Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3)
The Bachelor of Science in Materials and Engineering prepares students for employment in materials-related industries and graduate work in the engineering or science of materials.
The program has been continually offered since 1865, originating as a degree in the study of geology, mining, and metallurgy. Over the years, Course 3 and the field of materials science and engineering have evolved to address worldwide challenges and meet societal needs in transportation, communication, medicine, and more. The Department awards degrees to around thirty students annually, who each pursue unique paths in research, industry, and policy.
The Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (Course 3) is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. Learn more about our program’s accreditation.
A student in 3.042 Materials Project Laboratory in 2015 prepares a sample on laboratory equipment. Credit: Lillie Paquette
Course 3's unique combination of scientific theory, practical lab work, and emphasis on communication prepared me extremely well for the rigors of industry, ensuring that I had key technical competence to contribute and innovate, with the leadership ability to share the findings.
—Andrew Liotta, Course 3 ’19
Students in Course 3 dive deep into both science and engineering. We teach the fundamental of materials science and its application to complex engineering systems. Our curriculum prepares students to translate their technical knowledge into advancements with real-world impact.
—Prof. Juejun Hu, DMSE Undergraduate Officer
The program's required core subjects address the fundamental relationships between processing, microstructure, properties, performance of modern materials — and their applications. Programming, modeling, and other techniques are introduced in focused computational subjects that pair with and build on core subjects. 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. Course 3 students complete either the Internship Program or the Thesis Program, both of which provide training in advanced research in academic and industrial settings. These capstone programs reflect the students’ extensive academic preparation and allow application of their education to real-world problems.
Participation in laboratory work by undergraduates is an integral part of the curriculum. The departmental core subjects include extensive laboratory exercises that investigate materials properties, structure, and processing and are complementary to the lecture subjects. The junior-year core includes a capstone laboratory subject, 3.042 Materials Project Laboratory, that emphasizes design, materials processing, teamwork, communication skills, and project management. Undergraduate students also have access to extensive materials-research facilities as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and thesis projects. Engineering design figures prominently in a substantial portion of the laboratory exercises. Students develop oral and written communication skills by reporting data and analysis in a variety of ways.
The program is designed to be started at the beginning of the sophomore year, although it can be started in the spring term of the sophomore year or in the junior year with some loss of scheduling flexibility.
The degree chart for Course 3 explains all degree requirements in depth. The current chart can be viewed in the MIT Catalogue. Requirements and resources for current Course 3 students can be viewed here.
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