Undergraduate Program

Materials science and engineering is concerned with the structure, properties, design, manufacture, and use of all classes of materials, including metals, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and biomaterials, and with energy, environmental, health, economic, and manufacturing issues relating to materials. Materials science and engineering is a field critical to our future economic and environmental well-being, and graduates from our program are in continually high demand by industry and government for jobs in research, development, production, and management.

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering offers three undergraduate degree programs.

  • Course 3, leading to the Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering, is taken by the majority of undergraduates in the department, and is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • Course 3-A, leading to the Bachelor of Science without specification, provides greater flexibility and is often taken by pre-med, pre-law, or pre-MBA students
  • Course 3-C leads to a Bachelor of Science in Archaeology and Materials.

These programs start in sophomore fall, but can be started in sophomore spring or in the junior year with some loss of scheduling flexibility. Since 2013, US News and World Report ranked the MIT program in materials science and engineering best in the nation, and QS World Rankings has placed DMSE at the top of our field since they began their listings.

If you are interested in Course 3 and would like to know more about upcoming departmental events, meetings, etc...you can sign up to the course3-premajors mailing list.

Chair of the Undergraduate Committee, Prof. Juejun Hu

Undergraduate Admistrative Assistant

Academic Administrator, Angelita Mireles


Society for Undergraduate Materials Scientists (SUMS)

The Society for Undergraduate Materials Scientists acts as an advocate for DMSE undergraduate students. Members of SUMS serve on the Department Undergraduate Committee (the committee responsible for decisions regarding the undergraduate curriculum, departmental petitions, and other undergraduate related matters). SUMS plans many social activities and academic support for the students in the department. They can be contacted at sums-exec[at]mit[dot]edu.


The Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Science and Engineering is ABET accredited and follows these Program Educational Objectives:

  1. Apply deep working knowledge of technical fundamentals to address society’s needs in materials science and engineering.

  2. Develop innovative technologies and solutions to materials science and engineering problems in the nation and the world.

  3. Communicate effectively and take leadership roles in multidisciplinary teams.

  4. Take a leadership role in the conception, design, implementation, and operation of new products, processes, and systems in enterprise and societal contexts

These objectives are drawn from the Program Self-Study Report for Materials Science and Engineering submitted to the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission and are consistent with MIT's institutional mission and with the Mission of the School of Engineering.

In consonance with the ABET educational criteria, the Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering curriculum is developed and monitored to insure graduates will:

  1. Possess well-developed faculties of critical and rational reasoning.  

  2. Understand scientific method and other methods of inquiry and, hence, are able to obtain, evaluate, and utilize information to pose and solve complex problems in life and work.  

  3. Have a strong grasp of quantitative reasoning and an ability to manage complexity and ambiguity.  

  4. Have a sound foundation of knowledge within the broad field of materials science and engineering (MSE) and have achieved some depth and experience of practice in it.  

  5. Able to relate knowledge within MSE to larger problems in society and able to appreciate the interaction between science, technology, and society.  

  6. Be intellectually curious and be motivated toward continuous learning. 

  7. Possess qualities associated with the best in the human spirit: a well-developed sense of judgment, an aesthetic sensibility, and the flexibility and self-confidence to adapt to major change.  

  8. Have knowledge of history, and an understanding of the spectrum of human culture and value systems.

  9. Can combine knowledge with ability to think critically about moral and ethical issues.

  10. Have ability to communicate clearly and effectively enabling an ability to work well with others.

  11. Employ all of the above attributes in making a positive and substantial contribution to society.

The NanoLab and LAM have been part of DMSE’s space at MIT since Building 8 was constructed. Originally, they were used for pyrometallurgy and were two stories tall.