Material Science & Engineering

Material science and engineering is designed for students with undergraduate degrees in engineering or a closely related STEM discipline. MS&E research focuses on the study of metals, ceramics, glass, polymers, semiconductors, composites, nanomaterials and biomaterials to be implemented in a variety of applications including energy, civil, industrial and environmental. The area of study is diverse and multidisciplinary, since it incorporates aspects of chemistry, physics, electronics, mechanics, biology and medicine. The program will provide students with opportunities to investigate various aspects of materials science and engineering, which includes the processing, structure and properties of materials through computational modeling and/or experimental studies.

Students will be trained in core discipline areas using the most advanced materials processing, physical property testing and chemical/structure characterization equipment available. In addition to coursework in the core areas of materials science, students will choose a specialty area of focus to further his or her expertise. Specialty areas may be in either the chemical, mechanical or electrical engineering departments. The student's home department will be determined by the student's particular background, interests and research advisor.

The program is designed to be flexible, permitting students to acquire the knowledge and skills required to participate in cutting-edge technological areas, such as nanomaterials, ultra-high performance materials, smart materials, bio-inspired materials, environmental materials and energy materials. Students that complete the program will be prepared to perform at the highest levels within industry or within any research environment.

Regular Admission Requirements

Minimum requirements for admission as a regular student into the graduate programs of the department are summarized as follows:

  • An applicant for admission into the M.S. or the Ph.D. degree program must have earned a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (out of a possible 4.0) in all previous college work if he/she holds a B.S. or M.S. degree, respectively, from an accredited or internationally recognized program.
  • International students must demonstrate proficiency in communicating in English (a minimum TOFEL Score of 550, or IBT Score of 79, or IELTS Score of 6.5). (This requirement will be waived for applicants who have completed a recent four-year bachelor’s degree in the USA.)
  • All applicants are required to submit GRE general test scores with the engineering subject test score being optional. The GRE scores required for admission as a regular graduate student should be seventy-fourth percentile or higher in the Quantitative section. The GRE scores for the verbal and analytical sections will be taken into consideration in the admission process.

Provisional Admission

An applicant not qualifying for the admission status of regular graduate student, either due to marginally insufficient grade point average or GRE performance, incomplete credentials, or inadequate academic background, may be admitted as a provisional student at the discretion of the Admissions Committee of the department. Requirements for attaining regular student status must be stated in a letter of admission. Provisional students must sign a contract, which lists in detail all requirements that have to be met for attaining regular student status, typically no later than the end of the first semester at WVU.

The graduate degree program requires the student to attain an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher both in all the courses required for the degree program and in all the courses taken at WVU in order to meet graduation requirements. The cumulative grade point average (GPA) is calculated on the basis of courses only, and excludes credit for research, for which the received grade can be either S (satisfactory), or U (unsatisfactory) . Note: A grade of U in research is equivalent to a grade of F in a regular course and it can decrease drastically the GPA of a graduate student

ADMISSION TO THE DIRECT-TRACK TO PH.D. DEGREE OPTION

The Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources offers a material science and engineering (MS&E) direct-track option from the bachelor of science (B.S.) to the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree for prospective qualified students holding a B.S. degree in an engineering discipline, materials science, mathematics or applied sciences from an accredited undergraduate program or an internationally recognized program. This is an accelerated track that provides outstanding candidates the option of earning a Ph.D. degree after graduating from an undergraduate program by engaging early in their Ph.D. dissertation research without having to complete a research thesis for a master of science (M.S.) degree. To qualify for the direct-track degree option, a candidate must have earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5/4.0 or higher in his/her undergraduate studies, and attain a minimum of seventy-fourth percentile in the quantitative section of the standardized Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students who are pursuing a M.S.M.S.E. (from any of the three participating departments -- Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering -- also have the possibility of transferring into the direct-track option in their third semester in the program, provided that they earn a GPA of at least 3.75/4.0 and attain a minimum of seventy-fourth percentile in the quantitative section of the GRE by the end of their first two semesters of graduate studies at WVU. Students admitted into the direct-track option are considered to be Ph.D. students within the college.

