Curriculum - Metallurgical and Materials Engineering - Montana Tech

Metallurgical and Materials Engineering

Degrees and Options

Students can pursue degrees at the Bachelor's and Master's levels. These undergraduate and graduate programs are broad offering courses that encompass the five disciplines in minerals, metals and materials processing and manufacturing: Mineral Processing, Extractive Metallurgy, Physical Metallurgy, Materials Processing, and Joining/Welding. More information on the graduate program can be obtained from on the Graduate School homepage.


While a freshman and sophomore, the undergraduate student in M&ME is required to take a general education core of chemistry, physics, mathematics, social sciences, and humanities, along with computer applications to engineering design. Courses include M&ME Workshop in the first semester and Processing of Particulate Systems and Lab in the second semester. Read about the curriculum »


Through careful selection of department and technical electives, seniors can emphasize their education in at least one of the five disciplines. Technical electives in mineral processing include energy resources (coal and U) processing, materials handling design, and primary & secondary resource processing, the latter being predominantly flotation and surface chemistry. Electives in extractive metallurgy cover topics such as precious metal processing (Au, Ag, Pt and Pd), remediation of hazardous/toxic elements (As, Se, Th, Hg and Pb), flowsheet development and design, recycling, and iron and steel making. Materials-related courses include biomaterials, composite materials, electrical, optical and magnetic properties of materials, and nanoscale materials & technology. Physical metallurgy courses can be chosen from mechanical behavior of materials, failure analysis and design life, casting and solidification, and the metallurgy of ferrous welds. It is important to note that many of these courses are cross-disciplinary; others include advanced thermodynamics, advanced pyrometallurgy, computer applications, thermodynamic modeling, and SEM/EDX.


Design courses are integrated throughout the curriculum. The design experience begins in the first semester of the freshman year with Introduction to Engineering Calculations and Problem Solving as well as M&ME Workshop in which students learn to solve and present engineering problems using various software and then builds in the next semester and particularly in the sophomore and junior years.

Early on, the students are introduced to mineral processing and unit operations in Particulate Processing lectures and labs. In these courses, the student learns separation principles, conducts experiments, and utilizes data to size equipment, develop process flowsheets, and begins to perform economic analyses. Extractive metallurgy courses with similar design experiences include Transport Phenomena as well as Mass Transfer and Chemical Kinetics. Furthermore, in Materials Structures and Properties and Fundamentals of Materials, the student begins to learn that materials selection is often a compromise reached after juggling through the pros and cons of material properties. Principles are demonstrated with hands-on experiences in two laboratory courses, Microstructural Interpretation and Materials and Physical Metallurgy Lab, which deal with microstructure analysis and the fundamentals of physical metallurgy and materials engineering. In the last year and a half, students expand upon the design experience by taking courses such as Processing of Elevated Temperature Systems, Flowsheet Development, Advanced Transport Phenomenon, and Environmental Degradation of Materials as well as possible technical electives in Materials Handling, Iron & Steel Making, Primary and Secondary Resources, Failure Analysis, Precious Metal Resources, and Weldments. Finally, the program culminates in the senior year with a real-world design project, M&ME Design I and II, in which all of the cumulative knowledge of general engineering fundamentals, metallurgical and materials engineering, computer applications, engineering economics, safety, communication skills, etc. are integrated.