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If you can't major in Materials Science, what's the next best major?

  1. Nov 5, 2008 #1
    Seeing that a Materials Science undergrad degree isn't offered many places, what's the next best major? The substitutions, to me, vary drastically. I've seen Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Physics as substitutes. I think Magnets and Condensed Matter are neato, if that helps. Thanks all.
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  3. Nov 5, 2008 #2
    have you considered transfering to a school that does have a material science degree?
  4. Nov 5, 2008 #3
    Well, I'm pretty tied down where I'm at right now. So, unfortunately, not really.
  5. Nov 5, 2008 #4


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    Condensed matter is more of a physics topic rather than chemical or mechanical engineering
  6. Nov 5, 2008 #5
    I would say it really depens on what you wish to do after you graduate. If say you wanted to work in a particular area or go on to graduate school you would probably weigh your options differently. So, what is it exactly you wish to accomplish with your degree?
  7. Nov 8, 2008 #6
    Agreed. If you're planning on eventually entering a mat sci grad program, then I'd say physics or chemistry would be excellent preparation. That way you would already have basic thermodynamics under your belt as well as pertinent analytical skills.

    Just looking for a close second to mat sci? Well it depends on what you like. Electronic/optical properties of materials: electrical engineering. Solid mechanics, mechanics of materials: mechanical engineering. Materials synthesis: chemical engineering.
  8. Nov 8, 2008 #7


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    I don't know about your specific interest area. When I was an undergrad, our university had a materials science grad program, but not undergrad. The undergrads interested in the field were generally chemistry or chemical engineering majors. However, the strength of our materials science program was ceramics, so I think it's more clear that chemistry would relate to that well.
  9. Nov 9, 2008 #8


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    As another data point: I'm in a materials science PhD program now, but my background was mechanical engineering. The only class I've had a problem with -- and it was a BIG problem -- was thermodynamics. The thermodynamics material I struggled with had much more of a physics or chemistry flavor (to echo cmos' point) than engineering, and I wished I had been better prepared.
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