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2020 Materials Sciences Degree Guide

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.

Materials Sciences Degrees Decreasing

#279 Most Popular Major
598 Degrees Awarded
-2.5% Increase in Graduates

In 2017-2018, materials sciences was the 279th most popular major nationwide with 598 degrees awarded. This 15 less than the prior year, a decrease of 2.5%.

There are 10 schools offering degrees in materials sciences in the United States. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of materials science programs later in this article.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Materials Sciences

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.

Prior Education for a Materials Science Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Specific materials science careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Materials Sciences Degree Types

There are various different levels of materials science degrees. You can get anything from a award taking less than 1 year in materials sciences to the highest materials science degree, a research/scholarship based doctorate. Different materials sciences degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

Materials Science Careers

$60.2k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

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.

Solid Growth Projected for Materials Science Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your materials science degree? Materials Sciences careers are expected to grow 8.3% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to materials sciences.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Professors 258,700 9.4%
Architectural and Engineering Managers 190,000 5.5%
Chemists 94,000 6.5%
Natural Sciences Managers 62,300 9.9%
Engineering Professors 54,600 14.7%

How Much Money Do People With a Materials Science Degree Make?

Recently graduated materials sciences students earned an average of $60,225 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $55,500 to as high as $62,500. As you might expect, salaries for materials science graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

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High Paying Careers for Materials Science Majors

Salaries for materials sciences graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers materials science grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Architectural and Engineering Managers $148,970
Natural Sciences Managers $139,680
Engineering Professors $113,680
Materials Scientists $102,450
Chemistry Professors $92,360

Getting Your Materials Sciences Degree

With over 96 different materials science degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased materials science school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Materials Sciences

One of 7 majors within the Physical Sciences area of study, Materials Sciences has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Chemistry 22,389
Physics 13,815
Geological & Earth Sciences 9,816
General Physical Sciences 4,387
Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology 1,188

View All Materials Science Related Majors >

References

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