In the beginning, two courses of study were arranged—a four year and a two year course of study. In the four-year course, the student received training in related sciences with special emphasis on general and analytical chemistry. During the latter two years he specialized in ceramics. General and economic geology, raw materials, bodies, glazes, drying and firing were the topics studied. A two-year short course was offered for the practical man who had experience in clay-working and also recognized the value of scientific training. The first revision of the curriculum was in 1908 in which more time was devoted to technical subjects and new subjects were introduced such as steam & electrical engineering & surveying.
In 1945 new technology and engineering curricula were established. Since joining the College of Engineering the 1st year was common to all engineering students. In the 3rd year, students chose either the technology or engineering curriculum. The technology sequence included courses in whitewares, glass, enamels, refractories, structural clay products, and plant visits. Electives allowed students to prepare for management & administration or sales & service positions. The engineering sequence included courses in mechanics, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, thermodynamics, engineering design, and electives. Two degrees were offered – BS in Ceramic Engineering or BS in Ceramics.
In the Fall of 1977 a 3rd option of Technical Management was added to the General (or Engineering) & Science options.
In 1981, ’83, and ’86 of minor revisions were made, adding some new course and eliminating a few old ones. Not until 1991 was a complete revision attempted in which the three previous options were dropped and the old courses of Raw Materials (204) Unit Operations (307/8) and Organic Additives (405) were incorporated into a new 3-semester sequence of Processing courses (204,305, 306). Further, the old Measurements course was incorporated into several courses and a new Mechanical Properties course was established. The labs that were attached to various lecture courses were dropped in favor of a new 3-semester laboratory sequence. Dynamics, Mineralogy (replaced by Crystal Chemistry) and Elements of EE were dropped; Microscopy and Refractories were made electives and Engineering Economics was dropped.
In 1999 we added an External Advisory committee; 15 members from industry, national labs and academia and includes both alumni and non-alumni; also added a 12 member student advisory committee. These committees were an outcome of the ABET 2000 criteria for accreditation.
In 1999 we added an optional co-op program.
In 2005 the curriculum was completely revised to accommodate the new Materials Science & Engineering program. Three new courses were added one each on ceramic, metals, and polymers. Compositions was dropped. Glass Engineering was moved to an elective. All the other courses were updated to include all materials. Everything was renumbered since MSE is code number 635. The Class of ’08 was the first to graduate with the MSE degree. Full accreditation in Materials Science and Engineering was achieved on July 1, 2013.
David Raymond Edgar, Daniel Herbert Applegate, Jr., and Howard W. Bloomfield were the first three graduates in 1903. Since then there have been over 1500 degrees granted; BS, MS, and PhD. During the 1902-1945 period the classes were very small. In fact there were ten years in which there were no graduates and seven years in which there was only one. The year 1988 saw the most BS graduates - 65. The year 1990 saw the most PhD and MS graduates – 52. Currently, department leadership strives to maintain an optimum class size of 50.