Pieces of gears

It’s a Material World.

Are you interested in studying at the intersection of physics and chemistry? Are you interested in innovation (or science) that solves practical problems? Do you want a career doing cutting-edge science that solves real-world problems?

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Pathway Information

The Materials Science Pathway provides an avenue for students interested in discovering and understanding new materials for their use in novel technologies and engineering, fabrication and manufacturing.

As Interdisciplinary Studies majors, students in this pathway will study at the intersection of physics and chemistry, establishing a strong foundation for careers in industries such as aerospace, automobiles, biotechnology, semiconductors, solar energy and utilities, as well as government labs.

Undergraduate research projects may focus on topics ranging from fabrication and characterization of nanoparticles to discovery of new two-dimensional materials with applications in clean energy production, such as solar energy, and triboelectricity for powering the Internet of Things (IoT).


All IDS majors complete an XIDS course sequence through which they learn interdisciplinary concepts and method, culminating with a capstone project that reflects their intellectual and career interests:


Physics foundation

  • PHYS 1111 + 1111L - Introductory Physics I + Lab
  • PHYS 1112 + 1112L - Introductory Physics II + Lab

Chemistry foundation

  • CHEM 1211 +1211L - Principles of Chemistry I + Lab
  • CHEM 1212 + 121L - Principles of Chemistry II + Lab
  • CHEM 2411 + 2411L - Organic Chemistry I + Lab or CHEM 2455 + 2455L - Principles of Organic Chemistry + Lab



Three courses in Physics

  • PHYS 4985 - Applied Mechanics
  • PHYS 4985 - Modern Physics for Engineers
  • PHYS 4985 - Fundamentals of Materials

Three courses in Chemistry

  • Two of the following:

    • CHEM 3201 - Survey of Materials Chemistry
    • CHEM 3201 - Polymer Chemistry
    • CHEM 3201 - Green Chemistry
  • CHEM 4985 - Experimental Techniques in Materials Chemistry