A required course for undergraduate Civil and Architectural Engineering majors, this course is usually taken in the first semester of the third year. The course introduces students to materials science, or how materials derive their properties. Students learn about materials specific to civil and architectural engineering including steel, concrete, wood, asphalt, polymers, and composites. The course has a strong laboratory component, emphasizing the mechanical behavior of materials. The writing assignments in the laboratory portion of the course help students develop technical communication skills.