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Welcome to the MSE Undergrad Advising Office


So you just declared as an MSE major! Now what?

Congratulations! We're glad you've joined MSE. As Professor Steve Yalisove explains in this video, it's never too early to start preparing for what you want to do with your degree after graduation. Whether you want to pursue a career in industry or go on to get your Ph.D., your MSE advisors are ready to help get you started on the path to success.


We have two advisors. Which one should you see?

As a faculty member, Prof. Yalisove is uniquely equipped to talk through MSE career options with you and/or help you determine which courses will best prepare you for your goals. On the other hand, our program advisor, Patti Vogel, is the person to see for specific course/administrative issues - for example, if you're having trouble getting into a class, or if you want to check to make sure you meet all the requirements to graduate. If you are experiencing a personal hardship, please feel free to see either advisor. Both will help you work through the situation on a confidential basis and, if necessary, can connect you with the appropriate campus resources. Whatever question you bring to them, both Prof. Yalisove and Patti are ready and eager to help you get the maximum benefit out of your MSE experience.


Are you considering a double degree or a minor?

 In this video, Prof. Yalisove makes the case for minoring in another subject over going for a double major, but, in either case, it's important to talk to an advisor early so together we can come up with a plan to make sure you select the right courses to meet the requirements.


What makes a course a Science and Technical Elective?

Generally speaking, a science and technical elective is a 200- or 300-level course that has a College-required math, physics or chemistry course as a prerequisite. In this video, Prof. Yalisove explains this idea in more depth, but if you still have questions about whether or not a course will be accepted, please see one of our MSE advisors.


Are you interested in going to industry after you graduate?

Many of our students find jobs in industry straight out of our undergraduate program. As Prof. Yalisove explains in this video, the key to success with this career path is to start early and take advantage of the many opportunities we provide for students, such as career fairs, resume reviews, interview and elevator pitch practice, and alumni lunches where you can network with MSE alumni. We also encourage summer internships as they can definitely give you a leg up in a job search. By taking advantage of all these amazing opportunities, you'll be good to go (on to a fantastic career) by the end of your senior year.


Are you interested in getting a master's degree after you graduate?

Is a master's degree necessary for landing an awesome job in MSE after graduation? No. Can it be beneficial? You bet. As Prof. Yalisove explains, a master's degree could help you get a job with higher pay and one that's more interesting. A master's can also help diversify your materials expertise, which in turn can increase your marketability. And, depending on your g.p.a., it could also be a more viable path to getting into your dream Ph.D. program. If you're thinking about it but not sure if a master's program is the way to go, our advisors are always available to talk through if it makes the best sense for you and your goals.


Do you want to get a ph.d. after you graduate?

If earning a Ph.D. is a dream you have (even if it's just a daydream at this point), this video is a must-see! Prof. Yalisove speaks candidly about what you'll need to get into a Ph.D program (hint: good grades and research experience!). He also discusses the tremendous value of taking MSE490 (getting a taste of Ph.D. life and scoring a killer letter of recommendation are just two reasons). If after watching this video you decide that this is the route you want to explore more, Prof. Yalisove is ready to talk Ph.D. program strategy with you; just make an appointment.


What is a SUGS?

(Literally) spelled out, SUGS means "Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Study." For you, it means an opportunity to get a master's degree in MSE in as little as an extra term. You can apply for the MSE SUGS program in the fall of your senior year, provided you have a 3.2 g.p.a. and meet all the necessary prerequisites. In this video, Prof. Yalisove explains the program in detail and breaks down which courses/credits count toward this degree. If you think you want to explore the SUGS option, don't wait - early planning is key to making sure you have all the required prerequisites. Make an appointment with an advisor sooner rather than later to help get a degree plan in place.


When would a SUGS be a not-so-great idea?

For many students, an MSE SUGS program can be a real time (and money!) saver because it allows you to get a master's degree in half the time. For other students, though, it can be just the opposite - a waste of time and money. Prof. Yalisove shares how to know if you're in the latter category.