Materials Science & Engineering

Department Head: Christopher A. Schuh | Email | WebsiteGive To MIT

77 Massachusetts Ave. • 6-113 • Cambridge, MA 02139 • (617) 253-3300

MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering explores the structure, processing, design, properties, and lifecycle of materials including metals, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and biomaterials. DMSE integrates the theory and practice of both materials engineering and materials science. Our research leads to the synthesis of improved materials in response to challenges in the areas of energy, the environment, medicine, and manufacturing. DMSE collaborates with industry, government, and other institutions on research including:

Electronic Materials

The electronic, optical and magnetic aspects of materials, their synthesis, characterization and application in devices

Materials for Energy

Materials for photovoltaics, energy storage, batteries, and fuel cells

Structural and Environmental Materials

New materials for construction or transportation; hard nanostructured coatings; environmental impact of materials including lifecycle analysis, extraction technologies, and recycling

Biological and Polymeric Materials

Properties and synthesis of soft materials ranging from polymers to cellular materials, mechanical properties of polymeric and biological materials including bone, technologies for disease diagnosis and drug delivery


Graduate students may engage in multidisciplinary research projects with students and faculty from other MIT departments. Graduates find careers in the fields of electronics, energy and the environment, aerospace, biomaterials and medicine, and in the materials preparation and production industries. Degree options include:

Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering

This program may be taken simultaneously with programs offered by other MIT departments or centers. Students must complete a thesis and be in residence as a full-time regular student for a minimum of one academic term.

Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering

Doctoral candidates work closely with a faculty member on a significant research project in a focused area. Emphasis is placed on the research thesis, which must be of sufficient significance to warrant publication in the scientific literature.

DMSE prepares undergraduates for careers in materials design, processing, analysis, modeling, computation, research, development, production, and management. A technical education in materials science, with its emphasis on logic and the ability to process complex issues, is also an excellent preparation for careers in medicine, law, finance, and academia. Degree options include:

Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering

This program provides students with a foundation in materials science and engineering, including processing, microstructure, and properties of biomaterials, ceramics, electronic materials, metals, and polymers.

Bachelor of Science without Specification

This program provides a more flexible course of study and is often pursued by pre-med, pre-law, or pre-MBA students.

Bachelor of Science in Archaeology and Materials

The program focuses on understanding prehistoric culture through the study of the structure and properties of materials associated with human activities, and may include archaeological fieldwork.