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  

Students who major in MSE at 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 virtual events where you can learn more about the major, interact with current students, and enjoy individualized sessions with faculty members. 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 virtually or in person!

Visit the MSE booth at the annual Mayland Day, typically held the last Saturday in April. This year, Maryland Day will be held in person and virtually, depending on your comfort level, over a period of 3 days, March 19 -21, 2021. Follow this link for updates on this event.

Additional MSE Online Resources:

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