Materials Science and Engineering

An illustration of a brightly colored molecular model.

Simulation of saltwater (right) flowing across a nanoporous sheet of graphene. DMSE faculty combine computational materials science with laboratory experimentation; Prof. Grossman's group uses computational materials science to address global challenges. (Image courtesy of Prof. Jeff Grossman and David Cohen-Tanugi.)

Featured Courses

Students, professors, and researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering explore the relationships between structure and properties in all classes of materials including metals, ceramics, electronic materials, and biomaterials.

Our research leads to the synthesis of improved materials in response to challenges in the areas of energy, the environment, medicine, and manufacturing.

Collaborating with industry, government, and other institutions, our research contributes to a broad range of fields. In a recent U.S. Army-funded study, we used nanotechnological methods to study the structure of scales of the fish Polypterus senegalus, leading to more effective ways of designing human body armor. In the MIT and Dow Materials Engineering Contest (MADMEC), student teams design and prototype devices to harness, store, and exploit alternative energy sources. With support from the Lord Foundation, the purchase of advanced equipment will allow us to build custom experimental equipment, develop and test prototypes, and even make a new part for an unmanned air vehicle.

Our educational programs interweave concepts of materials engineering and materials science throughout the curriculum. Core subjects offered at both undergraduate and graduate levels cover topics necessary for all DMSE students:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Kinetics
  • Materials structure
  • Electronic and mechanical properties of materials
  • Bio- and polymeric materials
  • Materials processing

This core foundation and appropriate electives lead to a variety of opportunities in engineering, science, or a combination of the two.

Materials Science and Engineering Courses

Course # Course Title Level
3.00 Thermodynamics of Materials Undergraduate
3.003 Principles of Engineering Practice Undergraduate
3.012 Fundamentals of Materials Science Undergraduate
3.014 Materials Laboratory Undergraduate
3.016 Mathematics for Materials Scientists and Engineers Undergraduate
3.021J Introduction to Modeling and Simulation Undergraduate
3.024 Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties of Materials Undergraduate
3.032 Mechanical Behavior of Materials (Fall 2007) Undergraduate
3.034 Organic & Biomaterials Chemistry Undergraduate
3.042 Materials Project Laboratory Undergraduate
3.044 Materials Processing Undergraduate
3.051J Materials for Biomedical Applications Undergraduate
3.052 Nanomechanics of Materials and Biomaterials Undergraduate
3.053J Molecular, Cellular, and Tissue Biomechanics Undergraduate
3.063 Polymer Physics Undergraduate
3.064 Polymer Engineering Undergraduate
3.080 Economic & Environmental Issues in Materials Selection Undergraduate
3.091SC Introduction to Solid State Chemistry Undergraduate
3.093 Information Exploration: Becoming a Savvy Scholar Undergraduate
3.094 Materials in Human Experience Undergraduate
3.14 Physical Metallurgy (Fall 2009) Undergraduate
3.15 Electrical, Optical & Magnetic Materials and Devices Undergraduate
3.155J Micro/Nano Processing Technology Undergraduate
3.172 Inventions and Patents Undergraduate
3.185 Transport Phenomena in Materials Engineering Undergraduate
3.986 The Human Past: Introduction to Archaeology Undergraduate
3.987 Human Origins and Evolution Undergraduate
3.A04 Modern Blacksmithing and Physical Metallurgy Undergraduate
3.A08 Attraction and Repulsion: The Magic of Magnets Undergraduate
3.A26 Freshman Seminar: The Nature of Engineering Undergraduate
3.A27 Case Studies in Forensic Metallurgy Undergraduate
3.11 Mechanics of Materials Graduate
3.20 Materials at Equilibrium (SMA 5111) Graduate
3.205 Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Materials Graduate
3.21 Kinetic Processes in Materials Graduate
3.22 Mechanical Behavior of Materials (Spring 2008) Graduate
3.225 Electronic and Mechanical Properties of Materials Graduate
3.23 Electrical, Optical, and Magnetic Properties of Materials Graduate
3.320 Atomistic Computer Modeling of Materials (SMA 5107) Graduate
3.35 Fracture and Fatigue Graduate
3.37 Welding and Joining Processes Graduate
3.40J Physical Metallurgy (Fall 2009) Graduate
3.43J Integrated Microelectronic Devices Graduate
3.45 Magnetic Materials Graduate
3.46 Photonic Materials and Devices Graduate
3.53 Electrochemical Processing of Materials Graduate
3.56 Engineering Systems Analysis for Design Graduate
3.560J Systems Perspectives on Industrial Ecology Graduate
3.577 Engineering Risk-Benefit Analysis Graduate
3.60 Symmetry, Structure, and Tensor Properties of Materials Graduate
3.80J Proseminar in Manufacturing Graduate
3.83J System Optimization and Analysis for Manufacturing Graduate
3.91 Mechanical Behavior of Plastics Graduate
3.961J Design of Medical Devices and Implants Graduate
3.962J Molecular Principles of Biomaterials Graduate
3.96J Biomaterials-Tissue Interactions Graduate
3.97J Cell-Matrix Mechanics Graduate