Metallurgical Engineering  Program Description


Insider Info

dotA degree in metallurgical engineering involves the study, design, implementation and betterment of processes that transform raw materials like ore (rock with metal and minerals) into the various metal and mineral products that we use on a daily basis.

This program has three basic areas: mineral processing extractive metallurgy and physical metallurgy. Mineral processing consists of getting mineral products out of the earth's crust, and then separating them and reducing them in size. Extractive metallurgy involves the removal of metals and minerals from raw material such as ores. Physical metallurgy is the development of metal alloys that manufacturing and construction need for their work.

Steve Cockcroft, a professor of metals and materials engineering, says that his program "has all engineering students taking a common first year, after which they choose which program to enter into."

Courtney Young is head of metallurgical engineering at Montana Tech. She says that over the course of their studies, students can expect to take courses in mineral processing; extractive metallurgy; physical metallurgy and materials engineering; and welding metallurgy.

To be licensed as a professional engineer, you'll need at least a four-year bachelor's degree. Many of these degrees actually take five years if you choose to do a co-op program, which combines work terms with your class terms. Many engineers go on to pursue master's degrees as well.

"Prospective students must enjoy chemistry and math, and [must] have good grades, as well as good scores on ACT or SAT tests," says Young.

"It helps if the prospective student also has taken and done well in physics, but not all high schools offer physics."

She adds that taking AP courses, including English, is also useful.

Those who major in the sciences always have lab expenses in addition to the cost of tuition and textbooks.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Materials Engineers

Challenge of Materials
A look at materials, including metals

Principal Metals -- Properties
Information on more than 5,000 metals

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this program is about? Check out Just the Facts for a simple description.