Drexel BlueLine -- virtually all electronic resources in one location!
Drexel University      College of Engineering      Drexel.edu Site Map      Search Drexel.edu      Go
Skip Navigation Links
Prospective Students
Current Students
Get Involved
Contact Us
This website is no longer being maintained. For the latest news, events, and information, please visit http://www.materials.drexel.edu/.

MatE-495: Special Topics Course in Freshman Materials Research

Course Overview

Early undergraduate experience in research is becoming increasingly important for all engineering students, providing a foundation for future careers in either academia or industry. Research experience enables students to gain hands-on expertise in basic and advanced research techniques prior to their first Co-op, to become involved in leading-edge research, and to develop a portfolio of skills extending beyond the classroom. All of these contribute to a Resumé that distinguishes students with such experience from their peers.

This special topics sequence comprising 2 courses, offered in the Winter and Spring terms, which, together with the MatE-100 2-day course offered in the Fall term, represents a total of 6 credits of materials science and engineering related technical electives in the Freshman Year.

Key components of this course sequence include:

  • Freshman-year participation in current materials-related research programs.
  • Hands-on experience working as a member of an established MSE Dept. research group.
  • Improved preparation of students for their first Co-op.
  • Opportunities to publish and present a technical paper in a Journal or at a Conference.

Learning Objectives

  • Fundamentals of rigorous, safe and professional research laboratory practice.
  • The importance of maintaining good research records.
  • Laboratory safety.
  • The research process – formulation of hypotheses, design of experiments, analysis and reporting of results, presentation of experimental research data and teamwork.

Course Requirements

  • Minimum of 5 hours/week working on defined/agreed research project in the lab.
  • Participation in regular lab. research group meetings, meeting with Faculty Advisor.
  • Maintenance of a laboratory notebook.
  • Writing and submission of a term paper summarizing each term’s research activities. Papers will be graded (letter grade) by the Faculty Advisor.
  • Presentation of a poster summarizing the students’ research experiences and accomplishments at the end of the course sequence.
  • Submission of an abstract, approved by the Faculty Advisor, for a materials-related conference, and if accepted, writing and presentation of the resulting technical paper.


  • Students should select and submit their top 3 choices of MSE faculty they would like to work with. Follow for details of faculty interest areas and contact information.
  • An MSE faculty member must formally agree to serve as the student’s advisor.
  • Preference will be given to Freshmen declaring Materials Engineering as their major, Freshmen taking a minor in Materials Engineering, and dual majors with Materials Engineering as one of their designated programs.
  • There is no GPA requirement, however, enrollment will require permission from the MSE Department.

Notes: The MSE Dept. will cover the cost of travel, hotel and registration (up to a total of $1,000) for students whose abstracts/papers are accepted for presentation at a materials-related conference.

Support Materials Education @ Drexel

Last updated Friday, June 6, 2008