Materials Science and Engineering

Combustion synthesis of fullerenes and fullerenic nanostructures.
Combustion synthesis of fullerenes and fullerenic nanostructures. Courtesy Vander Sande Lab

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.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering links

Visit the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering home page at:

Review the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering curriculum at:

Atomic Control Software allows users to create crystal structures, manipulate them in three dimensional space on their desktop, and simulate x-ray diffraction patterns of the crystals.

Learn more about MIT Engineering:

Updated within the past 180 days

MIT Course #Course TitleTerm
 3.00Thermodynamics of MaterialsFall 2002
 3.012Fundamentals of Materials ScienceFall 2005
 3.014Materials LaboratoryFall 2006
 3.016Mathematics for Materials Scientists and EngineersFall 2005
3.021JIntroduction to Modeling and SimulationSpring 2008
 3.032Mechanical Behavior of MaterialsFall 2007
 3.034Organic & Biomaterials ChemistryFall 2005
3.042Materials Project LaboratorySpring 2008
 3.044Materials ProcessingSpring 2005
 3.051JMaterials for Biomedical ApplicationsSpring 2006
 3.052Nanomechanics of Materials and BiomaterialsSpring 2007
 3.053JMolecular, Cellular, and Tissue BiomechanicsFall 2006
 3.063Polymer PhysicsSpring 2007
 3.064Polymer EngineeringFall 2003
 3.080Economic & Environmental Issues in Materials SelectionFall 2005
 3.091Introduction to Solid State ChemistryFall 2004
 3.093Information Exploration: Becoming a Savvy ScholarFall 2006
 3.094Materials in Human ExperienceSpring 2004
 3.14Physical MetallurgyFall 2003
 3.15Electrical, Optical & Magnetic Materials and DevicesFall 2006
 3.155JMicro/Nano Processing TechnologyFall 2005
 3.172Inventions and PatentsFall 2005
 3.185Transport Phenomena in Materials EngineeringFall 2003
 3.986The Human Past: Introduction to ArchaeologyFall 2006
 3.987Human Origins and EvolutionSpring 2006
 3.A08Attraction and Repulsion: The Magic of MagnetsFall 2005
 3.A26Freshman Seminar: The Nature of EngineeringFall 2005
 3.A27Case Studies in Forensic MetallurgyFall 2007
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Updated within the past 180 days

MIT Course #Course TitleTerm
 3.11Mechanics of MaterialsFall 1999
 3.20Materials at Equilibrium (SMA 5111)Fall 2003
 3.205Thermodynamics and Kinetics of MaterialsFall 2006
 3.21Kinetic Processes in MaterialsSpring 2006
3.22Mechanical Behavior of MaterialsSpring 2008
 3.225Electronic and Mechanical Properties of MaterialsFall 2007
3.23Electrical, Optical, and Magnetic Properties of MaterialsFall 2007
 3.320Atomistic Computer Modeling of Materials (SMA 5107)Spring 2005
 3.35Fracture and FatigueFall 2003
 3.37Welding and Joining ProcessesFall 2002
 3.40JPhysical MetallurgySpring 2003
 3.40JPhysical MetallurgySpring 2004
 3.43JIntegrated Microelectronic DevicesSpring 2007
 3.45Magnetic MaterialsSpring 2004
 3.46Photonic Materials and DevicesSpring 2006
 3.53Electrochemical Processing of MaterialsSpring 2001
 3.56Engineering Systems Analysis for DesignFall 2008
 3.560JSystems Perspectives on Industrial EcologySpring 2006
 3.564JSustainable EnergySpring 2005
 3.577Engineering Risk-Benefit AnalysisSpring 2007
 3.60Symmetry, Structure, and Tensor Properties of MaterialsFall 2005
 3.80JProseminar in ManufacturingFall 2005
 3.83JSystem Optimization and Analysis for ManufacturingSummer 2003
 3.91Mechanical Behavior of PlasticsSpring 2007
 3.961JDesign of Medical Devices and ImplantsSpring 2006
 3.962JMolecular Principles of BiomaterialsSpring 2006
 3.96JBiomaterials-Tissue Interactions (BE.441)Fall 2003
 3.97JCell-Matrix MechanicsSpring 2004
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