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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Materials Science and Engineering (MATSE)

MATSE 494W Research and Design Senior Project (1-3) Continuation of a research problem in materials culminating in a bound thesis describing the work.

MATSE 494W Research and Design Senior Project (2)

This course continues the senior thesis research topic addressed by the student in MATSE 493W. This is a capstone research/design project which integrates: a) background literature search with articulation of a research hypothesis, b) design and implementation of an experimental plan to test the hypothesis, and c) conclusions regarding the validity of the hypothesis based on the experimental data obtained in the course of the research.

The main characteristic of this course is the performance of the research plan articulated in MATSE 493W, followed by interpretation of the data in the context of the original hypothesis(es). Laboratory research is generally performed in collaboration with faculty and graduate research assistants, using equipment and facilities in a wide range of laboratories throughout campus. Occasionally, the nature of the research may require the student to collaborate with researchers outside of Penn State, perhaps even spending some time in residence at other facilities.

The course culminates in the preparation of a bound thesis detailing the relevance and findings of the research. Assessment of the student's progress is via grading of all components of the thesis (literature review/background, statement of the problem, design of the experimental plan, results and discussion, conclusions, recommendations for future work, and references/appendices), as well as the diligence of the student in performing the experimental research in a professional and timely fashion. The course is offered each semester to allow for differing schedules for students following the conventional MATSE curriculum versus those who have elected to participate in the Cooperative Education program.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2006

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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