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Materials science?

  1. Oct 8, 2008 #1
    I'm currently in my second year of undergrad doing a degree in Materials Science and Engineering. From career fairs and other students, I found out that not that many companies are recruiting for my major. I'm specializing in electronic materials so I'm taking electrical engineering courses in additional to materials science.

    Right now, I think I'm interested in semiconductor manufacturing and properties of electronic materials. Is it better that I just major in electrical engineering instead or just stay in materials science? I could also get a master's in EE if I do materials science right now, I think. I'm mainly considering EE because of opportunities. Thank you in advance for your input and advice!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2008 #2


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    My undergraduate training was in mechanical engineering, but I'm now in graduate school studying MSE. After a few years in industry, I became convinced that many technical problems can be traced back to material properties and behavior, and also that materials scientists are well positioned for R&D due to their exposure to many materials and processes along with their deeper understanding of the origin of material properties.

    It's true that one sees fewer job advertisements for MSE grads than EE grads. But consider how things are changing in the field of semiconductor manufacturing. Device dimensions have shrunk so far, and made lithography so difficult, that manufacturers are looking at materials substitution to meet roadmap requirements. A great example is the replacement of the CMOS gate oxide with a higher-dielectric-constant material to avoid breakdown. Materials substitution can be very challenging but sometimes necessary (think about the replacement of lead-based solders with alternative alloys). I think that device manufacturers need MSE grads now and will continue to need them in the future, and your skills will stand out.
  4. Sep 11, 2009 #3
    I'm wondering the same thing as the OP
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