Your First Year at MatSE at Illinois

Harness Your Power

At Grainger Engineering, you apply directly to your engineering major of interest. This enables immediate interaction with faculty and peers in the department, builds community, and assists your involvement in research and extracurriculars related specifically to your academic goals. If you haven't done so yet, begin your application to join the Materials Science and Engineering family.

Become a Grainger Engineer

Begin Your Application

Wondering what your first year will look like? Learn more below.

Welcome to MSE 182

All students are required to take introductory course MSE 182. Here, you'll explore the building blocks for thinking like a material scientist. Let’s meet one of the professors who teaches this course: 

“In this class, we'll explore the wide, wild world of materials. How can we make better solar cells to power a clean energy future? How might the computer chips in the iPhone 20 work? Can we design plastics that repair themselves? What can we learn from nature to solve problems in our everyday world? We’ll think about all of these questions and even do some hands-on experiments, such as discovering the science behind gourmet chocolate, to help you discover topics and questions that will drive you throughout your college career. I can't wait for you to join me on this adventure, and I look forward to meeting you soon.” — Pinshane Huang, associate professor

Explore the Science of Chocolate

Join Material Advantage

Consider joining Material Advantage, a tight-knit undergraduate student organization. As a member, you'll have access to peer support in your studies and tons of fun professional and social activities. Recent group activities include networking with materials experts at the 2022 TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition and building snowmen on the quad.

Follow MA on Instagram

Hear From Your Peers

Maddie Weller flourished at MatSE. She went from feeling like "a girl stuck in her shell" when arriving on campus to president of Material Advantage (MA) her senior year. For Weller, getting involved in MA and making connections is something she considers "one of the best things" she ever did for herself in college.

Read Maddie's Blog

Make Meaningful Connections

You'll get the chance to connect with upperclassmen through the student-led mentorship program. Launched by students, this program began during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for students to keep in touch. Today, it has evolved into a social scene with homework meetups, picnics on the quad and much more!

Explore Mentorship Opportunities

Looking for more?

Check out additional resources to help you kick start your MatSE at Illinois journey.

Engineering Advising

Explore academic advising or schedule an appointment with a college advisor.

Explore Advising

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions? Check out our FAQs for more information.

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Engineering Career Services

 ECS is here to help you search for internships and co-ops, create resumes and cover letters, and find your dream job.

Schedule Appointment