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Material Science grad school from Phys undergrad

TalRalCTalRalC Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
edited March 2011 in Graduate School
So I'm a sophomore who wants to go to MatSci grad school (Well, actually just apply to the field with my research interests..which happens to be MatSci in all cases) but I'm a Physics undegrad. I have been doing materials research. I was wondering if I should also be taking MatSci classes, (which will make things heavier for me in terms of courseload and possibly prevent as much research over the school year) or just taking Phys classes and doing more research. Anyone else in the same position who is in MatSci grad school from undegrad in engineering phys or phys or similar, experiences would be welcome.
Post edited by TalRalC on

Replies to: Material Science grad school from Phys undergrad

  • Ouroboros313Ouroboros313 Registered User Posts: 253 Junior Member
    I was at MIT and a good number of the other admitted students had a background in Physics. Several of the professors come from physics background as well, so it's not a big problem. MatSci is a very interdisciplinary field so you don't need a solid background in it. I'd say continue with what you've been doing since research experience is worth far more than a few undergraduate courses. At MIT, at least, every new graduate student has to take the same four intro to MatSci courses anyway, so don't worry about having to learn the fundamentals now.
  • NoneNone Registered User Posts: 425 Member
    Research over coursework.

    Matsci departments encourage students from different disciplines as those students provide a different perspectives. The high graduate coursework (often 10+ semester courses compared to 4-6 for many other science and eingeering degrees) requirements reflect this: these courses cover every aspect of Matsci and assume very little prior knowledge of Matsci. What they do look for is research aptitude and potential, and undergraduate research in materials reflect this. They also want to see that you have done well in your classes. However, try to take Matsci- related courses in physics, such as thermo/statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and solid-state physics, as well as related courses if you have free electives. Just make sure your courses don't interfere with your materials research.

    I have only taken an intro matsci for nonmajors and a solid state physics course as an undergrad: no kinetics, characterization, processing, mechanical properties, or thermo of any flavor. I've been accepted into many of the top Matsci grad schools.
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