Heather Hare and George Zhou (left to right), both undergraduates in Materials Science and Engineering, prepare to pour the metal into a mold under the direction of professor Tim Chambers in the MSE Advanced Lab in the Herbert H. Dow Engineering Building on the North Campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The floor of the lab where the pour took place has a layer of sand on it to protect it in case of spills.

Materials Science and Engineering is widely recognized as one of the most promising technical fields of the 21st century.

Materials scientists and engineers specialize in the characterization, development, processing, and use of metallic, ceramic, polymeric, and electronic materials that are employed in all fields of technology. To meet the needs of our modern technological society, they are developing important new materials. These include ultra-high-purity semiconductors for solid-state electronic devices; high-strength alloys for use at the extreme temperatures encountered in jet and rocket engines; strong, light alloys and composites for aerospace applications; specialized glasses and ceramics with high thermal, mechanical and chemical stability; and a host of polymeric materials: some with unique functional characteristics and others which replace metal, glass, wood and natural fibers in dozens of applications.

The future role of materials scientists and engineers promises to be even more important in addressing the current societal challenges such as energy shortage, clean energy, environment and sustainability, health care, transportation, national infrastructure and defense. Materials scientists and engineers are rising to this challenge through innovative approaches involving computational and data-driven design, development of novel materials, advanced characterization, and novel processing. They are also actively engaged in reducing the impact of modern society on our environment. They are at the forefront of recycling technologies and more energy-efficient ways of processing materials. 

A tremendous range of career opportunities exist for Materials Science and Engineering graduates who are employed in research, development, and manufacturing. They support the creation of new materials and processes or the improvement of old ones with the aim of tailoring properties to applications. Often the work involves cooperating with mechanical, chemical, aeronautical, automotive, and other types of engineers in selecting appropriate materials in the design of various devices, evaluating the performance of materials in service, and determining the causes and cures for in-service failures. We also prepare our graduates for all kinds of supervisory, research, teaching, and management activities. 

The undergraduate major and minor programs in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan have been carefully designed to prepare students for all the activities described above, as well as for supervisory, research, teaching, and management responsibilities. Thanks to its flexibility, students have an opportunity to tailor their program of study to their own interests or continue their academic work to acquire a master’s or doctoral degree. 

Course Guide

Materials Science and Engineering Courses


Departmental Website:

Materials Science and Engineering Department
3062 H.H. Dow
2300 Hayward St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2136
Phone: (734) 763-2445

Undergraduate Faculty Advisor
Steve Yalisove, [email protected]

M.S. Chair
Ferdinand Poudeu, 
[email protected]

Ph.D. Grad Chair
Emmanouil Kioupakis, 
[email protected]

Department Administration

Department Chair
Elizabeth Holm
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Chair, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering
3062B HH Dow Building

For more specific information on contacting people, go to our Contacts page.


Our mission is to lead the way in the field of materials science & engineering through education, research, and service on a global scale. We aim to educate a diverse workforce with the skills necessary to solve complex engineering challenges, drive innovative materials research, and make meaningful ethical contributions as leaders in science, technology, the environment, and society.


  1. To provide excellent, diverse students with knowledge and engineering skills in a quality learning environment that will enable them to become flexible, effective lifelong learners and leaders in materials-related industries, government agencies, and academia.
  2. To have a leading undergraduate program in materials science and engineering, one that integrates a strong scientific base with engineering experience.


Within 3-5 years after graduating our students will be able to:

  1. Use their understanding of the structure, properties, performance, and processing of materials to solve complex engineering problems
  2. Adapt to the rapidly changing scientific and technological landscape, recognize the implications of their work, and drive the development of future technologies.
  3. Communicate effectively with their colleagues and the general public.
  4. Contribute substantively and ethically, as leaders, to science, technology, the environment, and society.


All Materials Science and Engineering graduates should have:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Enrollment and Graduation Data

The University Registrar publishes the number of students enrolled annually in this program, and the number of degrees granted each term by this program. Additionally you can see recent degrees granted below:

Bachelors Degrees534244
Masters Degrees471931
Doctoral Degrees191318


The Materials Science and Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org, under the General Criteria and the Program Criteria for Materials (1), Metallurgical (2), Ceramics (3) and Similarly Named Engineering Programs.

