May 27, 2022  
2014-2015 University Catalog 
2014-2015 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Materials Engineering, BSMSE

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About the Program

In everything we build-cars, planes, boats, computers, cell phones, bridges, skyscrapers, dental implants-the properties of the materials used determine the product’s performance.

What is Materials Engineering?

New materials have been among the greatest achievements of every age and they have been central to the growth, prosperity, security, and quality of life of humans since the beginning of history. It is always new materials that open the door to new technologies, whether they are in civil, chemical, construction, nuclear, aeronautical, agricultural, mechanical, biomedical or electrical engineering.

Materials scientists and engineers continue to be at the forefront of all of these and many other areas of science, too. Materials science and engineering influences our lives each time we buy or use a new device, machine, or structure. (You can read more about the impact of this exciting field in our list of suggested readings.) The definition of the academic field of Materials Science & Engineering stems from a realization concerning every application of materials: it is the properties of the material that give it value. A material may be chosen for its strength, its electrical properties, resistance to heat or corrosion, or a host of other reasons; but they all relate to properties.

Experience shows that all of the useful properties of a material are intimately related to its structure, at all levels, including which atoms are present, how the atoms are joined, and how groups of atoms are arranged throughout the material. Most importantly, we learn how this structure, and the resulting properties, are controlled by the processing of the material.

Finally materials must perform their tasks in an economical and societally responsible manner. Understanding the relationships between properties, structure, processing and performance makes the Materials Engineer the master of the engineering universe.

Materials Engineering’s academic programs have been developed around broad and basic phenomena, applied to all major classes of artificial materials-ceramics, metals, glasses, polymers, and semiconductors. The undergraduate and graduate programs integrate our faculty strengths across the field’s four cornerstones: structure, properties, processing, and performance.

Purdue’s School of Materials Engineering is dedicated to meeting the materials needs of modern society through:
Learning-training the next generation of materials experts for every industrial sector;
Outreach-providing leadership within the materials profession.

Summary of Program Requirements

The Summary of Program Requirements for Materials Engineering  is a comprehensive list of those categories which a student must fulfill in order to earn their degree. Unlike the full Detailed Program Requirements listed below, complete lists of selectives for any given category are not shown. These summaries are intended to be printer-friendly and less expansive in detail.

Detailed Program Requirements

Please see below for detailed program requirements and possible selective fulfillments.

126 Credits for Graduation
Students must have a graduation index of 2.0
Student must have a minimum average GPA of 2.0 in MSE 200 and 300 level courses

Materials Engineering Major Courses (42 credits)


MSE technical Electives - (18 credits)

  • Technical Elective I - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Technical Elective II - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Technical Elective III - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Technical Elective IV - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Technical Elective V - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Technical Elective VI - Credit Hours: 3.00

Other Departmental/Program Course Requirements (48 credits)


COM 11400  is a ‘highly recommended General elective and is counted separately from the 18 credits of Gen Ed requirement. Therefore the Gen Ed requirement is 18 + 3 credits = 21 when including COM 11400 

General Electives (18 credits)

  • G.E.-I - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • G.E.-II - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • G.E.-III - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • G.E.-IV - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • G.E.-V - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • G.E.- VI - Credit Hours: 3.00

University Core Requirements

  • Human Cultures Humanities
  • Human Cultures Behavioral/Social Science
  • Information Literacy
  • Science #1
  • Science #2
  • Science, Technology, and Society
  • Written Communication
  • Oral Communication
  • Quantitative Reasoning

Program Requirements

14(13) Credits

17 Credits

16 Credits

16 Credits

16 Credits

15 Credits

Fall 4th Year

15 Credits

Spring 4th Year

  • Technical Elective IV - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Technical Elective V - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Technical Elective VI - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • General Elective V - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • General Elective VI - Credit Hours: 3.00

18 Credits


126 semester credits required for Bachelor of Engineering degree.

Students must have a graduation index of 2.0

Degree Requirements

The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements.

Degree Works is knowledge source for specific requirements and completion

Critical Course

The ♦ course is considered critical. A Critical Course is one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major.

Foreign Language Courses

Foreign Language proficiency requirements vary by program.  For acceptable languages and proficiency levels, see your advisor:

American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, (ancient) Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

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