M.S. in Materials Science & Engineering

Materials science and engineering is concerned with synthesis, processing, structure, and properties of metals, ceramics, polymers, and other materials, with emphasis on understanding and exploiting relationships among structure, properties, and applications requirements. Our graduate research programs encompass projects in areas as diverse as polycrystalline silicon, electronic ceramics grain boundaries and interfaces, microstructure and stresses in microelectronics thin films, oxide thin films for novel sensors and fuel cells, optical diagnostics of thin-film processing, ceramic nanocomposites, electrodeposition and corrosion processes, structure, properties, and transmission electron microscopy and crystal orientation mapping, magnetic thin films for giant and colossal magnetoresistance, chemical synthesis of nanoscale materials, nanocrystals, carbon nanotubes, nanostructure analysis using X-ray and neutron diffraction techniques, and electronic structure calculation of materials using density functional and dynamical mean-field theories. Application targets for polycrystalline silicon are thin film transistors for active matrix displays and silicon-on-insulator structures for ULSI devices. Novel applications are being developed for oxide thin films, including uncooled IR focal plane arrays and integrated fuel cells for portable equipment. Long-range applications of high-temperature superconductors include efficient power transmission and highly sensitive magnetic field sensors.

Thin film synthesis and processing in this program include evaporation, sputtering, electrodeposition, and plasma and laser processing. For analyzing materials structures and properties, faculty and students employ electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, cathodoluminescence and electron beam–induced current imaging, photoluminescence, dielectric and anelastic relaxation techniques, ultrasonic methods, magnetotransport measurements, and X-ray diffraction techniques. Faculty members have research collaborations with Lucent, Exxon, IBM, and other New York area research and manufacturing centers, as well as major international research centers. Scientists and engineers from these institutions also serve as adjunct faculty members at Columbia. The National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory is used for high-resolution X-ray diffraction and absorption measurements.

Entering students typically have undergraduate degrees in materials science, metallurgy, physics, chemistry, or other science and engineering disciplines. First-year graduate courses provide a common base of knowledge and technical skills for more advanced courses and for research. In addition to course work, students usually begin an association with a research group, individual laboratory work, and participation in graduate seminars during their first year.

M.S. Program

M.S. students must complete the Professional Development and Leadership Course, ENGI E4000, as a graduation requirement.

Candidates for the Master of Science degree in Materials Science and Engineering will follow a program of study formulated in consultation with and approved by a faculty adviser. Thirty points of credit are required at a minimum. Students interested in a specific focus should consult their faculty advisor for relevant course listings.

The following six courses (18 points) are required for the degree:

18 points:

MSAE E4100: Crystallography

MSAE E4200: Theory of crystalline materials: phonons

MSAE E4201: Materials thermodynamics and phase diagram

MSAE E4202: Kinetics of transformations in materials

MSAE E4206: Electronic & magnetic properties of solids (3 pts)

MSAE E4215: Mechanical behavior of structural materials (3 pts)


If a candidate has already taken one or more of these courses at Columbia University, substitutions from the Type I and Type II Elective list must be approved by consulation with their faculty adviser and approval of the program committee.

The remaining 12 points will be chosen from elective courses, 6 points of which must be Type I and 6 points of which may be Type I or Type II:

Type I Electives:

MSAE E4090: Nanotechnology

MSAE E4101: Structural analysis of materials

MSAE E4102: Synthesis and processing of materials

MSAE E4132: Fundamentals of polymers and ceramics

MSAE E4203: Theory of crystalline materials: electrons

MSAE E4250: Ceramics and composites

MSAE E4260: Electrochemical materials and devices: from structure to performance

MSAE E4301: Materials science laboratory

MSAE E4990: Special topics in materials science and engineering

MSAE E6085: Computing the electronics structure of complex materials

MSAE E6091: Magnetism and magnetic materials

MSAE E6100: Transmission electron microscopy

MSAE E6225: Techniques in X-ray and neutron diffraction

MSAE E6229: Energy and particle beam processing of materials

MSAE E6230: Kinetics of phase transformations

MSAE E6251: Thin films and layers

MSAE E6273: Materials science reports

MSAE E8235: Selected topics in materials science

MSAE E4000-, 6000- or 8000-level courses not listed here

Type II Electives:

APCH E4080: Soft condensed matter

APMA E4001: Principles of applied mathematics

APMA E4101: Intro to dynamical systems

APMA E4150: Applied functional analysis

APMA E4200: Partial differential equations

APMA E4300: Intro to numerial methods

APMA E4302: Methods in computational science

APMA E4400: Intro to biophysical modeling

APPH E4100: Quantum physics of matter

APPH E4110: Modern optics

APPH E4130: Physics of solar energy

APPH E6081: Solid state physics, I

APPH E6082: Solid state physics, II

BMEN E4300: Solid biomechanics

BMEN E4301: Structure, mechanics, and adaptation of bone

BMEN E4340: Biomechanics of cells

BMEN E4501: Tissue engineering, I

CHEE E4252: Introduction to surface and colloid chemistry

CHEE E4530: Corrosion of metals

CHEM GU4168: Materials chemistry

CHEN E4620: Intro to polymers and soft materials

CHEN E4640: Polymer surfaces and interfaces

EACH E4560: Particle technology

EAEE E4001: Industrial ecology of earth resources

EAEE E4003: Introduction to aquatic chemistry

EAEE E4160: Solid & hazardous waste management

EAEE E4550: Catalysis for emissions control

EAEE E6150: Industrial catalysis

EAEE E6240: Physical hydrology

ELEN E4301: Introduction to semiconductor devices

ELEN E4411: Fundamentals of photonics

ELEN E4944: Principles of device microfabrication

ENME E4113: Advanced mechanics of solids

ENME E4114: Mechanics of fracture & fatigue

ENME E4608: Manufacturing processes

MECE E4211: Energy sources and conversion

MECE E4610: Advanced manufacturing processes

Columbia Video Network (CVN) students may have their programs approved by faculty. Special reports (3 points) are required of CVN students.

All degree requirements must be completed within five years. A candidate is required to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. Applicants for admission are required to take the Graduate Record Examinations.

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