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Materials Science and Engineering

Professor Viney working with students in classroom.

Since the beginning of civilization, technological progress has always relied on the materials that people were able to acquire from nature or through trade or by innovation. Wood, stone, bronze, iron, steel, aluminum, cements, plastics, semiconductors, liquid crystals, nanomaterials and quantum dots all have unique properties that enable — but also limit — what humans can make and do.

Nations continue to go to war over access to particular raw materials. The construction of safe dwellings, the conveniences of rapid travel, the efficiency of telecommunications, the calculating and archiving power of computers, the life-prolonging gift of surgical implants and the dazzling performances of athletes all require dependable materials.

Future technological progress of any kind will always be driven by the available materials.

The Materials Science and Engineering program at UC Merced is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Materials Science and Engineering Program Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from the program shall possess:

  1. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering
  2. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret 
  3. An ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs within 
realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, 
health and safety, manufacturability and sustainability
  4. An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  5. An ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems
  6. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  7. An ability to communicate effectively
  8. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions 
in a global, economic, environmental and societal context
  9. A recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  10. A knowledge of contemporary issues
  11. An ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary 
for engineering practice

Materials Science and Engineering Program Educational Objectives

Within a few years of graduation, alumni of the Materials Science and Engineering program are expected to:

  1. Be active in solving contemporary problems through application of advanced science and engineering principles to materials systems.

  2. Communicate effectively, in written and spoken format, with professional and broader communities.
  3. Have demonstrated an integrated understanding of the scientific and engineering principles underlying the four major elements of the field (structure, properties, processing and performance), and applying and integrating knowledge from each of the four elements of the field to solve materials selection and design problems.
  4. Practice engineering in an ethical manner, respecting regulatory concerns and the broader impacts of engineering solutions.

Program enrollment and graduation data are available on the Institutional Planning and Analysis website at the following links: (enrollment table) (graduation table)