Why MatSE At Illinois

Your creative energy, technical skills, and collaborative spirit will invent new materials and innovate in science and technology. Join our exciting and impactful field.

Joining MatSE

24 faculty members
500+ undergraduate and graduate students
11,000 square feet of undergraduate labs
#5 ranked undergraduate program
#3 ranked graduate program
70+ active engineering societies and organizations

Major in Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE)

This major may be for you if you want to be at the forefront of technology and make a difference in the world. Materials Science and Engineering is a discipline devoted to the understanding, design, fabrication, and engineering of the materials that underpin and drive the modern world. Materials are the things from which we construct the world, and understanding and manipulating them to drive technological and scientific progress is the fundamental goal of the discipline.

Civil, mechanical, electrical, computer, and aerospace engineers all rely on advanced materials. Materials Science and Engineering is at the core of nanotechnology, the production of machines and devices at molecular levels, which is likely to drive the next technological revolution. Materials Science and Engineering requires strong skills in math, chemistry, and physics. If you want to make things smaller, faster, stronger, and smarter, then this is the major for you!

Your Future

As a MatSE graduate, you will be in demand with industry leading companies, small start-ups and government agencies that rely on current and improved materials technology. Our alumni fill the employee rosters of companies such as 3M, Accenture, Alcatel-Lucent, Boeing, Caterpillar, Ford Motor Company, ExxonMobil, GE Aviation, General Mills, IBM, Intel, Kimberly Clark, and Texas Instruments, to name a few. MatSE careers & placement statistics

MatSE undergraduates frequently work as undergraduate research assistants in professors’ labs, so it’s not surprising that around 40% of MatSE graduates will go to graduate school after they finish their B.S. degree, most for their Ph.D. but some for an M.S. or even a J.D. or M.D. Some students enroll in the combined degree program and earn their B.S. and M.S. degree in 5 years. Combined degree program

A Look Into Your Schedule


Your freshman year is all about building your Materials Science and Engineering foundation, with essential chemistry, physics, math, and general education that will be the basis for further work.


You’ll begin Materials Science and Engineering core curriculum, complete math, physics, and chemistry in your second year on campus.


In your junior year, you’ll study central Materials Science and Engineering topics while taking associated labs. Here is a sample course schedule:

Fall Semester

Course Description Credit

MSE 401

Thermodynamics of Materials


MSE 406

Thermal-Mech Behavior of Materials


MSE 307

Materials Laboratory I


IE 300

Analysis of Data


Elective in social sciences and humanities



Total Course Credit Fall Semester:




Your senior year is where you put it all together. Develop specialization related to focus areas such as nanomaterials, biomaterials, materials for extreme environments, or materials for energy and environment through coursework and labs. The capstone of your course work is a senior design course, where you apply your knowledge to a real-world problem.

Be at the forefront of technology and make a difference in the world with MatSE.

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