Materials Science Syllabus

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to materials science and engineering. Topics to be covered include: atomic structure and bonding, steady-state and transient diffusion, mechanical properties, deformation mechanisms, failure, phase transformations and the development of microstructure, factors influencing the fabrication, processing, and selection of materials in engineering analysis and design.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of different classes of materials and their atomic and bonding structures.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of solid-state diffusion mechanisms.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of mechanical properties of engineering materials and fracture mechanisms.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of equilibrium phase diagrams and phase transformations.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to select appropriate materials and process for given engineering applications.
  6. Demonstrate good written and oral communication skills.


CHEM 105 and ME 202 with grade of C- or better
CHEM 101 with grade of C- or better

Required Materials

Course Design

The course is 14 weeks long. An I-Learn module exists for each week of the course; each week's module contains the content and assignments for that week. You work through course activities according to an established schedule and in sync with your classmates (not at your own pace).

Most weekly modules are divided into three segments: Part A, Part B, and Conclusion. The due dates associated with all items contained in each segment are shown in the table below. This structure distributes the work throughout the week.


Due Date for Items in Segment

Part A Tuesday 11:59 PM Mountain Time
Part B Thursday 11:59 PM Mountain Time
Conclusion Saturday 11:59 PM Mountain Time

Learning Model

As in all BYU-Idaho courses (both on campus and online), the structure of this course is founded on the BYU-I Learning Model. It utilizes the following processes: Prepare, Teach One Another, and Ponder and Prove. These elements will be implemented through the instructional activities described below. However, the list of items below does not imply the order in which you actually complete the activities. 


  • Content Pages
    These pages present the study materials you use to prepare for assignments and assessments. Each subtopic associated with the general topic of the week is presented in a separate Content page. Thus, each week has multiple Content pages distributed between Parts A and B. Assigned textbook readings are listed in the Content pages. Some Content pages also provide videos containing explanations about the subtopic and in some cases, problem-solving demonstrations. Interactive objects in which you may alter variables and view the resulting impact are included in a few Content pages. Most, but not all, Content pages are followed by a Practice page (described in the Homework statement of the Ponder and Prove section below).

Teach One Another

  • Topic Discussion: Materials Science in the News (MSITN)
    Six of these discussions occur during the semester, each in a separate week. In two of the six discussions, you are assigned to make a “presenter post” for your small discussion group in which you provide an interesting example of current research or events related to materials science. All group members respond to the presenter posts with comments and/or questions. These discussions occur within the I-Learn discussion tool.

  • Homework Help Discussion
    With a small group of classmates, you use this discussion to give and receive help on assigned textbook problems. This discussion occurs within Slack (described in the External Tools section below).  

  • Group Design Project
    Working in a group of three or four students, you create a presentation document on an assigned topic involving design and materials selection. The analysis covers topics in material science and strength of materials. This project spans Weeks 03–07 with milestone deliverables due in Weeks 03–06 and the final presentation due in Week 07.

  • Group Forensic Project
    Working in a group of three or four students, you find something broken during normal service that allows for the telling of a good engineering story. You create and deliver a 10-minute oral presentation regarding the forensic analysis of the broken object. The analysis covers topics in material science and strength of materials. This project spans Weeks 08–13 with milestone deliverables due in Weeks 08–12 and the final presentation due in Week 13. In Week 14 you evaluate other groups' presentations.

Ponder and Prove

  • Homework Assignments
    These assignments consist of selected textbook problems. The assigned problems are presented to you in multiple Practice pages in Parts A and B directly after corresponding Content pages that provide the information needed to complete the problems. The problems are submitted in Maple T.A. (described in the External Tools section below). When initially presented in Parts A and B, you are directed to make your first submission attempt in Maple T.A. (where you receive feedback) and to confer about the problems as part of the Homework Help Discussion. In the Conclusion portion of the week, you are directed to submit your final answers in Maple T.A. You are also directed to make a submission in I-Learn of your handwritten work associated with the problems.

  • Reporting Quizzes
    As the culminating item in both Parts A and B, you take a Reporting Quiz in I-Learn (a separate Reporting Quiz in each) indicating the completion of your initial submission for Homework problems and your participation in the Homework Help Discussion.

  • Weekly Quizzes
    At the end of each week, you take a quiz assessing your understanding of all subtopics included in the week. Quizzes are taken in Maple T.A. 

  • Exams
    There are two proctored exams in the course. The Midterm Exam is in Week 06 and covers material from Weeks 01–06. The Final Exam is in Week 14 and covers material from Weeks 07–12. Exams are taken in Maple T.A.

There are many learning models available in the world of instruction. Most of them have essentially the same elements as the BYU-I Learning Model. The true power of the BYU-I Learning Model is found in the principles behind it. Please take time now to review the BYU-Idaho Learning Model Principles and consider ways you can implement them in your study habits this semester.

External Tools

The following external tools (external to I-Learn) are used in the course:

  • Slack
    Slack is a cloud-based set of team collaboration tools and services used by many major organizations for team communications. You use this real-world professional collaboration environment to communicate with class members and your instructor. You also use it to complete some required course activities. Instructions for establishing a Slack account, joining the appropriate discussion areas, and using it for course activities are provided in the course. 

  • Maple T.A.
    Maple T.A. is an external assessment tool you use to submit all of your homework assignments, end-of-week quizzes, and exams. You are automatically enrolled in the Maple T.A. section used for this class. Instructions regarding when and how to access and use Maple T.A. are provided in the course. 

  • Wolfram CDF Player
    In some portions of the course, you use interactive Mathematica objects as part of your learning experience. These objects can only be used within the Wolfram CDF player. At the appropriate point in the course, you are directed to download the CDF player.

