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Materials Science and Engineering

College of Engineering

  • Bachelor of Science

Have you ever wondered what your stuff is made of? Then materials science and engineering is the major for you! Cell phones, semiconductors, automobiles, airplanes, tennis rackets, bicycles, space shuttle tiles and surgical implants — all of these objects rely on metals, ceramics, glasses or polymers. Discovering new materials and integrating them into engineering design is a daunting but rewarding task. This is the heart of the discipline. Newly engineered materials play a crucial role in technology, health and the well-being of society. 

Major Requirements

You will begin with a rigorous series of courses in mathematics, natural sciences and basic engineering to prepare yourself for more advanced study. At the upper-division level, you will take materials science and engineering (MSE) courses in materials thermodynamics, structure evolution, phase changes, transformation kinetics, and mechanical, electrical and magnetic properties. Parallel with this, you may choose to specialize in any one of the following areas: biomedical engineering, biosystems engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering or mechanical engineering. Regardless of your specialization, you will master principles of fundamental MSE, perform experiments, and conduct laboratory analysis and materials testing. In your senior year, you will be required to complete a capstone course in materials engineering design to integrate your coursework and prepare for the transition to a job in industry or for opportunities for graduate study.

Contact Information

Degree Outcomes


  • Materials Engineer
  • Metallurgist
  • Design Engineer
  • Product/Process Development Scientist
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Technician

Graduate Study

  • Engineering
  • Environmental sciences
  • Synthetic biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Materials science

Alumni Employers

  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Intel
  • Nike
  • National Center for Photovoltaics
  • Northwestern University
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The faculty you will work with

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What can I do with my MSE major?

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