Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State University has an enviable position among its contemporaries in the nation. The department attracts highly talented, hard working students, offering them a flexible curriculum with exposure to all aspects of materials through extensive laboratory experience, small class sizes, and a wealth of experienced faculty.
A flexible curriculum with the choice of specialization areas and ample laboratory experience, small class size, a dedicated faculty, and learning-based educational methodology provides graduates an excellent start to a life-long career in the materials science and engineering profession.
With specializations in ceramics, metals, and polymers, students will learn about the relationship between the properties of a material and its internal structure. The education gained in the classrooms and in the labs will equip students to embark on careers creating new materials and improving existing ones.
Over the last few decades, the materials science industry has undergone a major restructuring to improve its efficiency and responsiveness to customer needs. Guided by our External Advisory Council, we have been a leader in responding to the needs of industry. Our current students join our alumni in facing today’s critical engineering challenges. We strive to develop materials solutions that are cheaper, easier to produce, durable, and environmentally-friendly.
MSE Learning Community
Our department is proud to host the MSE Learning Community to incoming students. All first-year students (those direct from high school as well as transfer students who declare MSE as their degree program) are encouraged to join.
The mission of the MSE Learning Community is to embrace and nurture all of our new students by providing a gateway into the culture of camaraderie and collaboration fostered by all members of the MSE department. This is accomplished by offering clustered course options in the fall and spring semesters, as well as by selecting upper-level Mat E students to serve as Peer Mentors. The Peer Mentors provide support for those transitioning into ISU and the MSE Department by coordinating out-of-class activities and providing a voice of experience and support for new students.
Since the Mat E first-year population grows as the year progresses, our learning community experience operates year-round. This allows us to include students who choose Mat E as their curriculum even after the school year begins.
For more information about the MSE Learning Community, please contact one of our Academic advisors.
The BS/MS Program
The Department offers a concurrent BS/MS program, which provides a unique opportunity for qualified students to pursue both bachelors and masters degree programs simultaneously. With careful planning, the students in this program may complete both BS and MS degree requirements in five years and earn a graduate research assistantship stipend during the final two years.
Research Centers Associated with MSE
Department faculty and students participate in the research programs of ISU’s Ames National Laboratory, the Critical Materials Institute, and the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation.
These strong associations lead to one of the best research programs in the nation and provide on-campus laboratory employment opportunities for undergraduate students. The excellent research facilities of these centers attract and retain outstanding faculty and graduate students.
As the only materials science program in Iowa, the MSE Department is recognized as the state’s primary source of materials science expertise.
MSE enjoys working partnerships for research projects, design projects, and co-op/internship experiences for students. Industry, students, and faculty all benefit from the Department’s active participation in the Center for Industrial Research and Service.