Materials Science and Engineering

Major: Materials Science and Engineering
Degree Awarded:
Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (BSMSE)

Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 186.5
Co-op Options: Three Co-op (Five years); One Co-op (Four years)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 14.1801
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 17-2131

About the Program

Materials science and engineering (MSE) is concerned with the production, structure, characterization, properties and utilization of metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, electronic, optical, nano- and bio-compatible materials. Materials scientists and engineers play a key role in our increasingly complex technological society by extending the limited supply of materials, improving existing materials, and developing and designing new and superior materials and processes with an awareness of their cost, reliability, safety, and societal/environmental implications.

Students majoring in materials science and engineering (MSE) receive a thorough grounding in the basic sciences and engineering of all materials. All students are required to take course sequences that include materials processing, thermodynamics and kinetics of materials, and their physical and mechanical behavior, plus laboratories designed to familiarize them with the instruments and advanced techniques used to characterize materials and evaluate their structure, properties and performance. A number of tracks allow upper-level students to focus their technical electives in areas of specialization, including nanoscale materials and nanotechnology, biomaterials, electronic and photonic materials, soft materials and polymers, advanced materials design and processing, or in a custom track. In addition, several required senior level courses emphasize the role of materials selection and specification in design.

Throughout the senior year, students majoring in materials science and engineering (MSE) work on a capstone senior design project over the course of three terms, with guidance from a faculty advisor and graduate student mentor. Students, generally working in small groups, synthesize information from their courses to arrive at solutions to real-world engineering problems.

Some recent senior design project topics include: 

  • Screening of MXenes for Photothermal Therapy
  • Hybrid Nanovesicles Made of Cell Membranes and Phosphoipids
  • Sustainable Polymer Nanocomposites
  • Solid Polymer Electrolytes for Lithium Metal Batteries
  • Photoluminescent Fibers as Smart Textiles
  • Materials Discovery Through Machine Learning
  • Photoluminescent Nanocrystals for Photodetectors
  • Numerical Modeling of Selective Laser Melting via Finite Element Analysis
  • Synthesis of MXenes Through Molten Salt Etching of MAX Phases
  • Analysis of Electrospun Polyacrylonitrile Nanoyarn
  • MXene-Polymer Nanocomposites via Thiol-Michael "Click" Chemistry

Mission Statement

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering will provide our BS, MS and PhD graduates with the technical and theoretical knowledge, design capabilities, professionalism, and communications skills necessary for them to excel in leadership positions in academia, industry, and government at the national and international levels.


Materials science and engineering is a multi-disciplinary field that is at the forefront of all emerging technologies. Advances in the understanding of the process-structure-property-performance relationships of materials will be critical for future developments, including in energy storage and power generation, biomaterials and nanomaterials. The Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University is recognized as a leader in these areas through its teaching and scholarly research.

Program Educational Objectives

The educational objectives of the Materials Science and Engineering BS degree program are:

  • Materials Science and Engineering program graduates possess the core technical competencies in their field necessary to successfully interface with other engineering disciplines in the workplace.
  • At least 30% of Materials Science and Engineering program graduates have progressed towards graduate education, to become leaders in industry, academia, etc.
  • Materials Science and Engineering program graduates are leaders in their chosen fields.
  • Materials Science and Engineering program graduates are engaged in lifelong learning.
  • Materials Science and Engineering program graduates possess written and verbal communication skills appropriate for professional materials engineers and/or scientists. 

Student Outcomes

The department’s student outcomes reflect the skills and abilities that the curriculum is designed to provide to students by the time they graduate. These are:  

  1. An ability to apply, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies

Additional Information

The Materials Science and Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

For additional information about this major, contact:

