MSE Certificate Program

The MSE Certificate Program introduces students to the world of materials. The program consists of core course, departmental electives and research with the Institute's faculty in engineering and science departments. The breadth and flexibility of the program accommodates a wide range of interests and backgrounds, and gives student both the theoretical foundation and practical knowledge needed to appreciate the rapidly developing field of modern materials.

All program students must take:

  • One core course in materials science (MSE 301, CEE 364 or MAE 324)
  • One course in experimental methods (MSE 302, MSE 505, CHM 371 or ELE 208)
  • A course in thermodynamics (CBE 246, CHM 306, CHM 406, ELE 342, MAE 221 or PHY 301)
  • One year of general physics
  • One term of general chemistry with a lab
  • One year of mathematics
  • A course in quantum mechanics is recommended
  • Three additional program-approved courses at or above the 300 level, one of which must be from a department different from that in which the student is concentrating.
  • Write a two-semester senior thesis on a materials topic approved by the program director.


Admission to the MSE Certificate Program normally occurs during the sophomore year but enrollments remains open into senior year. In general, students are expected to have satisfactorily completed a first year program that would permit them to enter one of the participating departments. Departments that are currently participating are:

  • Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Geosciences
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physics

Students from other departments can be admitted into the program and should inquire with the program director.

An application for admission can be obtained from the academic program coordinator, Sandra Lam. Upon acceptance into the program, the program director will assist students in planning a program of study and research that emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of the materials arena.


Rebecca Smaha

Rebecca Smaha '14, Chemistry

Rebecca's senior thesis, advised by Prof. Cava, involves solid-state chemistry and focused particularly on magnetic oxides. She has synthesized an antimony-substituted sodium stannate and is interested in discovering whether it could serve as a sodium ion conductor.

Christopher Gordon '15

Christopher Gordon '15, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Chris worked in the labs of Profs. White and Sundaresan on the hydrothermal synthesis of zeolites inside of polymer members. His work aims to stabilize the nanofractures in order to improve synthesis yields and reduce its overall environmental impact.