The technologies of the 21st century demand new materials and devices with special properties. Materials Science and Engineering is a field that integrates the knowledge and tools of chemistry and physics with engineering principles to design, fabricate, and characterize improved and novel materials such as polymers, including biodegradable plastics and biocompatible materials; ceramics, metals, and composites for stronger structural materials; semi-conductors for more efficient electronic devices; longer lasting paints and coatings; corrosion-resistant materials; and many others.
The BS Physics/BS Materials Science and Engineering (BS MSE) is a 5-year double-degree program that prepares students for these new technologies. The students obtain a degree in BS Physics after four years and one in BS MSE after the fifth year. The BS Applied Physics program provides a strong foundation on the physics of materials with courses on the fundamental laws involving the structure of matter and its interaction with other matter and radiation with specialized electives on materials.
The program prepares the student for careers in industry, especially in the areas of semiconductors, plastics, rubbers, paints and resins, ceramics, textiles, food, or even cosmetics. It is also the first step towards research in materials design involving computational materials science, material technologies like nanotechnology and small scale devices like microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).