Since the beginning of civilization, technological progress has always relied on the materials that people were able to acquire from nature or through trade or by innovation. Wood, stone, metals (e.g. bronze, iron, aluminum), cements, plastics, semiconductors, liquid crystals, nanomaterials and quantum dots all have unique properties that enable — but also limit — what humans can make and do.
The construction of safe dwellings, the conveniences of rapid travel, the efficiency of telecommunications, the calculating and archiving power of computers, the life-prolonging gift of surgical implants and the dazzling performances of athletes all require dependable materials.
Future technological progress of any kind will always be driven by the available materials. Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) students learn about the structure of materials, how materials are made, the properties that the materials have, and how to identify the properties needed for a new application.
The Materials Science and Engineering program at UC Merced is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.