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Our graduates help build the world. Materials scientists and engineers are central to the success of critical technologies, including biotechnology, nanotechology, energy, information technology, transportation systems, national defense and security, and environmental stewardship.

Jeff Schultz

Bachelor of Science

Our bachelor's degree program pepares students to work in a range of fields, including engineering, manufacturing, materials selection and design, quality assurance and control, research and development, technical consulting, management, and sales and marketing. Through our Engineering Communications Program, they learn how to communicate their work through writing, speaking, and visual media. And, they gain an excellent background for post-graduate studies in science, engineering, medicine, law, and business.

Students are empowered to succeed through our Cooperative Education Program that alternates semesters of study with professional employment. Study abroad opportunities are also possible. And, eligible students may earn a university honors degree.

Our department provides robust academic advising services to help students thrive in the classroom, and our top-notch research faculty offers many hands-on opportunities to undergraduates. Scholarships, assistantships, and professional development and networking opportunities also are available.


Students typically enter the department after completing their first year of study in Virginia Tech's Engineering Education program. Students must complete a total of 131 credit hours to gain a Bachelor of Science degree.

In addition to foundational courses in materials science and engineering, students tailor their degree with electives in several subdisciplines, such as metals, ceramics, polymers, electronic materials, composites, biomaterials, and nanomaterials. These credits may also focus on areas of study in manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, information technology, microelectronics, and other specialities.

Our undergraduate curriculum includes our robust Engineering Communications Program, including writing, public speaking, proposal preparation, reporting, research skills, critical and creative thinking, and graphical presentation.

Our students can pursue various minors through the College of Engineering.

Our program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

Program Objectives   

The specific objectives for our bachelor's degree program are to produce graduates who are:

  • effective oral, written, and visual media communicators.
  • able to apply critical thinking skills to engineering and research problems.
  • effective learners able to apply new technical tools, techniques, and knowledge specific to their field of employment or graduate studies.


Upon graduation, students completing the bachelor's of science degree in materials science and engineering will be able to:

  • Identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics, including computational techniques to materials systems.
  • Apply engineering selection and design consistent with the program educational objectives to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  • Communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  • Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  • Function effectively on a team, the members of which all provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  • Develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, apply statistical methods, and use engineering judgment (considering structure, properties, processing and performance) to draw conclusions.
  • Acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Choosing our major

Current Virginia Tech students who wish to declare materials science and engineering as their major must apply during open enrollment. Learn about the process through our Engineering Education program.

Students transferring to Virginia Tech from another university must gain admission from the registrar and the College of Engineering. The undergraduate academic advisor can provide guidance and information on the process.