Sarit Kunz
Academic Program Coordinator

Degree Requirements

General Education/Liberal Studies Requirements
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development *1.0
ECON 201Principles of Microeconomics4.0
ECON 202Principles of Macroeconomics4.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
or ENGL 111 English Composition I
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
or ENGL 112 English Composition II
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
or ENGL 113 English Composition III
PHIL 315Engineering Ethics3.0
UNIV E101The Drexel Experience1.0
Technical Electives/Track Courses **12.0
Non-designated General Education Requirements ***12.0
Free Electives6.0
Foundation Requirements
BIO 107Cells, Genetics & Physiology3.0
BIO 108Cells, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory1.0
CHE 350Statistics and Design of Experiments3.0
CHEC 353Physical Chemistry and Applications III4.0
Chemistry Requirements 3.5-7.5
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I
General Chemistry I
CHEM 102General Chemistry II4.5
CHEM 241Organic Chemistry I4.0
Engineering (ENGR) Requirements
ENGR 111Introduction to Engineering Design & Data Analysis3.0
ENGR 113First-Year Engineering Design3.0
ENGR 131Introductory Programming for Engineers3.0
or ENGR 132 Programming for Engineers
ENGR 210Introduction to Thermodynamics3.0
ENGR 220Fundamentals of Materials4.0
ENGR 231Linear Engineering Systems3.0
ENGR 232Dynamic Engineering Systems3.0
Mathematics Requirements ††4.0-10.0
Algebra, Functions, and Trigonometry
and Calculus I
Calculus and Functions I
and Calculus and Functions II
Calculus I
MATH 122Calculus II4.0
MATH 200Multivariate Calculus4.0
Physics Requirements ††4.0-8.0
Preparation for Engineering Studies
and Fundamentals of Physics I
Fundamentals of Physics I
PHYS 102Fundamentals of Physics II4.0
PHYS 201Fundamentals of Physics III4.0
Professional Requirements
MATE 214Introduction to Polymers4.0
MATE 230Fundamentals of Materials II4.0
MATE 240Thermodynamics of Materials4.0
MATE 245Kinetics of Materials4.0
MATE 280Advanced Materials Laboratory4.0
MATE 315Processing Polymers4.5
MATE 341Defects in Solids3.0
MATE 345Processing of Ceramics4.5
MATE 351Electronic and Photonic Properties of Materials4.0
MATE 355Structure and Characterization of Crystalline Materials3.0
MATE 366 [WI] Processing of Metallic Materials4.5
MATE 370Mechanical Behavior of Solids3.0
MATE 410Case Studies in Materials3.0
MATE 455Biomedical Materials3.0
MATE 460Engineering Computational Laboratory4.0
MATE 491 [WI] Senior Project Design I2.0
MATE 492Senior Project Design II3.0
MATE 493 [WI] Senior Project Design III3.0
Total Credits186.5-200.5

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Sample Plan of Study 

4 year, 1 co-op 

First Year
CHEM 101*3.5CHEM 1024.5COOP 101***1.0VACATION
ENGL 101 or 1113.0CIVC 1011.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0 
ENGR 1113.0ENGR 131 or 1323.0ENGR 1133.0 
MATH 121**4.0MATH 1224.0MATH 2004.0 
UNIV E1011.0PHYS 101**4.0PHYS 1024.0 
  General Education elective3.0 
 14.5 16.5 18 0
Second Year
BIO 1073.0CHEM 2414.0ECON 2014.0ECON 2024.0
BIO 1081.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0Technical elective/Track course††3.0PHIL 3153.0
ENGR 2204.0ENGR 2103.0General Education electives6.0Free elective3.0
ENGR 2313.0ENGR 2323.0 Technical elective/Track course††3.0
PHYS 2014.0MATE 2304.0  
Free elective3.0   
 18 17 13 13
Third Year
MATE 2404.0MATE 3154.5  
MATE 2804.0MATE 3413.0  
MATE 3553.0MATE 3514.0  
MATE 3703.0   
 18 15.5 0 0
Fourth Year
CHE 3503.0MATE 3454.5CHEC 3534.0 
MATE 3664.5MATE 4923.0MATE 4103.0 
MATE 4553.0Technical elective/Track course††3.0MATE 4933.0 
MATE 4604.0General Education elective3.0Technical elective/Track course††3.0 
MATE 4912.0   
 16.5 13.5 13 
Total Credits 186.5

