Bachelor in Materials Science and Engineering

"We take something as familiar as concrete and explain how it behaves all the way down to its atoms."

MSE Professor Jerry Floro

The BS in Materials Science and Engineering requires 127 credits. The curriculum for the degree program will meet both the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) baccalaureate requirements and position the program for future ABET accreditation.

Materials elective courses will build upon the core content, allowing students to develop concentration areas of interest. The program culminates with a rigorous 4th year experience, which incorporates both a capstone experience and the development of a senior thesis. The focus of the core curriculum (core) is to provide students with a solid foundation in materials science and engineering, representing the fundamental pillars of the discipline, reinforced throughout the curriculum including materials elective courses. The core will introduce students to the major classes of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites) along with associated properties (mechanical, thermal, electronic, magnetic, and optical). The core will also provide rich experiential learning experiences with emphasis on characterization, processing, properties, documentation, and the analysis and presentation of key results. 

Opportunities for training in best practices, problem solving, communication, and teamwork are designed into the program through materials elective courses, which include corrosion, fuel cells, and batteries (a world-leading research strength in the Materials Science and Engineering department at UVA), nanosciences, processing, computational materials science, and additive manufacturing.  The program culminates with a rigorous 4th year experience, which incorporates both a capstone experience and the development of a senior thesis.  The experience allows students to draw upon the knowledge and skills learned from many MSE and non-MSE courses leading up to the final senior semester. The 4th year design course sequence (MSE 4592 - Materials Reserach & Design Capstone 1 and 2) covers a wide range of materials and processes which require application of the fundamental principles of materials science (MSE 2090, MSE 3050, MSE 3060, MSE 3070), structure-property relationships (MSE 2101, MSE 3101, MSE 3080, MSE 3670), experimental and computer methods of analysis (MSE4270), and processing and fabrication (MSE 2200, MSE 3200, MSE 4210, MSE 4320).  The major will continue to be forward-looking, preparing students for the rapidly evolving needs of our technological society. For example, it is known that there will be an increasing need for engineers who are knowledgeable in topics related to materials which serve in extreme environments (especially related to defense and energy production), quantum materials (which could open up completely new opportunities in computational science), and soft-materials (for biomedical applications).

For detailed information about the MSE major curriculum and requirements, please see the THE UNDERGRADUATE RECORD AND GRADUATE RECORD of the current academic year.