Online Fundamentals of Materials Engineering Certificate

Micrograph of a Dendrite in a Zn-Ag alloy (as-cast)
10 Credits | Compact, Practical Curriculum


Earn an Online Certificate in the Fundamentals of Materials Engineering from Michigan Tech.

Lithium-ion batteries, advanced composite materials, smart clothing, 3D-printed prosthetics, skateboards, fire-retardant materials. Even that awesome carbon-fiber bike that your neighbor owns. If you've ever been impressed by (or maybe envied) one of these products or technologies, you can thank the innovation and dedication of a materials engineer.

Materials engineering focuses on the design, analysis, and development of materials that are used in the construction of products and structures. It involves the study of the physical and chemical properties of materials, as well as their production and processing.

In particular, materials engineers apply principles of thermodynamics and kinetics to investigate the effects of temperature and other environmental factors on both the physical and chemical properties of materials. They also use crystallography and diffraction to analyze the structure of materials as well as their behavior in various environments. In short, materials engineers work on improving existing materials and developing new ones that can withstand extreme temperatures, pressures, and other environmental conditions; meet specific design requirements; and be used in a variety of applications.

In our online certificate in the fundamentals of materials engineering, you will develop competencies in materials design and processing techniques, build skills in communication and project development, and review literature focused on real-world problems. You will also acquire knowledge of the concepts for analyzing, designing, and controlling the development and optimization of materials applications; and apply thermodynamic and kinetic principles to design the materials chemistry and manufacturing processes necessary to develop specific materials microstructures.

Learn more about Materials and Manufacturing Engineering Research at Michigan Tech

Why Earn Your Online Materials Engineering Certificate at Michigan Tech?

When you earn your online certificate in the fundamentals of materials engineering, you'll get a quality education. In fact, Michigan Tech is ranked the #3 best accredited online college in Michigan (EDsmart, 2024). When you earn your online certificate from MTU, you'll access several benefits.

  • The Michigan Tech Edge

    When you study at Michigan Tech, you join a legacy of talented engineers and scientists dating back to 1885. Because of MTU's history and reputation, then, employers seek out our graduates for their rigorous training and in-demand skills.

  • A Rigorous Online Classroom Experience

    Students in our online engineering programs take the same, robust classes as do students in in-person programs. These classes are taught directly by highly regarded faculty, who receive outstanding support from staff.

  • A Compact Curriculum

    Create a schedule that works for you. The online materials engineering certificate, comprised of only 10 credits, can easily fit around the demands of your life, your job, and your other responsibilities.

Online Fundamentals of Materials Engineering Courses

Each student in this online program will begin their educational journey with the same required 1-credit course: Special Topics in Materials Engineering. Thereafter, they will take 9 credits of electives from the following four options:

  • Thermodynamics and Kinetics 1.0
  • Thermodynamics and Kinetics 2.0
  • Crystallography and Diffraction
  • Mechanical Behavior of Materials

Learn more about these courses.

Program Website

What Do Materials Engineers Do?

They might make skis. Yes, skis. Materials engineers design, develop, and analyze materials for all kinds of products. For instance, they might develop materials such as carbon fiber and other composites to create lightweight and durable skis (or ski poles for that matter) that provide optimal performance. They might also design and develop skis for different types of terrain and snow conditions.

But skis are just one example of the materials and products that these versatile engineers design, develop, and perfect. That is, materials engineers regularly take on the challenge of developing materials that are lightweight, safe, strong, durable, and cost-effective.

What are Some Possible Materials Engineering Careers?

Materials engineers work in a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, biomedical, chemical, electronics, energy, and manufacturing. They may also find careers in such fields as nanotechnology, polymers, and coatings. In short, you can these engineers in various industries, government agencies, research organizations, and universities.

And they get paid well, too. That is, $104,300 is the median annual salary of materials engineers (US BLS, 2023).

Close-up of some a slice of wood carbon metal.

Possible Career Paths

  • Automotive Engineer
  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Materials Development Engineer
  • Materials Engineer
  • Metallurgist
  • Nanomaterials Engineer
  • Polymer Engineer
  • Product Development Engineer
  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Process Engineer

Get Started on Your Online Graduate Certificate.

Take the next steps in your educational journey. We are here to answer your questions and to help you succeed in your online program.