5 year, 3 co-op 

First Year
CHEM 101*3.5CHEM 1024.5COOP 101***1.0VACATION
ENGL 101 or 1113.0CIVC 1011.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0 
ENGR 1113.0ENGR 131 or 1323.0ENGR 1133.0 
MATH 121**4.0MATH 1224.0MATH 2004.0 
UNIV E1011.0PHYS 101**4.0PHYS 1024.0 
  General Education elective3.0 
 14.5 16.5 18 0
Second Year
BIO 1081.0ENGL 103 or 1133.0  
ENGR 2204.0ENGR 2103.0  
ENGR 2313.0ENGR 2323.0  
PHYS 2014.0MATE 2304.0  
Free elective3.0   
 18 17 0 0
Third Year
MATE 2144.0MATE 2454.0  
MATE 2404.0MATE 3154.5  
MATE 3553.0MATE 3413.0  
MATE 3703.0   
 18 15.5 0 0
Fourth Year
MATE 3664.5MATE 3514.0  
MATE 4553.0PHIL 3153.0  
CHEC 3534.0Technical elective/Track elective††3.0  
 15.5 14.5 0 0
Fifth Year
CHE 3503.0MATE 4923.0MATE 4103.0 
MATE 4604.0Free elective3.0MATE 4933.0 
MATE 4912.0Technical elective/Track course††3.0Technical elective/Track course††3.0 
General Education elective3.0General Education elective3.0General Education elective3.0 
Technical elective/Track elective††3.0   
 15 12 12 
Total Credits 186.5

Co-op/Career Opportunities

Examples of industries in which materials science and engineering graduates play major roles include: base metals industries; specialist alloys; advanced ceramics; petrochemical; biomaterials and implants; pharmaceuticals; consumer products; electronics and photonics; nanotechnology; power generation; energy conversion, storage and conservation (fuel cells, advanced batteries, supercapacitors and photovoltaics); environmental protection and remediation; information and telecommunications; and transportation (aerospace, automotive, bicycles, railways).

Typical job functions include design and development of new materials, materials selection for specific applications, manufacturing, performance and failure analysis, quality control and testing, research and development, technical management, sales and marketing, teaching, technical services, and technical writing.

Please visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center for more detailed information on co-op and post-graduate opportunities.

Dual/Accelerated Degree

Dual Degree Bachelor’s Programs

With careful planning, students can complete two full degrees in the time usually required to complete one. For detailed information, students should contact their advisors.

Accelerated Degree Program

The Accelerated Degree Program within the College of Engineering provides opportunities for highly talented and motivated students to progress toward their educational goals essentially at their own pace. Primarily through advance placement, credit by examination, flexibility of scheduling, and independent study, this “fast-track” makes it possible to complete both the undergraduate curriculum and master's level graduate studies in the five years required by the standard curriculum.

Bachelor’s/Master’s Accelerated Degree Program

Exceptional students can also pursue a master of science (MS) degree in the same period as the bachelor of science (BS). The combined BS/MS degree in Materials Science and Engineering differs from the standard BS degree in that there are two six-month Co-op periods instead of three, and in the last two years, the necessary graduate courses are taken.

For more information about this program, please visit the Department's BS/MS Degree Program page.


Biomaterials and Biosurfaces Laboratory
This laboratory contains 10 kN biaxial and 5 kN uniaxial servo-hydraulic mechanical testing machines, a Fluoroscan X-ray system, a microscopic imaging system, a spectra-fluorometer, a table autoclave, centrifuge, vacuum oven, CO2 incubators, biological safety cabinet, thermostatic water baths, precision balance and ultrasonic sterilizer.

Nanobiomaterials and Cell Engineering Laboratory
This laboratory contains a fume hood with vacuum/gas dual manifold, vacuum pump and rotary evaporator for general organic/polymer synthesis; gel electrophoresis and electroblotting for protein characterization; bath sonicator, glass homogenizer and mini-extruder for nanoparticle preparation; centrifuge; ultrapure water conditioning system; precision balance; pH meter and shaker.

Ceramics Processing Laboratory
This laboratory contains a photo-resist spinner, impedance analyzer, Zeta potential meter, spectrafluorometer, piezoelectric d33 meter, wire-bonder, and laser displacement meter.

MAX/MXene Ceramics Laboratory
This laboratory contains a vacuum hot-press; a hot isostatic press (HIP) for materials consolidation and synthesis; laser scattering particle size analyzer; creep testers, Ar-filled glove-box, high-speed saw, and assorted high temperature furnaces; metallographic preparation facilities; high temperature closed-loop servo-hydraulic testing machines.

