DMSE, also known as Course 3, offers a comprehensive academic program that combines fundamental scientific principles with hands-on research experiences. The program fosters innovation and enables students to explore cutting-edge technologies while addressing pressing global challenges in areas such as energy, health care, and sustainability.


DMSE offers three undergraduate majors. The Course 3 major includes all core subjects and a capstone project, Course 3-A allows for customized elective subjects, and Course 3-C focuses on archaeology and archaeological science.

The Course 3 curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering includes the General Institute Requirements as well as Course 3 required core subjects and a capstone project. The Course 3 core subjects address the fundamental relationships between processing, microstructure, properties, and performance of modern materials and their applications.

Students choose from a sequence of restricted electives that provide more specialized coverage of the major classes of modern materials: biomaterials, ceramics, electronic materials, metals, and polymers, as well as cross-cutting topics relevant to all types of materials. Participation in laboratory work by undergraduates is an integral part of the curriculum.

For their capstone project, students complete either the Internship Program or the Thesis Program.

Internship Program

Students complete internships during the summers between their sophomore and junior years and junior and senior years. They apply their internship experiences toward their degrees by writing field reports and, in their senior year, delivering a presentation to the department on their industry research. Internship info sessions are typically held each semester. For more information, contact Professor Antoine Allanore,

Thesis Program

The thesis is a 9-12 unit individual research project conducted under the supervision of a DMSE faculty member. Thesis students present their project at the DMSE Undergraduate Thesis Symposium.

Students who wish to participate in the Thesis Program must write and submit a thesis proposal.

  • Preview the Course 3 Thesis Program document (pdf), which includes deadlines and the Course 3 Thesis Proposal, and prepare your responses. Then click the button below, add the responses, and submit the proposal via DocuSign.

Course 3-A is a more flexible study of materials science and engineering, featuring a self-designed area of related study. It is designed for students who are attracted to the opportunities available in the materials discipline but also have interests that go beyond or supplement their studies in Course 3. For example, some students may wish to take more biology and chemistry subjects in preparation for medical school, or more management subjects before entering an MBA or law program. Course 3-A majors take departmental core subjects, subjects selected from the list of Course 3 restricted electives, and a self-designed program of elective subjects appropriate to the student’s stated goals.

Students pursuing the 3-A major are required to submit a 3-A proposal form.

Course 3-C enriches knowledge of past- and present-day non-industrial societies by making the natural and engineering sciences part of the archaeological toolkit. It aims to give students broad exposure to fields that contribute fundamental theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of ancient and historic societies.

Course 3-C focuses on the following:

  • Ancient societies through study of the structure and properties of archaeological materials
  • Peoples’ interaction with materials
  • Objects that such interaction produced
  • Environmental settings within which materials were used
  • Fields that contribute fundamental theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of ancient and historic societies
  • Archaeology
  • Materials science and engineering
  • Geology

Minors and Concentration

The department offers two academic minor programs—in materials science and archaeology and materials—and the HASS Concentration in Archaeology and Archaeological Science.

The minor in materials science and engineering consists of 6 subjects: 2 required subjects (3.010 and 3.020), a choice of 2 core subjects, and 2 restricted electives.

The minor in archaeology and materials consists of 6 subjects: 5 required subjects and 1 elective.

The goal of the archaeology and archaeological science program is to develop an appreciation of cultural diversity, past and present. In this program, you will learn how different peoples around the globe developed unique solutions to environmental, technological, and social challenges. Learn more about the HASS Concentration in Archaeology and Archaeological Science.

Petition for Substitution

Substitutions and changes to departmental degree requirements must be approved by the DMSE Undergraduate Committee via petition.

Associate Professor Rafael Gómez-Bombarelli teaches 3.091 (Introduction to Solid-State Chemistry), a popular class for first-year students and a General Institute Requirement.