MSE Minor Program (Class of 2025 and beyond)

MSE poster

The minor in Materials Science and Engineering is offered by the Princeton Materials Institute. The program emphasizes the multidisciplinary nature of the study of materials and the engineering application of their properties. The program is designed primarily for students in science and engineering departments who are considering careers in materials, or have general interest in materials science and engineering, although students from other disciplines, with appropriate background, may join. Participants in the program will take courses in their own department together with a group of materials courses chosen from a selected list offered by the participating departments and/or the Princeton Materials Institute. Satisfactory completion of the program is recognized by the award of a minor in materials science and engineering upon graduation.

Admission to the Program

Admission to the program normally occurs during the spring term of the sophomore year or junior year. An application for admission can be obtained from the academic program administrator. Upon acceptance into the program, the director of undergraduate studies assist students in planning a program of study and research that emphasizes the multidisciplinary nature of the materials arena.

Program of Study

Participants in the program will satisfy the degree requirements for their department as well as the course and independent work requirements for the program. A coherent course of study will be developed in conjunction with the program adviser and the director of undergraduate studies and will include program-approved courses outside the student's home department. The program will be designed to expand the student's knowledge of topics essential for the understanding of materials beyond that normally encountered in a single department. Specific program requirements are listed below.

Program Requirements

All program students must:

  1. Take one year of general physics (PHY 103, 104, or 105, 106, or apply AP credit), one term of general chemistry with a materials focus and a laboratory (CHM 207, 215, or apply AP credit; CHM 201/202 sequence also accepted) and one year of mathematics (any two courses out of MAT 103, 104, 201 and 202). In addition, a course in quantum mechanics is recommended. 
  2. Take one course in thermodynamics (CBE 246, CHM 306, CHM 406, ECE 342, MAE 221, or PHY 301), a core course in materials (MSE 301; CEE 364 or MAE 324 also accepted) and one core course in experimental methods (MSE 302; CHM 371, ECE 208 or GEO 369 also accepted).
  3. Take three additional program-approved courses at or above the 300 level, at least one of which must be from a department/program different from that in which the student is majoring.
  4. Write a senior thesis on a topic with substantial materials content as approved by the program director.
  5. Not more than four of the six course selections outlined in points 1-3 above may also be used to satisfy requirements in the major.

To be awarded the minor in Materials Science and Engineering upon graduation, students must achieve a minimum grade average of B- in program electives. Program electives may not be taken on a Pass/D/Fail basis.