Materials Science - Electronic/Photonic

Materials Science - Electronic/Photonic

Program Description

The goal of the Materials Science program is to provide a student who has a background in engineering or physical science with the knowledge of materials science and engineering necessary for work in the fields of structural and non-structural materials for aerospace systems. Such positions may range from those requiring very detailed and advanced level work in a specific discipline to those involving broad responsibilities and requiring interaction among many disciplines. 

This program is normally six quarters in length. Five quarters are devoted to coursework, and one quarter is devoted to thesis research. The program provides core preparation in thermodynamics and kinetics of materials, mechanical, electronic, and optical properties of materials, material characterization, material selection and processing, and mathematics. The materials studies emphasize atomic models of structure composition and properties. Each student is also required to take an in-depth study and perform research either in structural materials (metallic, composite, polymer, ceramics, etc.) or non-structural materials (electronics, optical, magnetic, dielectric, nanoscale, nuclear, etc.). Emphasis is placed on applications of fundamental knowledge to the design, development, test, and evaluation of materials for Air Force and DOD systems. The student will master at least one specialty area in optical materials, electronic materials, dielectric materials, magnetic materials, nanoscale materials, nuclear materials, or computational materials science. 

Admissions Requirements

Degree Required: Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, or any Engineering degree.

Courses Required: Introduction to Materials, Physical Chemistry, and Strength of Materials.

Mathematics Required: Ordinary Differential Equations

Test Required: GRE - 153V/148Q (within the last five years)

GPA Required: Overall - 3.0; Mathematics - 3.0; Major - 3.0

USAF Education Codes: 4FYY, Materials Science and Engineering, General, 4FBY, Electronic and Optical Materials, and 4FAY, Structural Materials.

Waivers to the above criteria may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, individuals whose academic credentials fall below any of the above criteria are encouraged to apply.

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Outcomes & Objectives

Program Educational Objectives (PEOs)

The PEOs of the Materials Science program ensure that graduates are prepared to perform the following tasks successfully:

  • Possess a solid background in the fundamental areas of materials science and engineering (structural and non-structural materials, thermodynamics and kinetics, materials characterization, and materials selection and processing).

  • Possess an in-depth knowledge in at least one specialty area.

  • Possess experience in conducting and documenting an independent investigation, a thesis, or a problem of Air Force interest.


Program Outcomes (POs)

The POs of the Materials Science program describe what students will know or be able to perform upon degree completion:


  • Demonstrate a high level of understanding of mathematics, science, and engineering as it applies to properties and characterization of structural materials, electronic materials, and optical materials.

  • Demonstrate the ability to measure, analyze, and report results of measuring and modeling of materials properties.

  • Demonstrate the ability to develop, describe, and conduct significant research to meet a specific materials science objective.

  • Demonstrate educational accomplishments in materials science by presenting results of a research investigation into a problem of current or future defense interest that they planned and executed.

Program Chair

Maj Nicholas C. Herr

Degree Information

Degree Type: Master's

Delivery Method: In-Residence

Degree Requirements

  • Basic Materials (20 hours)
  • Core Mathematics (4 hours)
  • Specialty Sequence (12 hours)
  • Thesis (12 hours)

Graduate School Catalog
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Air Force Institute of Technology
2950 Hobson Way
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433-7765
Commercial: 937-255-6565 | DSN: 785-6565