Materials Science and Engineering (BS): Nanomaterials Concentration

The Materials Science and Engineering (BS): Nanomaterials Concentration provides a background in materials science and engineering and emphasizes understanding materials at-length scaled sizes of individual atoms and molecules of a material in ultra-thin films, nanowires, and nanoparticles. Properties from materials at these scales can differ from those observed in bulk specimens, while material structure engineering at the nanoscale can influence bulk structural and functional properties. 


Students complete the standard set of engineering first-year courses, which include courses in the humanities, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and computing. Students may apply to join the Department of Materials Science and Engineering as degree-seeking students via the CODA process. Students can declare a nanomaterials concentration during the CODA process or any subsequent semester once they join the MSE department. 


The MSE curriculum trains students to understand the wide range of phenomena that occur in all classes of materials: metals, polymers, composites, ceramics, and electronic materials. 

Fundamental courses provide a foundation in thermodynamics, kinetics, and structure, followed by more applied courses that cover mechanical, thermal, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties of materials.  

Two laboratory courses introduce students to analytical methods used to characterize the structure of materials at all length scales and to measure properties of all classes of materials. Cutting-edge technologies in materials science and engineering such as nanotechnology, biomaterials, computer modeling, and forensics (materials degradation and failure analysis) are covered.  

As a part of the Nanomaterials concentration, students will take MSE 465: Nanomaterials. Four electives are included, which allow students to select from a broad range of courses in materials processing, engineering, chemistry, physics, and other disciplines. The flexibility afforded by these electives allows students to customize their education to prepare them for careers in industry or for graduate school.

The two-semester capstone senior design sequence provides a bridge between concepts learned in the classroom and the practical application of these concepts in an industrial setting. Teams of students work on real-world materials problems supported by local industrial sponsors.

Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program

The Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's (ABM) program gives students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years. Four graduate courses (12 credit hours) can be taken while still an undergraduate student and can be double-counted towards both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Contact Information

3002 Engineering Building 1 (EB1)
911 Partners Way, Raleigh NC 27695-7907

To see more about what you will learn in this program, visit the Learning Outcomes website!

Plan Requirements

MA 141Calculus I4
MA 241Calculus II4
MA 242Calculus III4
MA 341Applied Differential Equations I3
ST 370Probability and Statistics for Engineers3
CH 101
CH 102
Chemistry - A Molecular Science
and General Chemistry Laboratory
CH 201
CH 202
Chemistry - A Quantitative Science
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory
CH 220Introductory Organic Chemistry3
or CH 221 Organic Chemistry I
CH 222Organic Chemistry I Lab1
PY 205
PY 206
Physics for Engineers and Scientists I
and Physics for Engineers and Scientists I Laboratory
PY 208
PY 209
Physics for Engineers and Scientists II
and Physics for Engineers and Scientists II Laboratory
EC 205Fundamentals of Economics3
or EC 201 Principles of Microeconomics
or ARE 201 Introduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics
Ethics Elective 3
Required Courses
MSE 201Structure and Properties of Engineering Materials3
MSE 255Experimental Methods for Structural Analysis of Materials2
MSE 260Mathematical Methods for Materials Engineers3
MSE 270Materials Science and Engineering Seminar1
MSE 300Structure of Materials at the Nanoscale3
MSE 301Introduction to Thermodynamics of Materials3
MSE 320Introduction to Defects in Solids3
MSE 335Experimental Methods for Analysis of Material Properties2
MSE 355Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties of Materials3
MSE 360Kinetic Processes in Materials3
MSE 370Microstructure of Inorganic Materials3
MSE 380Microstructure of Organic Materials3
MSE 420Mechanical Properties of Materials3
MSE 423Introduction to Materials Engineering Design1
MSE 470Materials Science and Engineering Senior Design Project3
MSE 480Materials Forensics and Degradation3
Nanomaterials Concentration Course
MSE 465Introduction to Nanomaterials3
Nanomaterials Elective6
MSE Processing Elective (Choose 1 course)3
Technical Elective (Choose 1 course)3
Orientation Course
E 101Introduction to Engineering & Problem Solving1
E 115Introduction to Computing Environments1
Technical Writing
ENG 331Communication for Engineering and Technology3
or ENG 333 Communication for Science and Research
GEP Courses
ENG 101Academic Writing and Research4
GEP Humanities3-6
GEP Social Sciences3
GEP Health and Exercise Studies2
GEP Additional Breadth (Humanities/Social Sciences/Visual and Performing Arts)3
GEP Interdisciplinary Perspectives2-5
GEP U.S. Diversity (verify requirement)
GEP Global Knowledge (verify requirement)
Foreign Language Proficiency (verify requirement)
Total Hours126

Nanomaterials Electives

CH 435Introduction to Quantum Chemistry3
CH 437Physical Chemistry for Engineers4
CHE 460Chemical Processing of Electronic Materials3
CHE 465Colloidal and Nanoscale Engineering3
CHE 468/568/ECE 468/568Conventional and Emerging Nanomanufacturing Techniques and Their Applications in Nanosystems3
E 304Introduction to Nano Science and Technology3
PY 407Introduction to Modern Physics3

MSE Processing Electives

MSE 440Processing of Metallic Materials3
MSE 445Ceramic Processing3
MSE 455Polymer Technology and Engineering3
MSE 456Composite Materials3
MSE 460Microelectronic Materials3
MSE 540Processing of Metallic Materials3
MSE 545Ceramic Processing3
MSE 556Composite Materials3