Curriculum in Master of Science in Material Science and Engineering

A candidate for the M.S. degree in Material Science and Engineering must comply with the rules and regulations outlined in the WVU Graduate catalog and the specific requirements of the Statler College and the specific department in which the student's concentration is in.

Program Requirements

All M.S. degree candidates are required to perform research and follow a planned program of study. The student’s research advisor, in conjunction with the student’s Advising and Examining Committee (AEC) will be responsible for determining the plan of study appropriate to the student’s needs. The underlying principle of the planned program is to provide the students with the necessary support to complete their degree and prepare them for their career.

Curriculum Requirements

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required in all courses
Course Requirements *
A minimum of 60% of courses must be from 500 level or above
Core Courses
MAE 583Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Materials3
MAE 580Crystallography and Crystals3
MAE 649Microscopy of Materials3
MAE 694Seminar1
Area of Emphasis Requirement15
Complete 1 of the following options:6-9
Thesis Option - 6 hours
Any 697
Research (6 hours)
Written Proposal/Oral Presentation
Oral Defense
Thesis
Final Oral or Written Examination
Problem Report Option - 9 hours
Complete 6 additional hours of coursework
Any 697
Research (3 hours)
Written Proposal/Oral Presentation
Oral Defense
Formal written report or professional report/paper
Final Oral or Written Examination
Total Hours31-34
*

All M.S.M.S.E. students, whether pursuing the thesis option or the problem report option, are allowed to include up to a maximum of three (3), 3-credit courses at the 400 level towards the coursework requirements for their degrees.

Final Examination

M.S. students following the thesis or problem report option must prepare a written research proposal. The proposal must be approved by the student's AEC at least one semester prior to the final oral examination.

All students, regardless of option, are required to pass a final oral or written examination, administered by their AEC, covering the thesis or problem report and/or related course material.

Suggested Plan of Study

The plan below illustrates the Thesis Option. It is important for students to take courses in the order specified as much as possible; all prerequisites and concurrent requirements must be observed.  A typical M.S.M.S.E. degree program that completes degree requirements in two years is as follows.

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
MAE 5803AOE Course 13
MAE 5833AOE Course 23
MAE 6493MAE 6973
MAE 6941 
 10 9
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
AOE Course 33AOE Course 53
AOE Course 43MAE 6976
MAE 6973 
 9 9
Total credit hours: 37

Areas of Emphasis

Students must complete one of the following Areas of Emphasis

Chemical Engineering Materials Area of Emphasis Requirements

CHE Electives *
Select 2 of the following:6
Polymer Science and Engineering
Polymer Processing
Polymer Composites Processing
Electronic Materials Processing
Chemical Process Safety
Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering
Transport Phenomena
Thermodynamics
Chemical Reaction Engineering
Applied Statistical and Molecular Thermodynamics
Polymer Rheology
Introduction to Tissue Engineering
Additional Electives *
Select 3 of the following:9
Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry
Inorganic Synthesis Laboratory
Colloid and Surface Chemistry
Mass Spectrometry Principles and Practices
Organometallic Chemistry
Bonding and Molecular Structure
Chemical Crystallography
Electrochemistry and Instrumentation
Analytical Atomic Spectrometry
Physical Methods in Inorganic Chemistry
Inorganic Reactions and Mechanisms
Biomedial Microdevices
Advanced Semiconductor Electronics
Optoeletronics
Mechanics of Composite Materials
Introduction to Fuel Cell Technology
Advanced Mechanics of Materials
Continuum Mechanics
Theory of Elasticity 1
Inelastic Behavior of Engineering Materials
Fracture Mechanics
Advanced Mechanics of Composite Materials
Materials Engineering
Mechanical Metallurgy
Solid State Physics
Introduction to Solid State Physics
Semiconductor Physics
Collective Phenomena in Solids
Optical Properties of Solids
Total Hours15
*

Students completing the problem report option must take an additional 2 courses (6 credit hours) from either set of electives.

