Undergraduate Programs

Materials Matter

Any engineering feat, invention, or advancement incorporates materials; history has been defined by materials: from the development of copper tools that ended the stone age 10,000 years ago to the advancement of nanomaterials for targeted drug delivery. Materials Science and Engineering is an interdisciplinary field devoted to understanding the fundamental science of materials and engineer these materials to solve increasingly complex problems. Advancements in materials, be it ceramics, electronic materials, metals, polymers, biomaterials, or nanomaterials, are integral to solving today’s and the future’s technological, societal, and environmental issues.

Goals & Objectives

The goal of the Materials Science and Engineering undergraduate curriculum at Illinois is to provide an understanding of the underlying principles of synthesis, characterization, structure, and processing of materials. By identifying the interrelationships between these principles, rational design can be applied to create materials with desired properties for specific applications.

The program educational objectives of the MatSE Department and its faculty at the undergraduate level are:

  1. To provide students with the necessary foundation for entry-level positions in materials related industries or advanced study programs by a comprehensive education that includes in-depth instruction in both materials as a whole and in their chosen concentration, with an emphasis on analysis, problem solving, exposure to open-ended problems and design methods.
  2. To provide students with an introduction to team work, communication techniques and individual professionalism, including ethics and environmental awareness, to prepare them for advanced study programs and/or successful, productive careers in industry.
  3. To provide students with the opportunity to broaden their education in engineering and science or expand their knowledge in a particular technical area by offering a choice of technical, free electives, and research and design experiences. To provide students with the opportunity to participate in the Co-op and Study Abroad programs.
  4. To provide students with opportunities to learn and grow as individuals, contribute to society and to appreciate the ability to achieve their goals through life-long learning and leadership.

Successful Careers

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois prepares its students for successful career after graduation, whether students seek employment in industry, pursue an advanced degree, or utilize their knowledge gained for other pursuits. This is accomplished through a curriculum that emphasizes understanding, designing, and producing materials with properties tailored for specific applications and the processes used. This is first introduced in the freshman year, developed throughout the curriculum in required and elective courses, and culminates in a capstone design experience in the senior year. The technical aspects of the curricula are complemented by composition, humanities and social science courses and by material on leadership, ethics, team-building and environmental responsibility that are distributed throughout the curriculum.