Materials Science and Engineering

Institute for Materials Research

TOC C. J. Zhong, et al, ACS Nano, 2011, 5, 6516


The Institute for Materials Research (IMR) is an Organized Research Center at Binghamton University that offers expertise and facilities in the field of materials science to faculty on campus and beyond.

What is materials science?

Programs at Binghamton University

Graduate Programs in Materials Science and Engineering

BS in Chemistry or Physics and MS in Materials Science

Faculty Solving the Nation's Energy Challenges

Education at Binghamton

Search University Bulletin for official information, search "Materials Science and Engineering - Graduate" under Graduate Fields of Study by Department.

Binghamton University offers both undergraduate and graduate students the unique opportunity of obtaining training in the materials area without giving up their major discipline. They may thus build on a strong science- or engineering-based education by taking materials courses in several departments in both the School of Arts and Sciences and the Watson School of Engineering, Applied Science, and Technology.

Degrees in the materials area may be obtained in the Chemistry Department (BS., M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry with emphasis/specialization in materials science) and in the Watson School (M.S. in Applied Science with specialization in engineering materials). For both M.S. degree programs, core courses in the areas of solid state/structure, thermodynamics/kinetics, characterization and materials are recommended. The programs differ only in their approach, one being more scientifically oriented and the other more engineering oriented. Program requirements are described below:

B.S. in Chemistry with Emphasis in Materials Chemistry

Meets the anticipated course requirements of the American Chemical Society-certified degree in chemistry with specialization in materials.

To obtain a BS. degree with emphasis in materials requires meeting all the normal core requirements of the Chemistry Department plus taking CHEM 444 (Chemistry of Solids, two other materials courses, and a materials laboratory or the completion of a research project in a materials area. These courses may also be used to meet the normal requirements of the BS. degree in chemistry.

B.S./M.S. in Chemistry with Emphasis in Materials

Undergraduate chemistry majors can complete the requirements for both the BS. and M.S. degrees within five years by careful planning of the course requirements and by initiating their research project in their junior or senior year. Interested students are strongly recommended to contact the Materials Research Center by the end of their junior year to plan their curriculum.

M.S. in Chemistry with Materials Specialization

On entrance to the graduate program, students are expected to demonstrate by placement examination a knowledge level comparable to a BS. degree in chemistry.

The requirements for the M.S. degree are:

  1.  Completion of an acceptable research project and a thesis (CHEM 599).
  2. Participation for two semesters in the graduate seminar (CHEM 592), of which one semester is normally based on the student's own thesis research accomplishments.
  3. Completion of four graduate-level materials courses [These should be chosen so as to provide training in (1) structure and properties of solids (CHEM 544); (2) kinetics and thermodynamics; (3) modern instrumental techniques; and (4) one area of materials, such as polymers, ceramics or electronic solids.], at least two of which are in chemistry
  4. Passing of an oral examination on the subject of the research and thesis.
  5. Completion of at least 30 graduate credit hours obtained under the above requirements.

The examining committee for each candidate will consist of three to five members appointed from the faculty or from local industry, and will include at least one member from outside the Chemistry Department.

Ph.D. in Chemistry with Materials Specialization

A student is normally expected to take six to eight courses, at least two of which should be outside the Chemistry Department - these may be chosen from an approved list of courses in the Biology, Computer Science, Geology, Physics, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering and Electrical Engineering Departments.

The courses recommended include those for the M.S. degree. All students are strongly recommended to take both CHEM 544 and PHYS 572 and to complete all course work in the first two years.

All students attend and participate in seminars given by fellow students, faculty and visiting scientists. Students each present two seminar reports in the course of their study.

Proficiency in the specialized area is normally established by cumulative written examinations followed by an oral examination on the specialty; these are under the guidance of an interdisciplinary examination committee. Students are normally expected to have completed these examinations by the end of their second year; many complete them earlier.

The Ph.D. is earned primarily on the basis of original research work, and students ordinarily begin their research as early as possible in their graduate career (a minimum of 24 credit hours of CHEM 699, Dissertation Research, are required). This research work is to be described in a written dissertation, which the candidate must defend orally before the examination committee.

M.S. in Applied Science with Specialization in Engineering Materials

Candidates for this engineering-based interdisciplinary materials degree must complete a minimum of 32 semester hours with a grade average of B or better. A thesis based on a research project is optional. Of the 32 units, 20 must be in approved materials courses, 16 must be from the Watson School of Engineering and no more than 18 may be from any one department.

Required courses:

  • Applied Solid State Theory
  • Thermodynamics of Materials
  • Materials Characterization
  • Experimental Design and Modeling
  • Graduate Seminar
  • Specialized Materials (3 courses)
  • Materials Engineering Thesis or Project (includes lab work)

Materials Courses Offered

Last Updated: 2/14/17