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Metallurgy Degree, where?

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Helli IFI :)

For now, I am keen on getting a Metallurgy or Metallurgical Engineering (is there a difference?) degree. I'm also considering Materials Science and Engineering, but I'm mainly just focused on metal.

However, I am unsure of where to start. I'm looking at the University of Utah, Colorado School of Mines, and possibly University of Texas. There will be more, but so far, those are what I've looked at. What other schools should I look at?

Also, any other things I should consider?


-Don Nguyen

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I cannot speak from experience regarding the schools, but one or two of the students in my sons hs grad class 6-7 yrs ago, said that CSM was an incredible school and hard to get into. Probably not much help as I went to an art school...about as far removed as one can get from all the left brain technical work.

Many of us have gone to the grad school of Hard Knocks, and never seem to graduate...out of choice. :)

I really think your decision depends upon how much of a hands-on person you are as opposed to a technical education. Obviously you love metal work. It's just a matter as to how you want to approach it.


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Let me suggest LeTourneau University here in Longview, TX. ( http://www.letu.edu/ )Up until just a few years ago it was one of only 2 univ. in teh US that offered an engineering degree in welding. They are top notch in welding, metallurgy, aeronautics and so on. Excellent school. If I could have a "do over" in my life this is the only thing I would change, getting a degree in metalurgy. Good luck where ever you go.

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I got my metallurgical engineering degree from Ohio State. I don't know if they still offer this degree or if they have switched over to materials science with a specialty in metals. It was a good program when I went through in the late '90s. I have several coworkers who went through the University of Missouri-Rolla, which I think has been renamed. Others to consider:

Colorado School of Mines
New Mexico Tech
Michigan Institute of Technology
Illinois Institue of Technology
Carnegie Mellon

I am sure there are a bunch of other good ones. Most have switched over to providing students with degrees in Materials Science rather than the strict Metallurgical Engineering degree I have, but there are still some that specialize. Ohio State is the other school I know of that offers Welding Engineering. When I was a student that was a completely seperate department from the Materials/Metallurgy group though we did share some introductory level courses. I will tell you that in the collegiate setting you are not likely to get much hands on exposure or practical application of the concepts you learn unless you pursue interships/co-ops or get involved in some of the extra curricular programs like Human Powered Vehical or others of that sort. Also, in the academic world, steel metallurgy is not considered sexy/flashy. This means that there is not as much reseach funding for steel related reseach so most of the research I saw and heard about was being done with other alloy systems. I am here to tell you that there is a vast amount we don't know about steel so if you like the iron/carbon alloy system don't be afraid to pursue that and don't feel like there won't be jobs for steel metallurgists just becasue it's not popular in academia. Basic steel metallurgy, both from the steel making and steel processing perspectives, is still the backbone of manufacturing. At Scot Forge, we have quite a few metallurgists, each with an are of specialization-steel, titanium, aluminum etc becuase of the wide range of alloys we work with. My personal preference is steels and stainless steels, but there is definitley a need for experts in all the alloy systems.


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New Mexico Tech is a Small school with a quite good reputation in several fields. It's located in a smallish town in NM about an hour away from a city. It is rather intensive in math and science, many students get a math degree in addition to their science/engineering degree as it's about 1 more semester.

The Mat Sci department is a great group of people and NM tech is rather well know for having hands on participation from the students in research being done. (You will know your instructors and they will know you!)

Also the Fine Arts Metals section of the Community College associated with the University offers a armour making class and I teach a blacksmithing session adjunct to that several times a semester.

I work on the NM Tech Campus for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and my eldest daughter graduated from NM Tech.

Ohio Stat University is HUGE and well known in many fields; it is also located in the middle of a city. I got my BS CIS degree there and for me I much prefer a smaller school in a smaller town, (my other BS---Geology/Geophysics was U of AR which *was* a much smaller town back then.)

If you make a tour out this way (CSM and NMT are about a day's drive apart) Let me know and I can give you a shop tour as well!

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I can't give you any advice from personal experience, but you can search for schools by major, here: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/csearch/index.html?affiliateId=rdr&bannerId=csearch I found 21 that award four-year metallurgical technology or metallurgical engineering degrees. That doesn't account for the ones Patrick described, where the degree is materials science or materials engineering. When you add those the number explodes, though I don't know whether they all offer as much metallurgy as you'd like.

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As stated above I have heard that many of the metallurgy programs have been converted to materials science programs.

I am like you and want a career in metallurgy, but from what my professors tell me is that materials science is just as good or better than a degree in metallurgy. You still focus on one topic such as iron-carbon alloys, but your education is more rounded because you also acquire knowledge of other systems.

I am working on an undergraduate degree in chemistry, and have been told that this can get you into a graduate program in material science. I have also been told that an undergraduate degree in physics can also get you in a graduate program in material science.

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology also has a program in metallurgy and material science. It is not as prestigious but it still gets you the degree.

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Hmmm.....do you want to study Metallurgy or do you want to work in the field? If you want to do theory can't help you, but if you want to do practical then become a technologist. Up here in Edmonton we have a place called NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) and they have an MET course, metallurgical engineering technologist, I took the first yr of the 2 yr corse but had to leave due to life situations. very cool what you learn.

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