Mechanical Testing Laboratory
This laboratory contains mechanical and closed-loop servo-hydraulic testing machines, hardness testers, Charpy and Izod impact testers, equipment for fatigue testing, metallographic preparation facilities and a rolling mill with twin 6" diameter rolls.

Mesoscale Materials Laboratory
This laboratory contains instrumentation for growth, characterization, device fabrication, and design and simulation of electronic, dielectric, ferroelectric and photonic materials.  Resources include physical and chemical vapor deposition and thermal and plasma processing of thin films, including oxides and metals, and semiconductor nanowire growth.  Facilities include pulsed laser deposition, atomic layer deposition, chemical vapor deposition, sublimation growth, and resistive thermal evaporation.  Variable-temperature high-vacuum probe station and optical cryostats including high magnetic field, fixed and tunable-wavelength laser sources, several monochromators for luminescence and Raman scattering spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy with electron beam lithography, and a scanning probe microscope.

Nanomaterials Laboratory
This laboratory contains instrumentation for synthesizing, testing and manipulation of nanomaterials carbon and two dimensional carbides under microscope, high-temperature autoclaves, Sievert’s apparatus; glove-boxes; high-temperature vacuum and other furnaces for the synthesis of nano-carbon coatings and nanotubes; tube furnaces for synthesis of carbides and nitrides; potentiostat/galvanostat for electrochemical testings; ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS) spectrophotometry; Raman spectrometers; Differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) and thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) up to 1500 °C with mass spectrometer, Zeta potential analyzer; attrition mill, bath and probe sonicators, centrifuges; electro-spinning system for producing nano-fibers.

Oxide Films and Interfaces Laboratory
This laboratory contains an oxide molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) thin film deposition system; physical properties measurement system (PPMS) for electronic transport and magnetometry measurements from 2 – 400K, up to 9 T fields; 2 tube furnaces.

 Powder Processing Laboratory
This laboratory contains vee blenders, ball-mills, sieve shaker + sieves for powder classification, several furnaces (including one with controlled atmosphere capability); and a 60-ton Baldwin cold press for powder compaction.

Soft Matter Research and Polymer Processing Laboratories
These laboratories contain computerized thermal analysis facilities including differential scanning calorimeters (DSC), dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA) and thermo-gravimetric analyzer (TGA); tabletop tensile tester; strip biaxial tensile tester; vacuum evaporator; spin coater; centrifuge; optical microscope with hot stage; liquid crystal tester; microbalance; ultrasonic cleaner; laser holographic fabrication system; polymer injection molder and single screw extruder.

Natural Polymers and Photonics Laboratory
This laboratory contains a spectroscopic ellipsometer for film characterization; high purity liquid chromatography (HPLC) system; refractometer; electro-spinning systems for producing nano-fibers.

X-ray Tomography Laboratory
This laboratory contains a high resolution X-ray micro-tomography instrument and a cluster of computers for 3D microstructure reconstruction; mechanical stage, a positioning stage and a cryostage for in-situ testing. For more information on departmental facilities, please visit the Department’s Facilities webpage.

Materials Characterization Core (MCC)
The Department of Materials Science & Engineering relies on the Materials Characterization Core facilities within the University for materials characterization and micro- and nano-fabrication. These facilities contain a number of state-of-the-art materials characterization instruments, including environmental and variable pressure field-emission scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) for elemental analysis, and Orientation Image Microscopy (OIM) for texture analysis; a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) with STEM capability and TEM sample preparation equipment; a dual-beam focused ion beam (FIB) system for nano-characterization and nano fabrication; a femtosecond/ terahertz laser Raman spectrometer; visible and ultraviolet Raman micro spectrometers with a total of 7 excitation wavelengths for non-destructive chemical and structural analysis and Surface Enhanced Raman (SERS); a Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer with a microscope and full array of accessories; a Nanoindenter; an X-ray Photoelectron Spectrometer (XPS)/Electron Spectroscopy for Chemical Analysis (ESCA) system; and X-Ray Diffractometers (XRD), including small angle/wide angle X-Ray scattering (SAX/WAX).

 More details of these instruments, information on how to access them, and instrument usage rates can be found at Drexel University’s Centralized Research Facilities webpage.

