The research spectrum of materials science ranges from particle movement to tailored materials. It works with the question of how innovative engineering solutions can be derived from the chemical and physical properties of matter.

Using nature's laws material scientists develop new materials that don't exist in nature – especially functional materials at a low molecular level. Their expertise ranges from the design of tailored metallic and semi-conducting materials to the development of apposite mineral materials. They investigate, for example, how the conducting behavior of nanoparticles can be used to develop tiny storage and circuit elements. A further example of the application of materials science developments is the use of new materials in cell phones: innovative functional materials in cell phones ensure that the GPS receiver signal is correctly received and processed.Shaped by natural sciences the "look within" of innovative functional materials is what distinguishes the materials science perspective. It delineates itself from the neighboring materials engineering, which focuses more strongly on structural materials.

In its materials science course of study RWTH Aachen offers an interdisciplinary curriculum, which is taught by four RWTH Faculties. At the cross-section of natural science and engineering fundamentals students acquire an intensive fundamental education, which targets expertise in both fields.It is characterized by the large component of the fundamental subjects chemistry, physics, and mathematics, and from an application-oriented methods training in high tech laboratories and workshops. Analytical processes are taught along with innovative methods of process and materials modelling, which take into account the consistently growing percentage of computer-based materials research. Students also gain an intensive introduction to the field of characterization methods.In order to ensure students acquire the necessary breadth, they are not allowed to specialize during their Bachelor's studies. Students first have the opportunity to concentrate on one of the focuses of Aachen materials science and to develop their own academic profile when writing their Bachelor's thesis and later during Master's studies.

Programme Structure

Semester Natural Science Subjects and Mathematics Engineering Subjects Materials Science Subjects
1 and 2

Advanced Mathematics I and II,
Experimental Physics
I and II (and practical),
General and Inorganic Chemistry

Materials Science I and II, Technical Mechanics I and II Introduction to Materials Science,
3 and 4

Advanced Mathematics III,
Numerical Mathematics, Practical General and Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry I and II, Heterogeneous Equal-Weight Elementary, Simulation Technology, Quantum Mechanics

Electrical Engineering Materials Science (and practical),
Crystal Chemistry and Physics,
Radiographic Powder Methods, Electronic Materials I
5 and 6

Solid State Physics I and II

Materials Processing: Welding, Introduction to Recasting, Macromolecular Chemistry,
Plastics Processing,
Glass Materials Technology

Thermochemistry (and practical),
Electron Microscopy (and practical),
Electronic Materials II (and practical)

Bachelor's thesis – three months

Entry Requirement


  • Abitur or equivalent HZB
  • Proficiency in German

Career Prospects


Materials scientists develop and optimize tailored material combinations needed for specific applications. They can build the bridge to decisive technical innovations or achieve enormous cost savings. As a result there are outstanding entry-level opportunities in industry and particularly research.Materials scientists are currently extraordinarily in demand in the job market – especially as experts for the manufacture, application, and optimization of high-performance materials. They work, for example, in research and development departments, as well as in product management or quality management.

Due to their extraordinary interdisciplinary education RWTH graduates work in many technical fields. They find employment in aerospace engineering, semiconductor engineering, photovoltaics, ceramics and the fireproof industry, the building materials sector, the chemical industry, the glass-, computer-, and microchip industries, and the iron and steel industry. Further possible career fields include medical technology, biomaterials, surface finishing, consulting, survey and failure analysis, technical journalism, or quality protection.


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