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Our department is at the heart of the materials revolution. Advances in materials have preceded almost every major technological leap since the beginning of civilization.

See and hear for yourself, as students and faculty share their views of the UW MSE department, focusing on efforts in energy, health and manufacturing.

Features of the Undergraduate Program

We offer an ABET-accreditated Bachelor of Science (BS MSE) program that graduates the highest number of students per faculty member among peer departments nationwide.

Unique aspects of our program include:

  • A degree option in Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering
  • Active student professional organizations
  • Diverse student body
  • Small class size
  • Hands-on, team-based learning
  • Undergraduate research projects
  • A combined BS-MS program for well-qualified undergraduate students

Features of the Graduate Program

We offer an outstanding Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program. Our students perform cuttingedge, interdisciplinary research on biomaterials for tissue engineering, ceramics and polymers for energy applications, composites and metals for aerospace, genetically engineered molecules, and semiconductors for electronics.

Additional program features include: 

  • Educational and research training involving synthesis, processing, characterization and fabrication of all classes of materials using state-of-the-art research equipment and facilities
  • Doctoral dissertation research opportunities for leading edge, interdisciplinary work
  • Research and teaching assistantships, stipends and fellowships for our doctoral program
  • Faculty collaboration for a final project, thesis or internship for our master’s program

Department research

A focus on nanotechnology drives many of our current research efforts and we are a core partner in several collaborative research centers.

Examples of our current research include:

  • Developing biomaterials for tissue engineering
  • Ceramics for energy applications
  • Composites and metals for aerospace
  • Computational techniques for materials development
  • Eco-materials for green technologies
  • Genetically engineered molecules and semiconductors for electronics
  • Magnetic materials for information storage/processing, biomedicine and energy conversion
  • Polymers for telecommunications and solar energy
UW MSE researchers have contributed greatly to the UW's success as a Most Innovative University. MSE researchers have reported 98 inventions, have had 36 patents issued, and have launched 7 startup companies.

Focus on student success

Preparing our students for the wide variety of jobs that await them is our highest priority. UW MSE students develop new materials, process methods, equipment, and material uses. Subjects include biomimetics and biomaterials; ceramic properties; composite materials; electronic, optical and magnetic materials; materials characterization, chemistry, modelling; metals & alloys; and polymers. Our graduates find employment in the aerospace, automotive, biomedical, chemical, construction, electronics, energy and telecommunication industries. We are proud to lay the foundations for successful careers in many sectors of the economy, from academia to industry.

Our students are well-recognized academically. Two recent graduates were awarded College of Engineering Dean’s medals, the highest honor the college can bestow on an undergraduate student. Many of our graduates are admitted into top-caliber graduate schools – such as MIT, Berkeley, UCSB, University of Illinois, and Northwestern – and launch their careers in companies that lead the world in research and development, such as Boeing, Intel and Micron.

MSE values diversity

MSE actively recruits women and minorities underrepresented in engineering, which has increased the diversity of our students. Currently:

136 Undergraduate students

  • 35% women
  • 9% underrepresented minorities
  • 16% international

148 Graduate students

  • 32% women
  • 9% underrepresented minorities
  • 42% international

Diversity and community programs across the college and UW encourage enrollment and support a diverse student body. See GO-MAP (Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program) and Engineering Diversity Programs.

What is Materials Science & Engineering?

Materials science and engineering is an interdisciplinary field. We explore the scientific fundamentals of materials, their design and their processing for real world applications. We apply the basic principles of chemistry and physics to understand the structure and properties of materials. We design processes to manipulate materials to meet the needs of modern technology.

MSE Professor Kannan M. Krishnan explains the physics underlying the innovative biomedical imaging technique — Magnetic Particle Imaging — emphasizing magnetic nanoparticle tracer development, in the following video from Bruker Corporation's Thought Leader Series.