The Undergraduate Program in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland

New to MSE? Learn more about the field of materials science and engineering:

Visit our "What Is MSE?" section to learn more about materials, watch videos, and explore links to some of our favorite materials science and engineering web sites.


Questions about the MSE undergraduate program may be directed to


visit us

We are ABET Accredited

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland offers an undergraduate program which is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET ( ABET accreditation signifies that our program meets defined quality standards that produce graduates prepared to enter the workforce.

What will I learn if I major in materials science and engineering?

Students in our undergraduate program receive a strong engineering education that has 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. In their junior and senior years, students specialize in one of six aspects of materials science and engineering:

  • Materials Science
  • Soft Materials and Biomaterials
  • Materials for Applications
  • Materials for Energy

Alternately, a specialization area can be designed to specifically meet an individual student's educational and career goals. The department also coordinates the Clark School's Interdisciplinary Minor in Nanoscale Science and Technology.

For more information about our program's goals, see:

For more information about required and elective coursework, see:


What kinds of projects do MSE majors get to work on?


Capstone students presenting their design of a microfluidics mixer. Microfluidics is the study, design and building of micro-scale devices and systems that use channels and chambers for the containment and flow of fluids whose volumes are measured on a microliter or nanoliter level. Microfluidic devices are used in many disciplines, including chemical engineering, biology, bioengineering, DNA analysis, and pharmacology. At such tiny scales, fluid behavior changes, making the design and implementation of new devices challenging.

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 the ENMA 490: Materials Design homepage.

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


Will I be able to get research experience as an undergraduate?

colin in lab

This undergraduate is working in Professor John Cumings' lab, where he's building a special sample holder for a transmission electron microscope (TEM). The holder will enable the Cumings Group to test and observe the properties and behaviors of nanoscale devices while they are in the TEM.

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.


What kinds of jobs can I get with a B.S. in MSE?

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.

flanagan and mccann

Erin Flanagan (B.S. '06, left) and Chandler McCann (B.S. '05, right) speak to prospective students about their careers at the Women In Engineering DREAM Conference. Both currently work for Micron Technology, Inc., which manufactures memory and other components for a variety of electronic devices.

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 office of Engineering Co-op & 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! Visit them online at to learn more.


Learn more about the A. James Clark School of Engineering


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