Materials Science Degree

Laboratory vials

Program Description 

Materials science is the science that drives the development of novel materials in industry and medicine. Examples of material science include materials allowing very dense information storage, fast computing, new materials for clean energy production and storage, new materials for medical treatment and imaging, modern construction materials, or improved materials in automotive engineering. Materials science rests at the intersection of science and engineering – it’s the physics and chemistry of materials, with an emphasis on applications rather than fundamental research. 

The materials science degree is a collaboration between the chemistry and physics departments at Rockhurst; our faculty works closely with each student in both the class and lab setting to understand the fundamentals of materials science and engineering while connecting students with opportunities to help them work toward their career interests. Every materials science student completes either an internship to prepare for a career in industry and material science engineering, or a research project in preparation for graduate school. The mean annual salary for materials scientists is $101,910, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017).

Learning Outcomes 

  • Apply knowledge of mathematics, material chemistry, physics and engineering to solve problems related to materials science.
  • Become proficient in laboratory skills and communicating results.
  • Analyze real-world problems and develop solutions to those problems.
  • Use, critically evaluate and present scientific literature.
  • Demonstrate and understand the importance of ethics in scientific work.

Prospective Students 


Students pursuing a materials science degree at Rockhurst are guaranteed the following:

  • Internship or undergraduate research experience
  • At least one field trip to a local industrial or research company

Students also have the opportunity to join several clubs related to their career interests, such as:

  • Energy Engineering Sustainability Club
  • Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society
  • Phi Lambda Upsilon, the national chemistry honor society 
  • American Chemical Society Student Chapter


Graduates of the materials science degree program are prepared for a wide variety of opportunities, such as:

  • An array of opportunities in material science jobs, including as a materials engineer, material scientist, and in material design, manufacturing, product and process development
  • Industry: chemical, pharmaceutical, food, beverages, cosmetics, petroleum, agriculture, environmental, consumer products.
  • Government research/national laboratories: FDA, EPA, USDA, NIH, NIST, DOE
  • Materials science graduate programs, as well as grad programs in engineering, physics or chemistry