Brown University School of Engineering

Materials Engineering

Sc.B. in Materials Engineering

Materials engineers create and manufacture new materials, which include semiconductors, polymers, ceramics, ferrous and non-ferrous alloys, and composite materials. Their contributions have led to breakthroughs in microelectronics, displays, energy storage, aerospace, and biomedical devices, among many other fields.

The materials engineering curriculum at Brown provides graduates with both the expertise necessary to practice their profession, as well as the inter-disciplinary foundation necessary to collaborate with the engineers who will use the materials that they develop. A substantial fraction of materials engineering students at Brown participate in research, which allows them to make use of Brown's state-of-the-art facilities in microscopy, materials characterization, and materials processing.

The concentration has the following structure:

  • Interdisciplinary core courses for the Sc.B., taken during the first two years 
  • Seven upper level engineering courses including required courses on thermodynamics, kinetics, and mechanical properties of materials; three courses chosen from five topical materials courses (electronic materials, soft and polymeric materials, ceramics and composites, biomaterials, and metallic materials); and a capstone design project.
  • An advanced science course (usually solid-state physics)
  • Four approved humanities courses 

Through their choice of upper level materials courses and through the use of electives, students have the opportunity to focus on specific areas of materials engineering that interest them. Examples of these include mechanics of materials, polymers and biomaterials, electrical properties and their applications, or materials processing. Decisions about which courses and electives to take are chosen in discussion with the materials engineering concentration advisor.

Additional Information

Sample course plan (for requirements see the University Bulletin)

I ENGN 0030 or ENGN 0031 Introduction to Engineering or Honors Introduction to Engineering
CHEM 0330 Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure
MATH 0190 AP Calculus (Physics/Engineering)
Elective †  
II ENGN 0040 Dynamics and Vibrations
MATH 0200 Intermediate Calculus (Physics/Engineering)
CSCI 0111 or APMA 0160* Computing Foundations: Data or Introduction to Scientific Computing
III ENGN 0410 Materials Science
ENGN 0510 Electricity and Magnetism
APMA 0330 Methods of Applied Mathematics I
IV ENGN 0520 Electical Circuits and Signals
ENGN 0720 Thermodynamics
APMA 0340 Methods of Applied Mathematics II
V ENGN 0310 or ENGN 0810 Mechanics of Solids and Structures or Fluid Mechanics
Upper Level Course  
Advanced Science §  
VI Upper Level Course  
Upper Level Course  
VII Upper Level Course  
Upper Level Course  
VIII Upper Level Course  
Upper Level Course  
† A minimum of four electives must be in the humanities and social sciences.
* CHEM 0350 Organic Chemistry may be substituted for CSCI 0040.
§ May be taken in any semester after prerequisites have been satisfied.