Mr. Albert Kwansa

Mr. Albert Kwansa

Materials Science and Engineering

Coordinating lectures recorded by Dr. Kaveh Ahadi

MSE 500 Modern Concepts in Materials Science

3 Credit Hours

MSE 500 covers the fundamental principles that govern the physical properties of materials. This course is designed to prepare students without an undergraduate materials degree for further graduate level materials courses. MSE 500 will cover selected topics from senior-level courses in the undergraduate materials science and engineering curriculum. An emphasis will be placed on developing and applying an understanding of basic materials science concepts: atomic bonding; crystallography; defects and diffusion; thermodynamics, phase diagrams and phase transformations; deformation and failure mechanisms in crystalline and non-crystalline solids. The types of materials covered in this course primarily include ceramics, metals, and polymers.


BS degree in engineering or science field with courses in chemistry, math, physics, thermodynamics and mechanics of solids.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  • Discuss, understand, and compare the structure of crystalline and amorphous solids
  • Identify the structure and chemistry of point, line, and planar defects in solids
  • Read and interpret a unary and binary phase diagram
  • Understand the crystalline lattice and the nomenclature used to describe it
  • Articulate the physical properties associated with ceramic, semiconducting, metallic, and amorphous solids
  • Understand the roles of thermodynamics and kinetics in regulating phase transitions

Course Requirements


The grade will be based on one midterm given during the semester and one final exam given during the final exam period. Each will be weighted equally for the final class grade.


Midterm, covering Chapters 1-6

Final, covering a selected set of remaining chapters


Grading scale

The following grading scale will be used to assign a letter grade for this course:

98 ≤ A+ ≤ 100%88 ≤ B+ < 9078 ≤ C+ < 8068 ≤ D+ < 700 ≤ F < 60
92 ≤ A < 9882 ≤ B < 8872 ≤ C < 78
62 ≤ D < 68
90 ≤ A- < 9280 ≤ B- < 82
70 ≤ C- < 7260 ≤ D- < 62


Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction, W. D. Callister and D. G. Rethwisch, 10th Edition. ISBN: 9781119721772 (Earlier editions acceptable). Several e-book and printed options: NC State’s All-In Digital Textbook program (discounted, lifetime access), rent or purchase elsewhere, or borrow/check out.

Computer and Software Requirements

Please review the minimum computer specifications that NC State University and Engineering Online recommend.

Updated: 10/31/2022