Materials scientists make the materials that make everything better!

Everything is made of something. Materials scientists investigate how materials perform and why they sometimes fail. By understanding the structure of matter, from atomic scale to millimeter scale, they invent new ways to combine chemical elements into materials with unprecedented functional properties. Other branches of engineering rely heavily on materials scientists and engineers for the advanced materials used to design and manufacture products such as safer cars with better gas mileage, faster computers with larger hard drive capacities, smaller electronics, threat-detecting sensors, renewable energy harvesting devices and better medical devices. MSE is the field that leads in the discovery and development of the stuff that makes everything work. Materials scientists even work in museums, helping to analyze, preserve and restore artifacts and artwork.

Materials scientists work with diverse types of materials (e.g., metals, polymers, ceramics, liquid crystals, composites) for a broad range of applications (e.g., energy, construction, electronics, biotechnology, nanotechnology) employing modern processing and discovery principles (e.g., casting, additive manufacturing, coating, evaporation, plasma and radiation processing, artificial intelligence, and computer simulations).

Watch "Making Stuff," NOVA's 4-part series in which New York Times columnist David Pogue showcases the materials that shaped history and those that may influence our future.

Explore Various Areas within Materials Science and Engineering:

Biotechnology Ceramics Combinatorial
Energy Liquid Crystals Metals
Metamaterials Nanotechnology Plasma
Polymers Semiconductors  

Undergraduates who major in MSE at the University of Maryland tailor their education by choosing a specialization area that covers one or more of these topics.

Join Us!

Prospective undergraduate students and their families: We invite you to attend one of our undergraduate Materials Science and Engineering Open House events, where you can learn more about the department and major, tour our research and educational facilities, and perform your own hands-on materials science demonstrations. If you have questions, please send an email to:

Prospective graduate students:  Contact Ichiro Takeuchi (ichiro@umd.eduor Adaire Parker ( to schedule a visit.

Learn more in person!

Visit the MSE booth at the annual Mayland Day, the last Saturday in April. You will be amazed at what 'materials' can do!

Additional Online Resources about Materials Science & Engineering:

Explore our curated list of educational Materials Science & Engineering websites
Browse MSE @ UMD videos on our YouTube Channel: MaterialsatUMD