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Links for Prospective Students

M.S. in Materials Engineering

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Materials engineers design, process, characterize, and manufacture all of the materials in use today - and those that are yet to be created. Because materials scientists and engineers are experts in the performance, specification, and manufacture of materials, ceramics, semiconductors, plastics, and composites, they must have knowledge from a variety of scientific and engineering fields in order to be successful.

To meet the technological needs of industry, the Cal State Northridge Materials Engineering program creatively combines instruction and research in engineering materials and processes. The program places its graduates in every facet of industry and the academic community.

The career opportunities for graduates in Materials Engineering are outstanding. Graduates of the Cal State Northridge Materials Engineering program are heavily recruited by small and large firms for positions throughout the United States and, indeed, all over the world.

Employment opportunities are available in a wide range of industrial sectors, such as aerospace, appliances, automotive, computers, communications, construction, electronics, oil and gas, power generation, and government laboratories, to name just a few.

Positions are found for research, development, design of materials and structures, manufacturing, marketing, and many other professional functions. In addition, the average starting salaries for graduate Materials Engineers have consistently been as high as, or higher than, those in other engineering disciplines.

Exceptional faculty, innovative programs, state-of-the-art facilities, and support services, together with extremely competitive costs, make the Cal State Northridge Materials Engineering graduate program one of the best investments in higher education today.

Program Objectives

The objectives of the Materials Engineering program are:

  • to enhance student knowledge of fundamental materials engineering principles
  • to expand student knowledge of nontraditional materials such as composites and semiconductors
  • to increase student knowledge of materials failure mechanisms
  • to develop student expertise in laboratory research methods in materials engineering
  • to enable student intellectual growth in discipline-related areas
  • to meet the needs of the regional industrial community for qualified materials engineering expertise



M.S. Program Curriculum

To meet the technological needs of industry, the Materials Engineering program creatively combines opportunities for intellectual and experiential growth in engineering materials and processes. Access to exceptional state-of-art laboratories enables the development of advanced expertise in materials characterization, with projects addressing nanotechnology, MEMS, sensors, smart materials, microelectronics, optoelectronics, bio-materials and environmentally-assisted cracking of advanced materials.

Special Requirements:

  1. This program is intended primarily for students holding a B.S. degree in a closely related field of science or engineering. Prospective students whose undergraduate degree is not in a closely related field should discuss additional prerequisite courses with the Program Director.
  2. No more than 9 units of advisor-approved 400-level courses may be included in any graduate program of study.

Standard Core (12 units)

MSE 527/L Mech. Behavior of Mtls. (2/1)

MSE 528/L Prin. Mtls. Engr. (2/1)

MSE 624 Failure Analysis (3)

MSE 629 Phase Transformations (3)

Approved Electives (15 units)

Recommended electives, selected with faculty advisor guidance and approval, include MEMS Fabrication (MSE 512), NDE Methods and Analysis (MSE 513), Corrosion (MSE 531), Intro. Adv. Biomaterials (MSE536), Thin Film Technology (MSE 550), Nanomaterials & Nanotechnology (MSE 556), Composite Materials (MSE 623), and Electronic Materials (MSE 630). Other electives may be suitable for meeting individual student program goals.

Culminating Requirements (6 units)

MSE 690 Mtls. Engr. Research Practicum (3)

MSE 697 Directed Comp. Studies (3)



Recent Research

The state-of-the-art Advanced Materials Laboratory provides one of the most complete resources in Southern California for materials science and engineering research. Laboratory capabilities enable the pursuit of advanced materials characterization research, including studies and investigations of structures, chemical properties, physical properties, microstructures and nanostructures. Major highlights include extensive microscopy and characterization facilities, manufacturing processing laboratories, corrosion characterization facilities, and an integrated mechanical testing laboratory. Much of the available equipment represents the most recently available technology on the market for the performance of energy dispersive micro-chemical analysis, atomic force nano-scoping, ultrasonic detector 3-D C-scans, and scanning reference electrode measurements. The laboratory's most recent acquisition supports Auger Surface Analysis X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES). These are sensitive techniques used for determining surface composition, with information usually obtainable for the first -5 nanometers below the surface of interest.

Visiting faculty, sponsors, and graduate and undergraduate students have access to the Advanced Materials Laboratory and its friendly and supportive faculty and staff. NASA, HRL, Easton, DOD, and the Keck Foundation are among the current sponsors of some of the ongoing research projects.

Research Topics in Recent Years

  • Thermal Response of SEL vulnerable ASIC
  • Resonance frequencies of doubly-clamped beam MEMS structure
  • Reliability of fully depleted Silicon on insulator transistors
  • Piezoresistive effect on MEMS under torsional stress
  • Low K dielectric materials for microelectronics applications
  • Annealing characterization of irradiated MEMS RF switches
  • Process and etch induced roughness in Silicon MEMS devices
  • Metal hydride systems for fuel cell applications
  • Fuel cell electrochemistry
  • Surface contamination and morphologies of transparent conductive coatings
  • AFM and micro indentation analysis of hard coating on polymeric substrate
  • Modeling of crevice corrosion of Al-alloys
  • Corrosion of rebar in concrete
  • Hydrogen embitterment of high strength steel
  • Construction weldment failures in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake (welding failures, flawed design, and inadequate materials selection)
  • Effects of atomic oxygen on space-based instruments in low earth orbit
  • SEM fractographic analysis of hydrogen-assisted cracking of ASTM 648 Class II steel wire
  • External concrete reinforcement using composite materials
  • Fatigue and corrosion fatigue behavior of Beta 21S Ti-alloy
  • SCC and corrosion fatigue behavior of stainless steels
  • Corrosion fatigue behavior of high strength structural steels (weldment, HAZ, base plate)
  • High temperature corrosion behavior of Ti-Al intermetallics
  • Corrosion of Los Angeles Convention Center galvanized piping system
  • Corrosion behavior of advanced aluminum alloys used in aircraft
  • High temperature corrosion behavior of Beta 21S Ti-alloy.