Bachelor of Science in Materials Science & Engineering

Program Details

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 those of you 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. You’ll 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.

The Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering degree program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Learn more on our Accreditation page.

Degree Information:

Please refer to The Guide for further information regarding the below:

MS&E Capstone Projects

Materials Science

The MS&E Capstone Projects are the culminating academic and intellectual experience for our students in their final year of undergraduate study. They require students to integrate the knowledge and skills they have gained throughout the curriculum to solve problems creatively. The projects are also a sustained, year-long exercise in true engineering practice, from project planning through execution to delivery of results.

MS&E students work on a projects in materials design, selection, and application. The two capstone project courses (MSE 470 and 471) develop skills problem identification, experimental design, data acquisition and analysis, and presentation of results, with an emphasis on creativity and application of fundamental engineering principles.

Clients play a key role in defining, supporting, and guiding capstone projects.

Students work in teams to apply their knowledge to solve a directed, client-based materials science and engineering design project. They will work closely together with their client in development and execution a statement of work, use of research laboratory facilities, and conducting design of experiments culminating with a project report and presentation of research results to the client.

We tailor the capstone project teams to the engineering needs of our clients, including creating interdisciplinary engineering teams involving MS&E students and students from other departments across the College of Engineering to meet client needs.


Get involved with the MS&E Capstone Projects!