Master in Materials Science after Architecture?


Good morning,

I am currently in a Master of Architecture at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and have made a high school diploma in sciences.

In parallel, I was studying for a degree in Construction Engineering in Paris, which I will not continue this year. The field of construction is very technical, I didn't find my place, and am afraid of having broken all links with the basic sciences!

Architecture is an exciting field, but I don't want to work in an agency. I am interested in research, especially in physics. Maybe in a research laboratory linked to an architecture agency (like AMO/OMA or GXN/3XN...)

I learned about Masters in the United States, is it possible to integrate without having a bachelor corresponding to the subject ?
I am interested in the Master in Materials Science, to design new materials for construction or a Master in Physics, a field that I have always appreciated ! I have a hard time finding some information or testimonials because the architecture is so far away from scientific training...

Which master's degree could be interesting to combine with a master of architecture (preferably related to physics) ?

Thank you for reading me !

Feb 3, 19 3:03 pm

I may be wrong but I thought Material Science was more on the side of the testing and chemical engineering is more on the synthesis but check out the nanoscience program it's either at UC San Diego or San Diego State

Feb 3, 19 5:06 pm

That being said as you probably know the frontier of materials engineering is physics and not chemistry but this is a probably because we have not had any breakthroughs to make a new say periodic table based on new discoveries so it's possible that your dream isn't possible that you'd have to go into pure physics and you may end up in condensed matter but you'll have to learn unless there's a discovery right now basically all the physics as you know you have to integrate all the physics create a theory and then you get new results


1.545 Atomistic Modeling and Simulation of Materials and Structures

Prereq: Permission of instructor 
G (Fall)
Not offered regularly; consult department
3-0-9 units

Covers multiscale atomistic modeling and simulation methods, with focus on mechanical properties (elasticity, plasticity, creep, fracture, fatigue) of a range of materials (metals, ceramics, proteins, biological materials, biomaterials). Topics include mechanics of materials (energy principles, nano-/micromechanics, deformation mechanisms, size effects, hierarchical biological structures) and atomistic modeling (chemistry, interatomic potentials, visualization, data analysis, numerical methods, supercomputing, algorithms). Includes an interactive computational project.

M. J. Buehler  

"M.J. Buehler has a book on this

Feb 3, 19 5:13 pm

I personally have a book which I I haven't really opened it it is finite element method  and Boundary element analysis  in quantum mechanics  sell this book  is  a quantum mechanics  guide  as opposed to the atomic modeling in the post above

Feb 3, 19 5:14 pm



but actually I've been thinking about putting together kind of a think tank that splits up the different materials and everybody would do the calculations for the different materials that way we could just do it faster

Feb 3, 19 5:16 pm

that being said in two and a half years there's a book coming out which is the next generation of Applied Physics

Feb 3, 19 5:17 pm

so if I were in your position with your interests I would do chemical engineering probably with Applied Physics or engineering physics

Feb 3, 19 5:19 pm

then again with your background in construction you can go to say Colorado School of the mines major in mining and minerology well at the same time doing metallurgy and make a ton of cash and then when the new applied physics book comes out open a new industry

Feb 3, 19 5:21 pm

Thank you so much for your answer


Thank you very much for your answer !

I will look at all the links and programs of the schools you are talking about !

So, instead of going to materials science, I will learn more about chemistry.
I understood that it is important to have a good level of physics or that I manage to combine the two formations.

The field of physics pleases me more than chemistry. Do you think it would be wise to do the opposite: a master's degree in physics with a minor in chemistry if possible?

In fact, I don't know all the existing trades around materials and research in architecture agency laboratories. If you have any information, that would interest me a lot! 

Thanks again for taking the time to answer me.

Feb 3, 19 6:30 pm

You’re taking advice from someone who doesn’t know anything...


Do you have information? I am open to all opinions


No, just giving you a warning not to take advice from this particular individual.


Oh, ok thank you !


I don't know too much on this subject but when I was researching graduate programs I came across University of Michigan's Master of Science in Architecture concentration in Digital and Material Technologies. https://taubmancollege.umich.e...

I don't know anything more about the program but thought you may find it interesting! 

Feb 4, 19 9:37 pm

Thank you very much for your suggestion! I am going to take a closer look at this university program!


When I think of physics I think of Newton's laws of motion and mechanics in general. Architecture is pretty damn stationary. This is not a great combination, or perhaps a very niche one. 

Thermal physics does have a lot of application in architecture, but I don't think that's what you have in mind. 

There is a lot of innovation in architecture but a lot of it comes from chemists working for Dow or whoever. Thermoplastics, thermostets, elastomerics. These have all changed how building are put together greatly in last few decades. Some days I wish I had a chemical degree. I can trust properties of materials based on test results, but without really understanding what is going on. 

Feb 5, 19 11:04 am

Thank you for your reply ! 

 Are people working in the design of new materials chemists or chemical engineers as previously mentioned by JawkneeMusic? 

 Is material science closer to mechanical engineering or physics rather than to the innovation of new materials?


Virginia Tech offers a Master's in Materials Science

from their website:

"A degree from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) in Virginia Tech's nationally ranked College of Engineering will open many doors for young engineers at all levels. Graduates from Virginia Tech's MSE program work in fields such as fiber optics, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas production, metal casting, semiconductors, cosmetics, failure analysis, patent examination, equipment design, quality assurance, technical management, sales and marketing, product development, and many more.

Materials scientists and engineers focus on

  • studying properties and structure of materials
  • creating new and better materials
  • improving existing materials
  • selecting appropriate materials for a wide range of applications"

The French engineer Claudius Crozet was very active in the area in the first half of the nineteenth century so the OP would be in good company. 


Feb 5, 19 12:15 pm

Thank you very much for your suggestion! :)


I will take a closer look at the program of this university


You can study Building Physics.

Feb 5, 19 12:29 pm

Thank you for your reply and your suggestion! I have already taken courses in construction and civil engineering, in which we did building physics, but it remains a very technical field ...

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