University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering
You are here:
  1. Materials Science and Engineering, MSE > 
  2. Academics > 
  3. Prospective undergraduates
Student working on a class project

MSE undergraduate student conducting solar melting experiment.

Welcome!  We're glad you're taking a closer look at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering!

Think about it!  Almost everything we use in our daily lives is made from materials whose structure, properties, processing and performance were all carefully designed and explored by Materials Scientists and Engineers.  Advanced metals, polymers (plastics), ceramics, biomaterials, and materials for energy and electronics are a result of materials specialists’ applications of chemistry, physics, mathematics and engineering principles to materials we use and technical challenges we face every day.  If you enjoy science and mathematics and want to apply them to real, timely, challenging problems in technology, Materials Science and Engineering may be the field for you!


The UW Department of Materials Science and Engineering Offers:


  • A flexible degree program. Our department offers a BS degree in Materials Science and Engineering. The degree program covers the breadth of the materials field, but it also encourages students to design their own specializations by using emphasis areas.  Emphasis areas include nanomaterials, computational materials science, biomaterials, structural materials, energy materials, polymers, and optical, magnetic, and electronic materials. There is even an undesignated emphasis for students with broad interests! Emphasis area curricula take advantage of the expertise of faculty both inside and outside the department.
  • World class faculty. The Department of Materials Science and Engineering faculty includes four members of the National Academy of Engineering, the nation’s most prestigious and selective engineering body. The faculty have award winning programs in both research and education.
  • Hands-on experience. Hands-on coursework and research are important parts of the Materials Science and Engineering undergraduate program. Students often participate in research in faculty members’ research labs during the school year or summer, or spend a semester of summer working at a company through co-op and internship programs. Student participating in these programs have worked with the Kohler, Grede Foundry, Trek Bicycle, Oshkosh Truck, Motorola, Caterpillar, Intel and many other corporations and organizations.
  • Outstanding professional preparation. Graduates from Materials Science and Engineering go on to be leaders in industry, academia and government – essentially in every place where new materials are developed and applied. Other graduates have used their technical background transition into developing their own companies or into careers in technical management, business and law.
  • Supportive learning environment. All of the Materials Science and Engineering courses in the required curriculum are taught by faculty. Our classes typically include approximately 20 students and are taught in our building. Group study space for students is available in the building 24 x 7. The close-knit atmosphere of our department provides you, our students, with the attention and support you need to make your college days rewarding and your career a success.
  • Hard work, yet fun. Course loads are typically 15-17 hours per semester, and faculty expect students to work on courses 45-50 hours/week outside of class. But life as a UW Materials Science and Engineering student is much more than classes and homework. Students run organizations that host guest speakers from industry, organize plant tours and sponsor department-wide picnics and other social activities. MS&E students also have access to sailing, ballroom dancing, experimental vehicle design and building, and just hanging out at the Memorial Union Terrace.