.

Each of the core courses in a materials engineering degree program advances a student's understanding of the structure and properties of materials. Although the course titles may differ, many schools require the following four core courses in a materials engineering bachelor's degree program:

  • Electronic and crystal structure of materials
  • Defects in micro structure and materials
  • Thermodynamics and phase equilibria of materials
  • Kinetics of transport and transformation in materials

Important Facts About Materials Engineers

Median Salary (May 2018) $92,390
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 2% growth
Work Environment Offices, research and development laboratories, factories
Specializations Metal, ceramic, plastics, composites

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Electronic and Crystal Structure of Materials

Controlling the electronic structure and properties of materials is dependent on the local atomic environment. This core materials engineering course explores the atomic structure of both perfect and effective crystals, as well as non-crystalline materials.

Defects in Microstructures and Materials

This course explores the analysis of materials in structure and properties, one of the major real-world applications of materials engineering. This core course includes the study of crystals, defects and microstructures, and it addresses the increasing power of high-speed computation.

Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria of Materials

Thermodynamics and phase equilibria of materials courses cover thermal properties, thermal expansion, and other thermodynamic functions. The course studies the relationships of equilibrium systems to the Gibbs and Helmholtz functions. The course also deals with crystalline and non-crystalline solids and their relationship to thermodynamic laws.

Kinetics of Transport and Transformation in Materials

Kinetics of transformation and transport in materials courses teach basic kinetic processes in materials. Mathematical skills necessary for materials research are studied. This course teaches basic materials phenomena in the solid-state involving mass and heat the fusion in materials.

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