MSE Departmental Honors Program

The goal of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering ‘s Honors Program is "to provide an opportunity for the gifted undergraduate engineering student to develop to his/her fullest extent."


After the junior year of MSE core courses, current MSE majors with at least a 3.3 cumulative UW GPA and at least a 3.5 cumulative MSE GPA will be invited into the Department’s Honors Program.

Program Requirements

Students do not need to register for additional credits in order to complete the MSE departmental honors program, however, the student must meet the following program requirements at the time of graduation:

  • Minimum 3.3 cumulative UW GPA at time of graduation
  • Minimum 3.5 cumulative MSE GPA at time of graduation
  • Complete at least 4 credits of MSE honors 499 credits (instead of regular MSE 499 credits)
  • Complete at least 5 credits of MSE ad hoc honors credits

MSE Ad Hoc Honors Credit

Through the ad hoc option, a student creates a contract with a MSE faculty member in a MSE course to obtain honors credit in that course by completing additional work. The student chooses which course to designate as ad hoc and requests this from the MSE faculty member. Ad hoc courses must be at least a 400-level MSE course. Undergraduates can also take a 500 level MSE course and designate it as ad hoc. Students should consult with the MSE academic counselor and their MSE faculty advisor about the specific courses they would like to designate as ad hoc.

This extra work will need to be defined between the MSE faculty member and student. Students will need to check with their MSE instructor to discuss the expectations and requirements for the ad hoc credit. This may include periodic meetings between the faculty and student during the quarter that the ad hoc credit is pursued. The Honors Program assumes that any department honors student who exercises this option is interested in pursuing the course in greater depth and with more intensity than she or he could within the framework of the regular class and that the student is prepared to undertake extra work.

Additional work could include:

  • Writing an extra paper on a topic discussed in class
  • Giving a special presentation to the class or to the broader community (college or university)
  • Conducting independent lab or library research on a topic covered in the class
  • Reading current journal articles about a topic covered in class and providing an annotated bibliography at the end of the quarter

Students need to submit ad hoc honors form by the UW Honors deadline for the quarter in which they wish to pursue ad hoc honors credit.