Major Overview

Companies are constantly trying to create higher quality products at lower costs. Improving the materials in their products ensures customer satisfaction both in performance and price. As a Materials Science major, you will have the skills to help companies create new materials to build products, aid manufacturing, and improve technology.

Materials Scientists know everything about materials. They study chemical composition of materials, how substances react to certain stressors, how they are processed and used in manufacturing or other industries, and even how to create new materials. You will take classes in chemistry, physics, math, materials engineering and chemical processing in order to learn about all aspects of the different materials we use today.

Required Skills

The Materials Science field is strongly rooted in math and science, making a background in physics and chemistry helpful to students. You must also have critical thinking and problem solving skills to allow you to develop new materials for a product or help companies decide which materials will work best for their project. Strong communication and teamwork skills will help you work with others towards a common goal, which is frequent in this field.

Employers tend to favor graduates who have previous experience, making internships, summer field camps, or work in an on campus lab important. These experiences will allow you to work closely with a professional or professor and employ classroom knowledge to a real life work setting.

Although a bachelor's degree will allow you to find an entry-level position, most Materials Science graduates go on to get their master's or Ph.D. This allows them to perform research, work in positions with more responsibility, and be more competitive when looking for a job.

Careers

Materials Science graduates work in a variety of fields including technology fields, such as communication and biotechnology, the computer industry, and medical manufacturing. Since we use a variety of materials in our everyday life, graduates are employed in the research and development departments of a many companies. This field is growing at a slower than average rate, creating high competition for graduates when looking for jobs. Those with previous experience and an advanced degree are more likely to find job opportunities.

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Major at a Glance

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Yearly Graduations
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Average Starting Salary
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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Materials Sciences might open up.

Architectural and Engineering Managers
Chemistry Teachers, Postsecondary
Chemists
Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary
Materials Scientists
Natural Sciences Managers
Postsecondary Teachers, All Other
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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