Students in MIT's Department of Materials Science and Engineering are provided with an educational grounding in the principles common to all materials (structure, thermodynamics, kinetics) before they research a specialized field (biomaterials in immunology, production of latex in ancient meso-America, defect nucleation and growth, to list a few recent projects). The student:faculty ratio is very low—2.02 undergraduate students per faculty member and 4.47 graduate students per faculty member—ensuring individual attention at all levels of a student's academic career. DMSE grants the following degrees: Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Doctor of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy. Degrees are granted three times a year, in February, June, and September, though most students complete their degrees in time to participate in MIT's June Commencement exercises. Most academic subjects are offered in the fall and spring semesters. Many undergraduates have internship placements in the summers, and most graduate students work full-time on research projects in the summer. To learn more about the subjects offered in DMSE, visit OpenCourseWare and MITx.

Blacksmithing started as a freshman seminar in 1984.