Materials Science and Engineering Faculty

Michel Barsoum, PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Distinguished Professor. Processing and characterization of novel ceramics and ternary compounds, especially the MAX and 2-D MXene phases.
Hao Cheng, PhD (Northwestern University). Associate Professor. Drug delivery, molecular self-assembly, cell-nanomaterial interactions, regenerative medicine and cell membrane engineering.
Yury Gogotsi, PhD (Kiev Polytechnic Institute) Director, A. J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute. Distinguished University & Charles T. and Ruth M. Bach Professor. Nanomaterials; carbon nanotubes; nanodiamond; graphene; MXene; materials for energy storage, supercapacitors, and batteries.
Richard Knight, PhD (Loughborough University) Associate Department Head and Undergraduate Advisor. Teaching Professor. Thermal plasma technology; thermal spray coatings and education; plasma chemistry and synthesis.
Christopher Y. Li, PhD (University of Akron). Professor. Soft and hybrid materials for optical, energy, and bio applications; polymeric materials, nanocomposites, structure and properties.
Andrew Magenau, PhD (University of Southern Mississippi). Assistant Professor. Structurally complex materials exhibiting unique physical properties designed and fabricated using an assortment of methodologies involving directed self-assembly, externally applied stimuli, structure-function correlation, and applied engineering principles suited for technologies in regenerative medicine, biological interfacing, catalytic, electronic, and optical applications
Michele Marcolongo, PhD, PE (University of Pennsylvania) Department Head, Materials Science and Engineering. Professor. Orthopedic biomaterials; acellular regenerative medicine, biomimetic proteoglycans; hydrogels.
Steven May, PhD (Northwestern University) Department Head. Professor. Synthesis of complex oxide films, superlattices, and devices; materials for energy conversion and storage; magnetic and electronic materials; x-ray and neutron scattering.
Ekaterina Pomerantseva, PhD (Moscow State University, Russia). Associate Professor. Solid state chemistry; electrochemical characterization, lithium-ion batteries, energy generation and storage; development and characterization of novel nanostructured materials, systems and architectures for batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells.
Caroline L. Schauer, PhD (SUNY Stony Brook) Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs College of Engineering. Professor. Polysaccharide thin films and nanofibers.
Wei-Heng Shih, PhD (Ohio State University). Professor. Colloidal ceramics and sol-gel processing; piezoelectric biosensors, optoelectronics, and energy harvesting devices; nanocrystalline quantum dots for bioimaging, lighting, and solar cells.
Jonathan E. Spanier, PhD (Columbia University) Department Head, Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics. Professor. Light-matter interactions in electronic materials, including ferroelectric semiconductors, complex oxide thin film science; laser spectroscopy, including Raman scattering.
Mitra Taheri, PhD (Carnegie Mellon University) Hoeganeas Professor of Metallurgy. Professor. Development of the ultrafast Dynamic Transmission Electron Microscope (DTEM) for the study of laser-induced microstructural evolution/phase transformations in nanostructured materials; use of various in-situ Transmission Electron Microscopy techniques.
Jörn Venderbos, PhD (Leiden University). Assistant Professor. Theory of quantum materials: topological Insulators, topological semimetals, materials prediction and design, strongly correlated electron materials, complex electronic ordering phenomena, unconventional superconductors
Christopher Weyant, PhD (Northwestern University). Teaching Professor. Engineering education
Antonios Zavaliangos, PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) A.W. Grosvenor Professor. Professor. Constitutive modeling; powder compaction and sintering; pharmaceutical tableting, X-ray tomography.

Emeritus Faculty

Roger D. Corneliussen, PhD (University of Chicago). Professor Emeritus. Fracture, blends and alloys, as well as compounding.
Roger D. Doherty, PhD (Oxford University). Professor Emeritus. Metallurgical processing; thermo-mechanical treatment.
Ihab L. Kamel, PhD (University of Maryland). Professor Emeritus. Nanotechnology, polymers, composites, biomedical applications, and materials-induced changes through plasma and high energy radiation.
Jack Keverian, PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Professor Emeritus. Rapid parts manufacturing, computer integrated manufacturing systems, strip production systems, technical and/or economic modeling, melting and casting systems, recycling systems.
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