Degree Programs


Graduate Curriculum and Requirements

The Master of Science in Materials Engineering (MSMT) offered by the College of Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona prepares students to move on to more advanced work in the materials science and engineering profession and/or contribute at higher levels in their current engineering positions. The (MSMT) program has a strong curriculum in materials engineering along with cutting-edge elective topics. One of the unique aspects of this program will be the strong emphasis on applied research.

The MSMT program requires that students pursue a project or thesis option that requires a year or more of study in a specific topic decided in consultation with faculty and defended through proposal and thesis reviews. Another distinctive feature of the program is its applied nature, reinforced by the full-time and part-time faculty who are carefully selected for their expertise in specific areas of study. This ensures that the teaching and curriculum are relevant to current industry practices and needs, and prepares the students to immediately contribute to their employer’s technical and programmatic needs upon completion of their Master’s program.

The MS Materials Engineering program consists of 30 units, and takes approximately two years to complete.

Required Courses (15 Units)

Advanced macroscopic thermodynamics applied to materials in the solid and liquid states. Laws of thermodynamics, important thermodynamic functions, multicomponent phase equilibria, electrochemistry, solutions and mixing, phase rule and phase diagrams. Discussion of applications and statistical thermodynamics.

Study of the mechanical behavior of materials. Fundamental mechanisms controlling deformation and fracture in solid materials. Strain hardening, creep, fatigue, ductile and brittle fracture. Strengthening mechanisms involving alloying and heat treatment. Superplasticity. 3 hours lecture/problem solving.

Principles of solid-state reactions including nucleation and growth theory, diffusional and shear transformations, the shape-memory effect, transformation toughening, thermal treatment of solids. Special topics include metallic and silicate glasses, physical metallurgy of steels and superalloys.

Thermodynamics and kinetics of corrosion. Nernst and Tafel equations. Pourbaix diagrams. Electrochemical basis for corrosion. Fundamental approach to corrosion and corrosion control. Microbially Induced Corrosion. Biofouling. Degradation of polymers. Weathering of structural and architectural materials.

Emphasis Electives 9-12 Units

Numerical techniques for solving engineering problems. Topics covered include Solutions of Equations of One Variable, Spline Interpolation, Numerical Integration, Numerical Linear and Algebra concepts like Gaussian Elimination, Pivoting, Matrix Factorizations, Special Matrices: Positive Definite Matrices, Orthogonal Matrices, Norms of vectors and matrices, Conditional Numbers, Eigenvalues, Singular Value Decomposition or generalized eigenvalues for singular or non-square matrices.

Mechanical behavior and materials science of composite materials. Fiber-reinforced composites, particulate reinforced composites (metal matrix and ceramic matrix), sandwich & laminated structures. Micromechanics & macromechanics of the lamina & laminate. Classical Lamination Theory. Lamina & laminate strength & failure criteria. Interlaminar stresses, fatigue & fracture mechanics, and bending, buckling, & vibration of plates. Design of composite structures. Fabrication, defect detection, analysis and repair. Test procedures for characterizing properties. Assumptions, limitations & emergent research. Hand analysis procedures & development of computer codes for analysis.

Preparation techniques for materials used in electronic devices. Structure and purity control. Crystal growth, epitaxy, vapor deposition, magnetic domains and solid state phase transformations. Current problems concerning Si and III-V compound device production and research.

Group study at a graduate level of a selected well-defined topic or area not covered by a regularly offered course.

Group study at a graduate level of a selected well-defined topic or area not covered by a regularly offered course.

Materials science relevant to energy generation and storage. Thermodynamics, electrochemistry, catalysis, and polymer materials science to understand polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Role of materials in solid oxide fuel cells, batteries, wind, solar, ocean thermal, and nuclear energy generation. Electronic band structure and photovoltaics. Artificial leaves.

Fundamental understanding of nanomaterials science. Limits to strengthening of materials at the nanoscale. Thermodynamics and kinetics at the nanoscale. Effects of dimensionality and scale. Graphene, nanotubes, fullerenes, and nanocomposites.

Materials and their interactions with biological hosts. Biological strategies for materials synthesis. Bio-inspired materials. Hierarchical and cellular structure of biomaterials, e.g., bones and muscles. Bio-composites. Damage, degradation, and restoration of biomaterials.

Culminating Experience: 3 - 6 units

Thesis Option:

Register for 2 units per semester for a total of 6 units over three semesters. The outcome of the culminating experience will be a thesis report that will be submitted to Bronco Scholar in accordance with university regulations. An Oral defense of the Thesis is also required.

  • EGR 6960 - Master's Degree Thesis (1-2)

Project Option:

Register for a minimum of 3 units over two semesters. This will include 1-3 units of either Directed Research and/or in combination with 2 units of Independent Research. The outcome of the culminating experience will be a project report and oral defense.  

  • EGR 6910 - Directed Research (1-3)
  • EGR 6950 - Master’s Degree Project (2)

Note: If accepted by the faculty of the discipline involved, relevant graduate credit (up to 9 units) from another accredited institution may be applied toward the master's degree.

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