Materials Science, Comprehensive Major

Materials Science, Comprehensive Major, B.S.

The following is a sample degree plan, based on the current catalog. It is based on the 120-credit graduation requirement and assumes no transferred credits, no requirements waived by placement tests, no courses taken in the summer or winter, no repeated courses, and no remedial courses that may be required. This sample degree plan is intended for first-year students entering UW-Eau Claire in the fall semester. Your own degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). UW-Eau Claire cannot guarantee all courses will be offered as shown, but will provide a range of courses that may enable prepared students to fulfill their requirements in a timely period. This sample degree plan is just a guide. Please consult your advisor, your degree audit, and the catalog to create your own degree plan. Note: In order to earn the required minimum of 120 credits for the degree in four years, you should plan to take 15 credits each semester or 30 credits each year.

To earn a degree, students must fulfill all University Graduation Requirements, including the Liberal Education (LE) Core.  LE Core course work in the following sample degree plan uses abbreviations such as LE-K1, LE-S2, LE-R3, and LE-I1 to represent the learning outcomes students will meet via completion of their liberal education course work.  Please click here for a description of the Liberal Education Core outcomes and requirements. Note that the LE Core may be completed through both course and non-course experiences.

Students in this major have the option to pursue either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree.  The degrees are distinguished by foreign language competency for the B.A. and a higher level of mathematics competency for the B.S.

CHEM 105General Chemistry I Lecture3
CHEM 106General Chemistry I Laboratory (LE-K1L)2
WRIT 114Intensive Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing (LE-S1)5
Blugold Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing (LE-S1)
MATH 112Precalculus Mathematics (LE-S2)4
LE Option: Knowledge 3 (LE-K3) Humanities3
CHEM 109General Chemistry II with Lab4
MSE 221Living in a Materials World3
MATH 114Calculus I (LE-S2)4
LE Option: Knowledge 2 (LE-K2) Social Sciences3
MATH 215Calculus II4
PHYS 231University Physics I (LE-K1)5
MSE 286Engineering Sophomore Seminar1
MSE 315Materials Characterization (LE-S3)4
LE Option: Skills 1 (LE-S1) Written and Oral Communication3
CHEM 325Organic Chemistry I with Laboratory4
PHYS 232University Physics II (LE-K1)5
LE Option: Responsibility 1 (LE-R1) Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity3
LE Option: Responsibility 2 (LE-R2) Global Perspectives3
MSCI 384Materials Science Junior Seminar1
MSE 350Thermodynamics of Materials4
MSE 357Phase Transformation & Kinetics3
LE Option: Responsibility 1 (LE-R1, DDIV) Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity with Design for Diversity3
LE Option: Responsibility 3 (LE-R3) Civic and Environmental Issues3
MAT. SCI. Emphasis Course c3-4
MSCI or MSE Elective b2-4
LE Option: Integration (LE-I1)3
LE Option: Knowledge 2 (LE-K2) Social Sciences3
General Elective a3
MSE 334Soft Materials4
MSCI 484Materials Science Capstone I1
MAT. SCI. Emphasis course c2-3
LE Option: Knowledge 4 (LE-K4) Fine Arts3
General Electives a3-5
MSCI 485Materials Science Capstone II (LE-I1)2
MSCI or MSE Electives b2-4
LE Option: Knowledge 3 (LE-K3) Humanities3
General Electives a5-7

Minimum total for the baccalaureate degree = 120 credits


General Electives – should be chosen to ensure that 120 credits total and at least 39 credits of upper division courses (300 & 400 level) are included; the major includes at least 27 such credits (counting the Mat. Sci. Elective).  Electives can be selected from any discipline as long as the student meets the course prerequisites; courses outside of science and engineering are especially recommended.  Study Abroad and Domestic Intercultural Immersion also meet some Electives; please consult an advisor.


Mat. Sci Elective – 6 credits are required from courses with MSCI or MSE prefix (beyond those required for the core). Choose from MSE 256, MSE 362, MSE 363, MSE 367, MSE 368, MSE 372, MSE 374, MSE 451, MSE 475, MSE 493, MSE 494 or MSCI 395, MSCI 399, or MSCI 499. Up to 3 credits total from independent study, research, or internship (MSE 493, MSE 494 or MSCI 395, MSCI 399or MSCI 499may be applied towards the requirement.  


Mat Sci Emphasis – For either emphasis, 6 credits total are required.  The emphasis may be met in one of two ways: 

A. Defined emphasis  

B. Distributed emphasis 
The student may pursue an emphasis that reflects a thematic area of concentration and intentional connections. Such an emphasis, with approval of the faculty advisor, must draw from courses appropriate for a major in another area distinct from Materials Science and Engineering or its cognate subjects. 

Note:  All students must complete the 30-hour Service-Learning Requirement via a non-credit or credit option (see Undergraduate Graduation Requirements).

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire encourages all students to participate in High Impact Practices.  The following information identifies any specific recommendations that faculty in this major have concerning which HIPs might be most beneficial to students, and any recommendations about when those HIPs best fit into the degree plan. Students should also consult their faculty advisor for information on HIPs.  There are many additional high impact opportunities available. Talk to your academic advisor for more information about incorporating HIPs like Study Abroad, Intercultural Immersion, Internship, and/or Student/Faculty Collaborative Research into your time at UW-Eau Claire.
Students are especially encouraged to explore immersion experiences including faculty/student collaborative research, off-campus summer research, off-campus internship, Study Abroad, Domestic Intercultural Immersion, or other HIP experience.

Liberal Education (LE) Core Guidance

Liberal Education Core (LE Core) 

The LE Core comprises 17 learning experiences across 11 learning outcomes. Students must complete a minimum of 36 credits in courses approved for the LE Core. 

  • K1 – Natural Sciences; two experiences (one lab science experience is required in K1 or K2). 

  • K2 – Social Sciences; two experiences (one lab science experience is required in K1 or K2). 

  • K3 – Humanities; two experiences. 

  • K4 – Fine Arts; one experience. 

  • S1 – Written and Oral Communication; two experiences (one experience must satisfy the University writing requirement). 

  • S2 – Mathematics; one experience (must satisfy the University math competency requirement). 

  • S3 – Creativity; one experience (can be fulfilled in a student’s major). 

  • R1 – Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity; two experiences (one experience must meet the UW System Design for Diversity (DD) requirement). 

  • R2 – Global Perspectives; one experience. 

  • R3 – Civic and Environmental Issues; one experience. 

  • I1 – Integration; two experiences (one experience can be fulfilled in a student’s major). 

  • SL—Service Learning; 30 hours 

Additional LE Core Information 

  • Most LE Core learning experiences are course based, and many courses meet more than one learning outcome (e.g., K3 and R2 or K1 and R3). 

  • Some learning experiences can also be met outside of a traditional course (e.g., undergraduate research (S3), study abroad (I1)). 

  • S1 – An English placement score that fulfills the University writing requirement fulfills one S1 experience. 

  • S1 – A foreign Language placement score that qualifies the student to enter the 102 level satisfies one S1 experience. 

  • S1, R2 – A foreign language placement score that qualifies the student to enter the 202 level satisfies one experience in S1 and the R2 experience. 

  • S2 – A math placement score that qualifies the student to enter Math 111, 112, 113 or 114 fulfills the S2 experience. 

  • S3 – Completion of two credits from any approved music ensemble fulfills the S3 experience. 

  • I1 – Any semester long study abroad program can fulfill one I1 experience.