Electrical Engineering Materials Area of Emphasis Requirements

Select 4 of the following: *12
Electronic Materials Processing
Introduction to Power Electronics
Fiber Optics Communications
Introduction to Microfabrication
Fundamentals of Photonics
Biomedial Microdevices
Advanced Semiconductor Electronics
Linear Integrated Circuits
Optoeletronics
Introduction to Solid State Physics
Semiconductor Physics
Collective Phenomena in Solids
Select 1 additional course in consultation by the AEC. *3
Total Hours15
*

Students completing the problem report option must take an additional 2 courses (6 credit hours).

Mechanical Engineering Materials Area of Emphasis Requirements

MAE Electives *
Complete at least 2 of the following:6
Mechanics of Composite Materials
Introduction to Fuel Cell Technology
Advanced Mechanics of Materials
Continuum Mechanics
Theory of Elasticity 1
Inelastic Behavior of Engineering Materials
Fracture Mechanics
Advanced Mechanics of Composite Materials
Mechanical Metallurgy
Materials Engineering
Math and Science Electives *
Complete at least 2 of the following:6
Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering
Digital Signal Processing Fundamentals
Introduction to Digital Image Processing
Linear Control Systems
Optimal Control
Technology Forecasting
Applied Linear Programming
Conduction Heat Transfer
Computational Fluid Dynamics
Continuum Mechanics
Energy Methods in Applied Mechanics
Numerical Analysis 1
Applied Linear Algebra
Complex Variables
Partial Differential Equations
Numerical Analysis
Numerical Solution of PDE
Modern Algebra
Linear Algebra
Number Theory 1
Real Variables 1
Complex Variables 1
Mathematics Modeling
Intermediate Differential Equations
Advanced Calculus
Advanced Calculus
Graph Theory
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Introduction to Mathematical Physics
Design of Experiments
Applied Regression Analysis
Theory of Statistics 1
Theory of Statistics 2
Additional Electives *
Complete at least 1 of the following:3
Polymer Science and Engineering
Polymer Processing
Polymer Composites Processing
Electronic Materials Processing
Chemical Process Safety
Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering
Transport Phenomena
Thermodynamics
Chemical Reaction Engineering
Applied Statistical and Molecular Thermodynamics
Polymer Rheology
Introduction to Tissue Engineering
Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry
Inorganic Synthesis Laboratory
Colloid and Surface Chemistry
Mass Spectrometry Principles and Practices
Organometallic Chemistry
Bonding and Molecular Structure
Chemical Crystallography
Electrochemistry and Instrumentation
Analytical Atomic Spectrometry
Physical Methods in Inorganic Chemistry
Inorganic Reactions and Mechanisms
Biomedial Microdevices
Advanced Semiconductor Electronics
Optoeletronics
Solid State Physics
Introduction to Solid State Physics
Semiconductor Physics
Collective Phenomena in Solids
Optical Properties of Solids
Total Hours15
*

Students completing the problem report option must take an additional 2 courses (6 credit hours) from any set of electives.

Curriculum in Doctor of Philosophy – Material Science and Engineering

A candidate for the Ph.D. degree with a major in material science and engineering must comply with the rules and regulations as outlined in the WVU Graduate Catalog and the specific requirements of the Statler College.

Program Requirements

The doctor of philosophy degree with a major in materials science and engineering is administered through the college’s interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. The research work for the doctoral dissertation must show a high degree of originality on the part of the student and must constitute an original contribution to the art and science of materials science and engineering.

All Ph.D. degree candidates are required to perform research and follow a planned program of study. The student’s research advisor, in conjunction with the student’s Advising and Examining Committee (AEC) will be responsible for determining the plan of study appropriate to the student’s needs. The underlying principle of the planned program is to provide the students with the necessary support to complete their degree and prepare them for their career.

Curriculum Requirements

A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required in all courses.
Course Requirements *
500-level or higher coursework18
Seminar2
Research24
Examinations
Qualifying Exam
Candidacy Exam
Final Exam
Total Hours44
*

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program must have completed or will need to complete the following set of core courses or equivalent: MAE 583, MAE 580, MAE 649.