Ethics Electives

IDS 201Environmental Ethics3
PHI 214Issues in Business Ethics3
PHI 221Contemporary Moral Issues3
PHI 227Data Ethics3
PHI 325Bio-Medical Ethics3
PHI 375Ethics3
STS 302Contemporary Science, Technology and Human Values3
STS 304Ethical Dimensions of Progress3
STS 325Bio-Medical Ethics3

Engineering Electives

Any MSE processing elective
CE 214Engineering Mechanics-Statics3
CE 225Mechanics of Solids3
CSC 110Computer Science Principles - The Beauty and Joy of Computing3
ECE 331Principles of Electrical Engineering3
ISE 311Engineering Economic Analysis3
MAE 206Engineering Statics3
MAE 208Engineering Dynamics3
MAE 214Solid Mechanics3
MSE 485Biomaterials3
MSE 409/509/NE 409/509Nuclear Materials3
MSE 490Special Topics in Materials Engineering1-4
MSE 495Materials Engineering Projects1-6
NE 202Radiation Sources, Interaction and Detection4
TE 205Analog and Digital Circuits4

Technical Electives 

Any MSE Processing Elective
Any Engineering Elective
BCH 451Principles of Biochemistry4
CH 223Organic Chemistry II3
CH 315Quantitative Analysis3
CH 401Systematic Inorganic Chemistry I3
MA 305Introductory Linear Algebra and Matrices3
MA 351Introduction to Discrete Mathematical Models3
MA 401Applied Differential Equations II3
MA 402Mathematics of Scientific Computing3
MA 405Introduction to Linear Algebra3
MEA 463Fluid Physics3
PY 328Stellar and Galactic Astrophysics3
PY 407Introduction to Modern Physics3
PY 411Mechanics I3
PY 412Mechanics II3
PY 414Electromagnetism I3
PY 415Electromagnetism II3
PY 511Mechanics I3
PY 512Mechanics II3
PY 514Electromagnetism I3
PY 515Electromagnetism II3

Semester Sequence

This is a sample.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
CH 101
CH 102
Chemistry - A Molecular Science
and General Chemistry Laboratory 1
E 101 Introduction to Engineering & Problem Solving 1, 2 1
E 115 Introduction to Computing Environments 1 ,2 1
ENG 101 Academic Writing and Research 1, 2 4
MA 141 Calculus I 1 4
Select one of the following: 3
Fundamentals of Economics
or Principles of Microeconomics
or Introduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics
Spring Semester
CH 201
CH 202
Chemistry - A Quantitative Science
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory
MA 241 Calculus II 1 4
PY 205
PY 206
Physics for Engineers and Scientists I
and Physics for Engineers and Scientists I Laboratory 1
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
GEP Requirement 2
Second Year
Fall Semester
MSE 201 Structure and Properties of Engineering Materials 1 3
ST 370 Probability and Statistics for Engineers 3
MA 242 Calculus III 4
PY 208 Physics for Engineers and Scientists II 3
PY 209 Physics for Engineers and Scientists II Laboratory 1
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
Spring Semester
MSE 255 Experimental Methods for Structural Analysis of Materials 2
MSE 260 Mathematical Methods for Materials Engineers 3
MSE 270 Materials Science and Engineering Seminar 1
CH 220
Introductory Organic Chemistry
or Organic Chemistry I
CH 222 Organic Chemistry I Lab 1
MA 341 Applied Differential Equations I 3
GEP Requirement 3
Third Year
Fall Semester
MSE 300 Structure of Materials at the Nanoscale 3
MSE 301 Introduction to Thermodynamics of Materials 3
MSE 320 Introduction to Defects in Solids 3
MSE 335 Experimental Methods for Analysis of Material Properties 2
Technical Elective 3
GEP Requirement 3
Spring Semester
MSE 355 Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties of Materials 3
MSE 360 Kinetic Processes in Materials 3
MSE 370 Microstructure of Inorganic Materials 3
MSE 380 Microstructure of Organic Materials 3
MSE 465 Introduction to Nanomaterials 3
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
MSE 420 Mechanical Properties of Materials 3
MSE 423 Introduction to Materials Engineering Design 1
ENG 331
Communication for Engineering and Technology
or Communication for Science and Research
MSE Processing Elective 3
Nanomaterials Concentration Elective 3
GEP Requirement 3
Spring Semester
MSE 470 Materials Science and Engineering Senior Design Project 3
MSE 480 Materials Forensics and Degradation 3
Nanomaterials Concentration Elective 3
GEP Requirement 3
Ethics Elective (GEP Requirement) 3
 Total Hours126

What can I do with a Nanomaterials Concentration?

Graduates of the Nanomaterials Concentration will be well prepared for a career working with materials that support nanotechnology industries including electronics, structural materials, and pharmaceuticals. 

Career Opportunities

An MSE degree is interdisciplinary and, upon graduation, will qualify you for a variety of jobs with an average starting salary of $60-70k per year.

Example Job Titles

Materials Engineer, Product Engineer, Metallurgist Engineer, Quality Control Engineer, Failure Analysis Engineer, Renewable Energy Materials Engineer, Biomaterial Engineer, Polymer Materials Engineer, Project Manager

Example Job Description

  • Identify and produce a diverse range of materials for applications of interest
  • Develop and improve methods for the analysis of complex materials
  • Assist in the selection of materials for product application, the calculation of design parameters, the performance of material properties testing
  • Apply scientific methods to resolve technical challenges related to materials and their use in products and processes