MSE: your gateway for a stimulating engineering career.

What is MSE?Research Areas


The Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland offers an accredited Bachelor of Science program in Materials Science and Engineering, as well as a Minor in Nanoscale Science & Technology.

About Our Program

The Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) undergraduate program provides a strong engineering education with a solid emphasis on the fundamental properties and structure of materials, combined with the application and design of advanced materials for a wide range of engineering problems. Students will have the opportunity to work with faculty and industry on complex problems through projects, internships, and research and co-op experiences.

Students in our program get hands-on engineering experience in their very first year, starting with Introduction to Engineering Design (ENES 100). This project-based course requires students to work in interdisciplinary teams to design, build and deploy an autonomous over-sand vehicle capable of meeting a set of very challenging specifications. In their senior year, MSE student teams formulate and execute original research projects to be presented to the faculty in the Capstone Materials Design course (ENMA 490).

The MSE 4-year program consists of core courses, technical electives and specialization electives, in addition to the university-wide Gen Ed course requirements. The electives (9 courses) allow the student to tailor the coursework to best fit his/her interests and career goals. Additional program variations are possible, including a minor outside of the department, study abroad, or a combined B.S./M.S. degree.


Students specialize in one of six aspects of materials science and engineering:
  • Materials Science
  • Soft Materials and Biomaterials
  • Materials for Applications
  • Materials for Energy
  • Electrical, Optical and Functional Materials (prior to Fall 2017)
  • Nanomaterials (prior to Fall 2017)

Alternately, a specialization area can be designed to specifically meet an individual student's educational and career goals.


The MSE department offers great opportunities for undergraduate research in renowned faculty laboratories. Our students work on materials problems in collaborative and interdisciplinary teams that might including colleagues from other departments (PHYS, BIOE, CHEM, ECE, ME and AE) and other institutions (NIST, ARL, FDA, JQI). Research opportunities include developing new materials for energy applications (fuel cells, hydrogen storage, advanced batteries), new biomaterials for medically implanted devices, nanocomposites, shape memory metals, materials for electronic and optical devices, and nanomaterials.

FAQs about the Materials Science and Engineering program:

Materials science and engineering students take a capstone design course in their senior year. In recent years, they have worked on a wide range of projects including a shape memory alloy (a metal that "remembers" its shape and, using heat, can return to its original form), self-healing polymers, carbon nanotubes for organic solar cells, and zinc oxide tetrapods for microelectronic sensors.

These projects have interesting potential real-world applications. Dropping your MP3 player and cracking the case or scratching the finish is frustrating. If the case were made out of a self-healing polymer, it could repair itself automatically. Imagine a miniaturized "lab on a chip," only a fraction of an inch on a side, that can test for dangerous pathogens, perform routine lab analyses for doctors, or signal the presence of toxic chemicals in the water or air. Materials science students have worked on the microfluidic technologies that will make the miniaturization of many biomedical laboratory processes possible.

To learn more about the Capstone design course, review the syllabus and see presentations and reports from former students, visit ENMA 490: Materials Design.

You can also visit our news coverage of our seniors' Capstone presentations:


Our students find themselves working on materials problems with collaborative teams that might include students in physics, bioengineering, chemistry, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. Research opportunities include developing new materials for energy applications (fuel cells, hydrogen storage, advanced batteries), new biomaterials for medically implanted devices, nanocomposites, shape memory metals, materials for thermoelectric devices, and nanomaterials.

Students work in a wide range of experimental and research facilities, including a number of labs in the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, which is home to the Modern Engineering Materials Instructional Lab; the Maryland NanoCenter (AIMLab), and the NanoCenter Teaching Clean Room (located in the FabLab), among others.

Careers in MSE are diverse and cross-disciplinary, with MSE majors being in demand in almost every industry. Our graduates have many options and opportunities, and have pursued careers with companies such as Intel, Northrup Grumman, DuPont, Ford, Toyota, Sikorsky, IBM, Lexmark, Micron, and Motorola.

Industries with a regular need for MSE graduates include automotive, computer, electronics, chemical, nanotechnology, medical devices, defense, consumer products, and aviation.

MSE graduates can be found in positions throughout the Federal Government with organizations including the Department of Energy, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the armed forces, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Highway Administration, NASA, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and even the Smithsonian Museum.

Research and academia are also popular choices for our students—about half of our undergraduates go on to graduate school, and not just for MSE! A degree in MSE can also serve as a launching point for medical, law, or business school.

Visit Alumni Profiles or our Alumni News to learn more about the many career paths our graduates have taken.

Our students also benefit from the Clark School's Engineering Career Services, which gives students 24-hour access to engineering co-op, internship, summer, post-graduation, and part-time job listings. It also runs free resume clinics, career fairs, and other workshops for job seekers!


Questions about the undergraduate program in materials science and engineering may be sent to


Students who wish to study towards a degree in MSE apply for admission to the University of Maryland; there is no separate application for the College of Engineering. For more information about the process, see:

Students already admitted to the University can transfer to MSE and the A. James Clark School of Engineering by meeting with a College advisor and the MSE student services program director.

We are delighted that you are interested in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland and hope you will consider joining us. Open houses are scheduled throughout the year for prospective students.

N. Adaire Parker

Student Services Program Director
301-405-5989 |