College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences2021-2022

Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science

Materials Science, Master of Science

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

This graduate program is the first of its kind in Arizona. There is no other Materials Science programs in Arizona  based a scientific foundation, yet funding agencies and institutions are recognizing their intrinsic connections, (e.g. the recent Q-AMASE-i call by NSF that directly targets development of highly transdisciplinary quantum foundries). Within the country the vast majority of Materials Science programs exist as extensions of engineering departments and largely those programs have historically focused on traditional engineering areas of materials science. The proposed MS program in Materials Science will be a foundational program within the new College of Engineering, Informatics and Applied Sciences (CEIAS) and the Department of Applie Physics and Materials Science.

Materials science is inherently a transdisciplinary field and one in which the core fundamentals shift depending on the desired emphasis. Materials science is often considered to be a subdiscipline of engineering and thus programs in this area often closely resemble traditional Engineering discipline programs. In the proposed program, however, the area of emphasis is focused on the use of the physical sciences (chemistry, physics) to describe, understand and synthesize quantum and multi-scaled materials. This area of focus encompasses electronic, photonic, magnetic and mechanical hard and soft materials and involves synthesis and characterization of quantum materials as well as their integration into multi-scaled and adaptive assemblies. Students with B.S. degrees in Physics, Chemistry, Engineering and the Biological Sciences will create this transdisciplinary cohort.

The MS program is designed to create transdisciplinary opportunities while enabling disciplinary rigor. Both are achieved through program designs intended to create graduates with breadth of knowledge and diverse scientific appreciation while simultaneously creating rigorous educational and research training paths. Breadth of knowledge will be achieved through core courses designed to 1) create a common language; and 2) encourage engagement outside of areas of expertise. This is achieved through core course(s) that are team-taught and provide exposure to multiple areas of materials science. The goal is to create a common language and appreciation that encourages students to move beyond their comfort zone. Scientific rigor will be achieved by allowing students to select from a list of acceptable electives combined with their thesis research. Each student’s curriculum will be tailored and created in conjunction with the graduate advisor and APMS faculty advisors. The goal is to create scientists capable of not only contributing to emerging cross-sector opportunities, but actually driving transdisciplinary research. Being trained to work collaboratively with researchers from a multitude of fields, these transdisciplinary scientists will be uniquely positioned to excel as participants in cross-sector research projects and teams. The transdisciplinary nature of this program with the ‘individualized’ curriculum will enable student and faculty participation from CEIAS and CEFNS academic units.

Student Learning Outcomes
  1. Evaluate the major theories, research methods and approaches to inquiry in Materials Science, articulate significant challenges involved in practicing the field of study, elucidate its leading edges, and explore the current limits of theory, knowledge and practice.    
  2. Create, design and execute experiments (theoretical or experimental) and develop necessary analytical skills for interpretation and analysis of data to create data-supported conclusions.
  3. Evaluate and formulate new ideas and recognize unsolved opportunities in their field to demonstrate independent and critical thinking.
    • Recognize the best paths toward publication and 
    • Design experiments (theoretical or experimental) around those ideas for pursuit of meaningful publication.
  4. Compose and engage in highly-effective oral and written communication in Materials Science; demonstrate clear argumentation and logical cohesion for all avenues of scholarly and lay-person dissemination of results.

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