About MSE Graduate Program
Materials impacts all technologies and applications
The field of "materials" encompasses concepts in many diverse fields ranging from chemistry, physics, and optics to mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering. Rapid advances in technology have dramatically increased the importance of materials science and engineering to society, as highlighted in proceedings of the 2000 National Advisory Board Forum entitled "Materials in the New Millennium: Responding to Society's Needs": "Materials science underpins every product and process on which our modern society depends" and "You cannot make it without materials." Continued progress in all aspects of technology relies on proper education of materials scientists and engineers and active progress in materials research and development.
Why Study Materials Science and Engineering?
Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) is the study of the structure—processing—properties relationships of engineering materials. Considered by some to be the marriage of physics and metallurgy, modern MSE encompasses a broad range of materials, from traditional metallurgy to biological materials, polymers, ceramics, semiconductors, composites, and optical and magnetic materials, as well as numerous nanotechnology materials. The study of materials science allows students considerable freedom to the depth of their understanding of such materials while being simultaneously engaged in real world research.
What are the career opportunities in Materials Science and Engineering?
MSE graduates can be found employed in almost all fields of human endeavor. Most obviously, in fields where someone is using a material to make something, such as the automotive, aerospace, and microelectronics industries, or is making a material for use by others, such as the plastics and metals industries. Additionally, MSE graduates can be found in knowledge-based industries, such as archeology and education.
What is a typical graduate curriculum in Materials Science and Engineering?
The "core" curriculum for MSE students at UCF consists of four courses:
- EMA 5106 Metallurgical Thermodynamics
- EMA 5317 Materials Kinetics
- EMA 6126 Physical Metallurgy
- EMA 6626 Mechanical Behavior of Materials
In addition, students without a prior MSE background should take EMA 5104 Intermediate Structure and Properties of Materials. For M.S. students, the "core" courses are required, while for Ph.D. students they are not required, but highly recommended, as these courses also serve as the basis for the written doctoral qualifying examination.
Beyond the "core" courses above, M.S. and Ph.D. students are both relatively free to take courses in materials, or in related fields, that satisfy their personal and research goals. Students are required to complete a "Program of Study" form after their first 9 credit hours in the program which lists the courses they intended to take as part of their M.S. or Ph.D. program. The "Program of Study" requires approval by the student's advisor and by the Materials Program Coordinator and is usually heavily customized to meet the interests of the student.
Why should I choose UCF for graduate studies in Materials Science and Engineering?
The graduate program in materials science and engineering (MSE) at UCF is distinguished by offering an outstanding selection of courses taught by excellent instructors, and by providing students with real and state-of-the-art research opportunities, working with faculty mentors who are active in wide range of sponsored research. The result is education through research.
Almost all students in the graduate MSE program are financially supported by graduate fellowships or graduate research assistantships whose requirements include research tasks with clear objectives and scientific foundation, significant interactions with scientists and engineers from outside UCF who fund research programs, and presentations/publications at international conferences. In addition to challenging coursework, the "education through research" approach provides graduates with scientific competency and polished professionalism.
Further, due to interdisciplinary nature of MSE, students are encouraged to learn and train across multiple disciplines through the several innovative curriculum and interdisciplinary research facilities and research centers at UCF, including the Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center (AMPAC), the Nanoscience and Technology Center (NSTC), the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) and the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL). This approach also provides a distinctive advantage to UCF graduates in that they not only understand materials-specific challenges, but also have an overall understanding of engineered systems for many applications.