Program Outcomes

The matrix maps how each course in our curriculum addresses our program outcomes. Only the outcomes tracked are noted below. 


Student Outcomes (Black – High)

  Apply math and science Design Communicate Ethics Teams Experiments, Analyze, and Interpret Data Lifelong Learning







































Undergraduate Degree Program

Sample Schedule

B.S.E. in Materials Science and Engineering

The Materials Science and Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org, under the General Criteria and the Program Criteria for Materials (1), Metallurgical (2), Ceramics (3) and Similarly Named Engineering Programs.

Please see the PDF version of the sample schedule. Additional information can be found on the Materials Science and Engineering Department Advising website.

Minor in Materials Science and Engineering

The understanding and selection of materials is a common requirement in many science and engineering disciplines. To help serve this need, the Department of Materials Science & Engineering is offering science and engineering undergraduate students whose major is outside of Materials Science & Engineering a Minor in Materials Science and Engineering.

To complete the minor, the student is required to take a minimum of five courses, entailing a minimum of 17 credits. The five courses required should be distributed as follows:

  • MATSCIE 220 “Introduction to Materials and Manufacturing” or MATSCIE 250 “Principles of Engineering Materials” (4 credits)  
  • MATSCIE 350 “Structures of Materials” (4 credits)  (F)
  • Two MSE courses from the following “Electives” list (3 credits each, and the prerequisites for each include MATSCIE 220/250 and in many cases, MATSCIE 350):
    • MATSCIE 400 “Electronic, Magnetic and Optical Materials for Modern Device Technology” (Prerequisite: MATSCIE 242)  (F)
    • MATSCIE 410 “Design and Applications of Biomaterials”  (F)  
    • MATSCIE 412 “Polymeric Materials” (Prerequisite: CHEM 210)  (F)  
    • MATSCIE 440 “Ceramic Materials” (W)  
    • MATSCIE 454 “Computational Approaches in MSE” (Prerequisite: MATSCIE 330, 335, and 365) (F) 
    • MATSCIE 465 “Structural and Chemical Characterization of Materials” (Prerequisites: MATSCIE 242 and MATSCIE 360) (W)  
    • MATSCIE 470 “Physical Metallurgy” (F)  
    • MATSCIE 514 “Composite Materials” (W)  
  • One more MATSCIE course, other than lab, research or special studies (3 or 4 credits)

F – Course offered Fall Term
W – Course offered Winter Term

Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Study (SUGS)

Students should apply to the program in the first term of their senior year in order to be advised appropriately regarding planning for undergraduate and graduate course selections. No dual enrollment will be required. Other requirements include a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.2 for admission and subsequent enrollment into the SUGS program in Materials Science and Engineering. A maximum of 9 credits of prior-approved coursework may be double counted. Only technical electives and/or general electives may be double-counted. None of the 47 required Materials Science and Engineering credits may be used for the graduate degree. A maximum of 15 credit hours that are double counted or transferred for graduate credit are allowed. Contact the prospective department for more complete program information.

Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) in Materials Science and Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Materials Science and Engineering

Master of Science Programs

Two different types of M.S.E. degrees are offered: one with a primary focus on coursework (the Coursework M.S.E.) and one with an emphasis on research (the Research M.S.E.). Students supported with a GSRA or research fellowship must pursue a Research M.S.E. rather than a Coursework M.S.E.

Coursework M.S.E. Degree

Students seeking a coursework M.S.E. degree must complete 30 credit hours of courses, which must be approved by the student’s advisor. Of the 30 credit hours, up to 8 credit hours may be satisfied by MATSCIE 690, and at least 15 credit hours of MATSCIE department courses (excluding MATSCIE 690) must be taken. Graduate courses offered towards the 30 credit hours are divided into two modules/categories.

i) Foundation Courses (minimum of 12 credit hours)

ii) Elective courses (maximum of 18 credit hours)

Students may count no more than 1 non-engineering, professionally related (e.g. business, entrepreneurship, public policy, patent law, TechCom, engineering education) course toward their coursework degree requirement, which must be approved by the Master’s Chair.  This course cannot be used as a cognate. At least 2 cognate courses (a minimum of 4 credit hours) must be taken. Students taking MATSCIE 690 must submit a research report commensurate with the number of MATSCIE 690 credits taken. This report must be approved by the project supervisor. It may also be used as a document for the Ph.D. oral candidacy exam.