Examinations

Qualifying Exam

All students must take and pass a written qualifying examination. Normally, the qualifying examination is given no later than the end of the third semester of enrollment in their Ph.D. program. This examination is designed to assess the basic competency of students to determine whether or not they have sufficient knowledge of the discipline to undertake independent research. The structure of the Ph.D. qualifying examination for all students pursuing the Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering will be comprised of two components: a written examination that will test on the student’s knowledge in the three core areas studied in MAE 583 Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Materials, MAE 580 Crystallography and Crystals, and MAE 649 Microscopy of Materials or their equivalent, and a second examination that will be administered by the MS&E Faculty in the home department of the student’s Ph.D. advisor, and which should be consistent with the format used by that program/department for their qualifying exam. These two examinations will receive equal weighting in determining the student’s overall score on the qualifying examination. Students who do not pass either part or both parts of this exam on their initial attempt will be allowed a second attempt to pass either or both parts of the qualifying exam. If they are not successful on their second attempt, then they will be dismissed from the program.

Candidacy Examination

In order to be admitted to candidacy, the student must pass a candidacy exam, which is designed to evaluate the student’s overall ability to engage in high-level research. After passing the qualifying examination, the student must submit to the AEC a written research proposal of his/her planned dissertation work and successfully defend it in an oral examination. The research proposal must be approved by the student’s AEC. A student who has successfully completed all coursework, passed the qualifying examination, and successfully defended the research proposal, and receives the college’s approval becomes a candidate for a Ph.D. degree. Thereafter, the student will officially be engaged in dissertation research. 

Final Examination

At the completion of the dissertation research, candidates must prepare a dissertation and pass the final oral examination (defense) administered by their AEC. This examination is open to the public and, in order to evaluate critically the student's competency, may include testing on material in related fields, as deemed necessary by the AEC. 

Major Learning Goals

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN MATERIAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING (MSMSE)

Upon graduation, with a Masters of Science degree in Material Science and Engineering, students will have:

  • An expert level understanding of the advanced principles of their engineering specialty
  • Ability to apply advanced methodologies in their specialty area
  • Ability to design and conduct original experiments, analyze and interpret data, and develop recommendations with a high degree of independence
  • Advanced ability to use contemporary techniques, skills, and tools necessary for engineering practice in education, industry, and/or government
  • Ability to effectively communicate technical information in the form of a thesis, scientific publication or presentation
  • Understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • Ability to understand the impact of engineering solutions in global and societal context
  • Recognition of the need to engage in life-long learning
  • Foundational preparation to pursue doctoral studies 

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (PHD)

Upon graduation with a Ph.D. degree from the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources students will have:

  • Ability to initiate research ideas in order to solve specific problems and to write research proposals on these ideas
  • Have an expert-level understanding of the advanced principles of their fields of study
  • Furthered a novel research idea which has contributed to the state of the art in their specific areas of expertise
  • Ability to plan original research projects, to perform laboratory or field based experimental tasks, generate data from those tasks, and draw conclusions based on sound scientific and engineering principles
  • Ability to develop innovative research in order to advance the frontiers of knowledge and secure sponsored research
  • Ability to write technical articles for dissemination through peer-reviewed, refereed journals or other venues
  • Ability to make oral and poster presentations at technical meetings
  • Understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities in the practice of their profession to contribute to the well-being of society and to the advancement of their profession
  • Demonstrated initiative in research planning and management, including safety and environmental issues
  • Technical preparation for and an awareness of the need for life-long learning and continuing education

Faculty

Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

  • Brian Anderson
  • Cerasela Zoica Dinu
  • Rakesh K. Gupta
  • Robin Hissam
  • Ahmed Ismael
  • Charter Stinespring
  • Hanjing Tian
  • Yong Yang

Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

  • Xian-An Cao
  • Jeremy Dawson
  • Parviz Famouri
  • Dimitris Korakakis
  • Yuxin Liu

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

  • Ever Barbero
  • Bruce Kang
  • Xingbo Liu
  • David Mebane
  • Terence Musho
  • Ming Pei
  • Edward M. Sabolsky
  • Kostas Sierros
  • Xueyan Song
  • Nianqiang Wu