The Value of a Undergrad MSE degree

<p>I am thinking way into my future, and because of the costs of college I want to know how valuble, in terms of job offers and wages, an undergraduate Materials Science and Engineering degree is.</p>

<p>I ask this because I need to think about whether I should save money for graduate school or use it to pay for my undergrad.</p>

<p>I would not even begin to worry about grad school until you are done with undergrad, or atleast close to being done, there are way too many unknowns. I cant comment on Materials science as I know nothing about that major. But if I were you I would use my money to get through undergrad and hold off on the grad school thoughts until I was 100% sure I was in the right major.</p>

<p>bump
other opinions?</p>

<p>I also do not have any friend in material science (well a friend of mine did mechanical, but his focuses is in material science, but this is very different because he graduates with mechanical engineering). </p>

<p>To help you, I would get quotes from the US BLS website
[url=<a href="http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm#nature%5DEngineers%5B/url"&gt;http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm#nature]Engineers[/url&lt;/a&gt;]&lt;/p>

<p>"Materials engineers are involved in the development, processing, and testing of the materials used to create a range of products, from computer chips and aircraft wings to golf clubs and snow skis. They work with metals, ceramics, plastics, semiconductors, and composites to create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements. They also are involved in selecting materials for new applications. Materials engineers have developed the ability to create and then study materials at an atomic level, using advanced processes to replicate the characteristics of those materials and their components with computers. Most materials engineers specialize in a particular material. For example, metallurgical engineers specialize in metals such as steel, and ceramic engineers develop ceramic materials and the processes for making them into useful products such as glassware or fiber-optic communication lines. "</p>

<p>It's about a crosswork between a chemical engineer and a mechanical engineers, but material engineers are really the specialists into the material natures. Although mechanical engineers learn material science as part of its undergraduate, and chemical engineers can develop and make a chemical reaction that brings a new material.</p>

<p>And I have to agree with the government's outlook on material engineers. As for civil engineers, the need to improve the nation's infrastructure will increase the demand of civil engineers. Therefore, studies and development of new steel, new concrete, and new materials are on the battle lines. New materials are also needed for electronic developments. A good example would be fiber optic. Another one would be your Macbook. Heat is actually the toughest thing to deal with.</p>

<p>The average salary for a material engineer is 82k (from 51k to 120k). It is pretty high, actually.</p>

<p>Now to really answer your concern: undergraduate will not get you a job as a material engineer. This is a special job. You are more likely to be call a "specialist". So your best bet is to finish your graduate study, at least with a master degree, and good research experience.</p>

<p>What makes you a good engineer? 5 things:
1. do well in school
2. be passionate
3. have good research experience
4. have good internship experience
5. confidence</p>

<p>If you go straight through and earn your graduate degree you will most likely have it all paid for you, so I wouldn't worry about saving for it.</p>

<p>PurdueEE, what do you mean by "you will most likely have it all paid for you" if I go earn my graduate degree?</p>

<p>jwxie, thanks for the info on materials engineering. Would you agree that job opportunities are increasing in this field because of this?</p>

<p>You don't actually pay for a MS. If you have to pay, it's not worth it. You should have 100% of your tuition paid for plus some kind of stipend. In return you will do research, TA some classes, etc.</p>

<p>Okay, so I should pay for my undergraduate MSE degree and then I can get a MS (is that a Master's degree) for free? What graduate programs do this? Sorry I'm a little confused, don't really know how this works.</p>

<p>Almost all schools do it. If they don't give you such an offer look elsewhere or get a job and have your employer pay for night classes. Under no circumstances should you, personally, pay for graduate school.</p>

<p>Ok thanks, but what is this type of graduate program called? I'd like to google it and find some more information.</p>

<p>Yes definitely.</p>

<p>There's no special program. It's just how graduate school is for engineering majors. If you want to research something you can compare thesis vs. non-thesis options for graduate degrees. Thesis options are generally the ones that are fully funded.</p>

<p>Ok, once again I'm confused about something. Do you have to get an undergraduate degree in MSE to go to grad school for a Masters in MSE?</p>

<p>Also, do any of these schools have free MSE engineering grad programs like those you mentioned PurdueEE?
MIT
Stanford
University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Cornell</p>

<p>You do not have to get an undergraduate degree in the field you wish to earn a graduate degree. However, it can be helpful as remedial classes that don't actually count towards your degree may be necessary. </p>

<p>You should be able to attend all of those for free.</p>

<p>No you don't.
Here is my insight for you.
I am planning to do double major in computer engineering and physics. My potential research is quantum computing, so know both hardware, and some computer science will really help. Also, physics is the biggest part in quantum computing. It makes sense. Physics is THE science of nature. We both agree.</p>

<p>The problem came to physics. I was originally looking at applied physics, but the advisor told me that if I really want to do master in physic, and even a Ph.D, it would be a lot easier and more convenient to get standard physics (regular physics study) as an undergraduate. There are a few courses omitted from the applied physics, that's all.</p>

<p>The same insight here with your master in material science/engineering. You would be better off, and enjoy your master study if you have done it in undergraduate study. Isn't it? Just like you have been taking english all your life, and all the sudden you want to write all your english words in mathematics form. Great. Not difficult, and it is possible that you can do it. </p>

<p>Most engineering require math up up to differential equation and vector calculus. So math isn't a problem. Science can be a problem. If your undergraduate took MSE, and then as master you did Electrical, not a problem at all, only that you don't know anything about EE just yet.</p>

<p>An example would be this"
Professor Jie Chen received his B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from Northwestern Polytechnic University, Xian, China in 1982, the M.S.E. degree in Electrical Engineering</p>

<p>Quite different, hmmm?</p>

<p>Ok, that sounds good, thanks for all the input! Would I graduate in less time for grad school then, if I did MSE for both undergrad and grad?</p>

<p>Also, since ChemE and MechE are related to MSE, would doing one of these for undergrad study be similar in terms of some shared courses/topics/requirements?</p>

<p>It's possible, but unlikely. You will most likely graduate in the same time either way. The only way I could see it slowing you down is if you have to take one semester worth of remedial classes for some reason. And if that's the case, don't worry about it. Enjoy that extra semester. The "real world" will still be waiting.</p>

<p>Everything is related to MSE. Everything. EE, CompE, ChemE, ME, AE... all of it.</p>

<p>So does that mean I should try to diversify, and do something besides MSE since I will be doing that in graduate school anyway? Also, thanks alot for your help.</p>

<p>MSE is more a specialist type of engineering. So heavy chemistry, physics and math are there. </p>

<p>I just compared the MechE from my school with the MSE undergraduate program @ Columbia
<a href="http://www1.ccny.cuny.edu/prospective/gsoe/OUA/upload/MEO-Fall09-Spring10-122209.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www1.ccny.cuny.edu/prospective/gsoe/OUA/upload/MEO-Fall09-Spring10-122209.pdf&lt;/a>
Materials</a> Science and Engineering Undergraduate Program</p>

<p>There are a few classes in ME very similar to MSE. And definitely in ChemE. </p>

<p>If you look at the Master MSE @ Columbia
Materials</a> Science And Engineering Courses
There are prerequisites for each course listed there. For example, MSAE E4090x Nanotechnology it asks for quantum mechanics. Not all undergraduate engineering programs require quantum mechanics. I know that EE does (in my school).</p>

<p>So there you go. There are undergraduate programs that you might have to complete before you can actually get into one of your master classes.
But you can still apply and get accepted to the program. </p>

<p>I think people in MSE find laboratory their home:)</p>

<p>right, so would it be better to do a ChemE undergrad then a MSE grad
or just MSE for undergrad and grad?</p>