Research M.S.E Degree

This degree emphasizes Research skills suitable for students targeting PhD study or a career as a research scientist/engineer in R&D organizations and industry. Therefore, the curriculum is structured to enable students to develop skills and knowledge in at least one of the following five (5) major areas of research specialization/concentration: (1) Computational and Data-Driven Materials Science; (2) Energy, Electronic and Quantum Materials; (3) Polymer and Bio Materials; (4) Metallic and Structural Materials; (5) Advanced Materials Characterization.

Students seeking a Research Master’s degree must complete 30 credit hours of coursework including research credits.

Graduate courses offered towards the 30 credit hours are divided into three modules/categories.

i) Foundation courses (minimum of 6 to a maximum of 9 credit hours) 

ii) Elective courses (maximum of 9 credit hours)

iii) Specialized courses and research (minimum of 15 credit hours) 

MSE Research Course Plan of Study Form for Master’s

Foundation courses: 

i) MATSCIE 532 (Advanced Thermodynamics of Materials; 3 credit hours) 

ii) MATSCIE 535 (Kinetics, Phase Transformations and Transport; 3 credit hours)

These courses are required for all students enrolled in a Research Masters track.

In addition, MSE 550 (Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering; 3 credit hours) is also required for students without an undergraduate degree in Materials Science and Engineering.

Elective courses: 

Students may count up to 9 credit hours within this module. Up to 2 non-MSE courses (maximum of 6 credit hours) may be counted toward the 9 credits. One non-MSE course can be a non-engineering, professionally related (e.g. Business, Entrepreneurship, Public Policy, Patent Law, TechCom, Engineering Education) course. The other non-MSE course must be a graduate-level Engineering or Science course. 

These non-MSE courses MUST be approved by the Master’s committee. 

Specialized courses and research:

Courses selection within this category will determine the specialization track (which will appear on the Master’s degree transcript). 

Students must count a minimum of 15 credit hours within this module. 

i) All students enrolled in a Research Masters track must take at least two additional MSE courses (6 credits) in the area of the specialization (see list of courses for details).

ii) All students enrolled in a Research Masters track must also take a minimum of 9 credits (maximum of 12 credits) of MSE 690.

  • Research Problems in Materials Science and Engineering toward the MSE 690 credits must be conducted with an MSE faculty mentor in their lab. 
  • With approval from the Master’s committee, research internships in the industry may be considered if it involves a UM MSE faculty mentor.
  • Students must submit a Master’s thesis to an examining committee of three faculty members, two of which must be from MSE. This committee will include the research advisor and two other faculty selected by the advisor in consultation with the student and approved by the Master’s Committee Chair.
  • The thesis must be defended orally before this committee and approved by a majority of the committee and the advisor.
  • This thesis should contain a critical review of background information and relevant literature, a statement of objective, a results section, and a thorough scientific analysis of these results.  It should have a degree of originality suitable for publication.
  • In the event that the student is not satisfied with the results of his/her examination(s), an appeal for arbitration can be made in sequence to the Master’s committee chair, the Dept. chair, the Rackham Graduate School or the College of Engineering Ombudsman.

Ph.D. Programs

Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering

Advancement to candidacy in the MATSCIE doctoral program is contingent on passing qualification courses and the oral preliminary exam. A master’s degree is not a prerequisite. Students must complete an additional 9 credit hours of formal coursework, above that required for the M.S.E. degree. Incoming students holding an M.S.E. degree (or equivalent) from another institution must complete an additional 18 hours of formal coursework to fulfill the residency and cognate requirements set forth by the Rackham Graduate School. In general, M.S. degrees from institutions outside the U.S. or Canada will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine if they meet the criteria for equivalency as set forth by the Graduate Committee of the MATSCIE department. The criteria for such a decision will be based on the academic standards of the foreign institution, the academic performance of the student at the institution, and the fulfillment of course and research requirements similar to those required in the MATSCIE department. Reports, a thesis, and publications may be submitted to the Graduate Committee for consideration in reaching decisions in such cases.

The Department will furnish details of requirements upon request.