General Perspectives

The outstanding combination of properties that one can derive from advanced composites, viz., high stiffness and/or strength-to-weight ratios, corrosion resistance, design flexibility, product versatility, etc., points to a burgeoning growth in the use of these materials. Steadily expanding applications in electrical and electronic, automotive, aircraft, building construction, and process industries have produced a tremendous need for engineers with a broad-based training in materials selection, fabrication, design and testing of composites. Even the emerging areas in Bio-Mechanics use a lot of composite technology to make technologically significant advances. Of the total number of college graduates currently working with high performance composites, only a small fraction - less than 5 percent - have had appropriate formal training in the field. Georgia Tech has become a leader in meeting the obvious need here by providing students from the various engineering disciplines with a broad-based knowledge of advanced composites.


The object of the undergraduate certificate program is to provide students with a structured program for the study of composites. The program is structured to meet the special interests and needs of individual students while simultaneously demanding comprehensive training in the fundamental aspects through a mandatory core. The required core covers composites processes, materials, mechanics, and mechanical behavior and also offers hands-on experience through laboratories for composites manufacture and testing. Extensive opportunities are also available for incorporating independent research projects in meeting the certificate requirements.

Course of Study

Semester Hours

Please note that if an MSE major specifies any of the listed Directed Electives in the three MSE curriculum Concentrations as counting towards his/her 15/16 hour Concentration requirement, then they cannot count those same course hours towards fulfillment of a Certificate’s requirements. However, if a student applies an MSE course towards the five hours of Free Electives in the curriculum and not towards a Concentration, then they can also count those hours towards fulfillment of a Certificate.

A. Required Core Courses (6 hours, 4791 and 4793) with a B or better average in both courses

  1. 4791 Mechanical Behavior of Composites 3-0-3 (Fall)
  2. 4793 Composite Materials and Processing 3-0-3 (Spring)

B. Electives (6 hours) (these courses CANNOT be required for your particular degree)

  1. COE 3001 Mechanics of Deformable Bodies or ME 3201 Mechanics of Materials or MSE 3005 Mechanical Behavior of Materials
  2. ME/CHE/MSE/PTFE 4775 Polymer Science and Engineering I
  3. PFE 2200 Fiber Science
  4. CEE 4520 Reinforced Concrete Design
  5. ME/MSE 4790 Materials Selection and Design
  6. Relevant undergraduate or graduate courses* as approved by the CERC Director
Additional requirements include:
  • To declare a certificate, there is no application that is initially done.
  • The semester that you graduate, fill out the Certificate Approval Form and turn it in to the MSE Academic Office (room 294 Love). Once your certificate is approved, your certificate will mailed to you after graduation.
  • All courses counting toward the certificate must be taken on a letter grade basis and completed with an overall grade point average of at least 2.0.
  • Courses required by name and number in a student's major degree program may not be used to satisfy the certificate course requirements.
  • No more than 6 semester hours of Special Topics courses may be included in a certificate program. No more than a total of 4 semester hours of Special Problems or Undergraduate Research courses may be included in a certificate program.
  • Non-MSE undergraduate majors are encouraged to participate in this program provided they have the appropriate prerequisites and approval of their major program academic advisor.

SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN COMPOSITES:Individual investigations of problems of current interest in composites. Special topics to be arranged using appropriate course numbers from the major school.

* Special requirements may have to be met for registering in 6000 level courses. Students are advised to check these requirements prior to registering.