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Learn materials science with online courses and programs

Explore how materials are engineered and chosen for various projects. Learn materials science with online courses delivered through edX.

What is materials science?

Materials science is a multidisciplinary field focused on understanding the properties, structure, design, and application of materials. It involves exploring the relationship between a material's atomic and molecular structure and its resulting properties and behavior. This field studies a wide range of materials, including metals, ceramics, polymers, and semiconductors.

By studying materials at the microscopic and nanoscopic levels, materials scientists aim to improve existing materials, discover new ones, and tailor materials to meet specific needs in industries such as manufacturing, electronics, energy, healthcare, aerospace, and more. Their research contributes to advancements in technology, sustainability, and innovation by developing materials with enhanced strength, conductivity, durability, and other desirable characteristics.

Materials Science | Introduction Image Description

Materials science course curriculum

For those new to the subject, an introductory materials science course typically covers fundamental concepts related to the structure, properties, and applications of materials. You may learn about atomic and molecular structures, and how these structures influence material properties like mechanical, thermal, and electrical behaviors. Courses may explore different classes of materials, explaining their properties, processing techniques, and common applications. You may also touch on the principles of material selection, considering factors like cost, environmental impact, and performance. 

As you advance in your learning, you may have the option to enroll in more specialized materials science courses. Learn how to identify raw materials that can be used to create sustainable new products. Or explore how product design can support efficient recycling for waste management. 

With edX you can study a variety of topics in many different learning formats. Sign up for an accelerated boot camp or enroll in a full degree program and start working toward a bachelor's degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You can also explore executive education programs specifically designed for busy professionals. Find the right course to propel your professional development forward.

Explore jobs related to materials science

An understanding of materials science is valuable across industries, enabling professionals to create innovative products, enhance performance, and contribute to technological advancements. Careers in which you could put your knowledge of materials science to use include:

  • Materials engineer: These engineers develop, test, and select materials for specific applications. They design new materials or improve existing ones to meet desired properties, ensuring optimal performance and durability in products like electronics, aerospace components, and medical devices.

  • Manufacturing engineer: Professionals in this role optimize production processes, considering material properties to enhance efficiency and quality. They ensure that materials are processed in ways that maintain their integrity during fabrication.

  • Research scientist: Researchers investigate materials at a molecular level to discover new properties and applications. This is crucial for developing innovative technologies and materials, from renewable energy sources to advanced electronics.

  • Chemical engineer: Chemical engineers design processes to produce materials on an industrial scale. Their understanding of materials helps optimize reactions, yield, and quality in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to petrochemicals.

  • Materials testing technician: These technicians perform tests to assess material properties like strength, hardness, and elasticity. Industries like construction and aerospace rely on accurate material testing for safety and quality control.

  • Product designer: Designers incorporate materials knowledge into their work to select appropriate materials for functionality, aesthetics, and sustainability. They create products that balance form and function.

  • Environmental scientist: Understanding the behavior and impact of materials on the environment is crucial for addressing issues like pollution and waste management, making informed decisions about sustainable practices.

Are you ready to make the leap into a new career? Start learning about materials science and build the skills and knowledge you need to pursue your professional aspirations with edX.

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