Program in Materials Science and Engineering

Academic Unit

Program Information

The certificate Program in Materials Science and Engineering is offered by the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM) and its eight affiliated departments. The program emphasizes the multidisciplinary nature of the study of materials and the engineering application of their properties. The program is designed primarily for students in science and engineering departments who are considering careers in materials, or have general interest in materials science and engineering, although students from other disciplines may join with appropriate background. Participants in the program will take courses in their own department together with a group of materials courses chosen from a selected list offered by the participating departments and/or PRISM. Satisfactory completion of the program is recognized by the award of a certificate in materials science and engineering upon graduation.

Admission to the Program

Admission to the program normally occurs during the sophomore or junior years. Students are expected to have satisfactorily completed a freshman year program that would permit them to enter one of the participating departments. Departments that are currently participating in the certificate program are: chemical and biological engineering, chemistry, civil and environmental engineering, electrical engineering, geosciences, mechanical and aerospace engineering, molecular biology, and physics, although students from other departments are also admitted into the program. Application for admission can be obtained from the undergraduate coordinator. Upon acceptance into the program, the director of undergraduate studies assists students in planning a program of study and research that emphasizes the multidisciplinary nature of the materials arena.

Program of Study

Participants in the program will satisfy the degree requirements for their department as well as the course and independent work requirements for the program. A coherent course of study will be developed in conjunction with the program adviser and the departmental representative and will include materials courses outside the student's home department. The program will be designed to expand the student's knowledge of topics essential for the understanding of materials beyond that normally encountered in a single department. In some cases, courses meeting the program requirements will also satisfy the regular requirements of the student's department. Specific program requirements are listed below.

Program Requirements

All program students must:

1. Take one year of general physics (PHY 103, 104, or 105, 106, or apply AP credit), one term of general chemistry with a laboratory (CHM 201, 202, or 207, or apply AP credit), one year of mathematics, and a course in thermodynamics, such as CBE 246, CHM 306, CHM 406, ELE 342, MAE 221, or PHY 301. In addition, a course in quantum mechanics is recommended.

2. Take one core course in materials (selected from the following options: MSE 301, CEE 364 or MAE 324) and one core course in experimental methods: MSE 302, MSE 505, CHM 371 or ELE 208.

3. Take three additional approved courses at or above the 300 level in at least two different areas from the program list.

4. Write a two-semester senior thesis on a materials topic approved by the program committee (for departments without senior thesis requirements, significant independent research work may be counted).

To remain a member of the program in good standing, and to be awarded the program certificate upon graduation, students must achieve a minimum grade average of B- in program courses. Program courses may not be taken on a pass/D/fail basis.