  • Proctorio
    Course exams are remotely proctored using a service called Proctorio. This requires you to download a software extension on the device you use for exams. Instructions for completing the download and accessing the exams are included in the course. In Week 05 of the semester (one week before the first proctored exam), you are required to take a practice proctored exam. This allows you to test your technical setup and seek support if necessary. 

Tips for Success

This course provides valuable learning experiences, if you are willing to make the effort to fully engage in the designed activities. As with most things in life, what you get out of this course will depend upon what you put into it. The following are important recommendations for success in this class:

  • This is a three-credit course. University policy states that students are expected to spend three to four hours per credit hour per week. Therefore, you should plan on 9–12 hours of work per week on this course. Consider the scripture, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” (Luke 14:28) Create a schedule now showing the blocks of time in a typical week that you plan to dedicate to completing work for this class. Block out a minimum of 9 hours.
  • At the beginning of each week, read the Introduction and your instructor’s announcements. Then evaluate the work to be done to plan your work for the week.
  • Always use the Module view as your primary means of navigating the course. The I-Learn Calendar, To-Do list, and Coming-Up list are helpful tools for reminding you of due dates. However, if you use those tools as your means of navigating the course, you do not understand the flow of activities, and you miss critical information, because those tools only show items with due dates.
  • Work through the module pages in sequential order (because the activities are arranged chronologically) and read the information/instructions in every page.
  • Plan your time so you work consistently throughout each week of the course. You can have a quality learning experience with less stress if you spread the work out through the week. Don't wait until the day something is due to begin it. 

Grading Policies

Grading Scale

This course will use the following standard BYU-Idaho grading scale:


 93% – 100%


 80% – 82%


 67% – 69%


 90% – 92%


 77% – 79%


 63% – 66%


 87% – 89%


 73% – 76%


 60% – 62%


 83% – 86%


 70% – 72%


 Below 60%

Grade Components

Grades will be determined as follows:








  • Design
  • Forensic


  • (10%)
  • (15%)







Due Dates

All due dates are set at 11:59 PM Mountain Time. Using the Calendar view, you may view due dates relative to the time in your area by setting your time zone in your user account.  

Late Work Policy 

As a sign of professionalism and respect, you are expected to complete work on time. Generally, late work will not be accepted. However, the instructor has discretion to accept late work or extend due dates in case of extenuating circumstances.



All students may arrange for tutoring through the Academic Support Center, which is dedicated to assisting online and campus students in their coursework. This is a free service for BYU-I students. To arrange a tutor, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Academic Support Center webpage. (The link to this webpage is also available in the Student Resources module in the course.)
  2. Click on the large text near the top of the page that reads, “Request a Tutor.”
  3. Follow the prompts to arrange a tutor.

Online Student Support Center

The Online Student Support Center is available to help students with problems in online courses. If you have technical difficulties or notice a problem in the course, please report this problem to the Online Student Support Center.

Online Student Support Center Contact Information

Phone: (208) 496-1800
Toll-free Phone: (866) 672-2984
Text Messaging: (855) 808-7102
Live Chat: Use the link below to access the Live Chat feature
Website: Online Student Support Center

Mutual Respect

All of your correspondence with the instructor and your classmates must be respectful. Writing something disrespectful or “venting” is unprofessional and not becoming of a BYU-Idaho student. In addition, it is not in accordance with the Honor Code and you will be disciplined accordingly.

University Policies

Read the University Policies page. See information about the following: Student Honor, Students with Disabilities, Sexual Harassment, and Complaints and Grievances.

Honor Code

Following the Honor Code is of great importance as you strive to be a disciple of Christ. Your commitment to live the Honor Code will contribute to the overall BYU-Idaho community. Your actions should be respectful and should foster an environment where all can feel the Spirit.

BYU-Idaho’s Dress and Grooming standards apply to all students, including online students. By adhering to the Honor Code you will create a learning environment “consistent with the ideals and principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” For more detailed information, see the Honor Code web page.

Academic Honesty

As followers of Christ, all BYU-Idaho students, staff, and faculty are expected to be honest in all their dealings. This also applies and extends to behavior and actions related to academic work. It is critical for students to understand the seriousness of academic dishonesty and misconduct, which are not tolerated by the University, and strive to produce and submit only the results of their own effort and original work.

To copy another person’s work from the Internet, a book, or from any other source and claiming it to be your own work, is plagiarism. Read the official definitions of plagiarism and cheating from the Academic Honesty portion of the Honor Code. It is also a violation of the Honor Code to allow others to use your work, including posting course materials/answers to a website. While students are encouraged to work with one another and share ideas, the direct sharing of answers is unacceptable. Remember: There is never an acceptable excuse for plagiarism or cheating.

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty

Although the Academic Honesty section of the University Policies explains what constitutes each of the many forms of academic dishonesty, as well as procedures and guidelines for handling such incidents, the specific application of consequences is left up to each individual instructor.

In this course, instructors will be responsible for creating and applying their own policy regarding penalties for academic dishonesty. In some cases, the instructor may report an incident to the University Honors Office. Cases will be analyzed on an individual basis and penalties applied according to the severity of the misconduct.

Potential penalties now or in the future include:

  • Point deductions
  • Receiving a zero on an assignment
  • Failing this course
  • Expulsion from the institution
  • The revocation of your degree


Each student has a responsibility to carefully read assigned materials and instructions. Questions should be noted and directed to your instructor.

This syllabus and the course schedule may be changed at any time prior to or during the semester as the need arises. Any changes will be announced by your instructor.