MSE 500 Modern Concepts in Materials Science

MSE 500 covers the fundamental principles that govern the physical properties of materials. This course is designed to prepare students without an undergraduate materials degree for further graduate level materials courses. MSE 500 will cover selected topics from senior-level courses in the undergraduate materials science and engineering curriculum. An emphasis will be placed on developing and applying an understanding of basic materials science concepts: atomic bonding; crystallography; defects and diffusion; thermodynamics, phase diagrams and phase transformations; deformation and failure mechanisms in crystalline and noncrystalline solids. This class covers ceramics, metals, polymers, electronic materials and composites. 3 credit hours.


• Prerequisite

BS degree in engineering or related field with undergraduate background in chemistry, physics, math, thermodynamics and mechanics of solids.

• Course Objectives

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  • Discuss, understand, and compare the structure of crystalline and amorphous solids
  • Identify the structure and chemistry of point, line, and planar defects in solids
  • Read and interpret a unary and binary phase diagram
  • Understand the crystalline lattice and the nomenclature used to describe it
  • Articulate the physical properties associated with ceramic, semiconducting, metallic, and amorphous solids
  • Understand the roles of thermodynamics and kinetics in regulating phase transitions

• Course Requirements

Homework Assignments: Optional problems from the textbook
Exams: 2 semester exams plus a comprehensive final exam

• Textbook

Understanding Solids, Richard Tilley, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN: 0-470-85276-3

• Computer and Internet Requirements

NCSU and Engineering Online have recommended minimum specifications for computers. For details, click here.

• Instructor

Dr. Jon-Paul Maria, Professor
Material Science Engineering
Research Building I 322, Box 7907
NCSU Campus
Raleigh, NC 27695

Phone: 919-513-2843
Fax: 919-515-3419
Web Site: