MSE Department Overview




 To achieve the status, and be so recognized by peers, of a premier materials science and engineering department in the world at both undergraduate and graduate levels.



  1. Educate and train a diverse workforce of materials scientists and engineers at undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels who will be the future leaders in industry, academia and national laboratories.
  2. Champion innovative approaches in materials research and education. 
  3. Build and sustain world-class research programs, in collaboration with faculty throughout University of Michigan and other universities and industry and national labs, in topical areas of national significance.
  4. Generate and publish new knowledge in the science and technology of materials in peer-reviewed journals, books, patents, etc.
  5. Champion MSE outreach, diversity and broader impacts initiatives.


Consistent with our mission, students in our undergraduate and graduate programs are trained in the seven Michigan Engineering Plus Competencies:

  1. Technical Leadership
  2. Creativity & Innovation
  3. Entrepreneurial Mindset
  4. Intercultural Intelligence
  5. Collaborative Spirit
  6. Social and Environmental Responsibilities
  7. Effective Communication


The Michigan Tradition of Excellence: pioneering materials in America

Chamber Lab



MSE can trace its disciplinary roots at the University of Michigan to the middle of the 19th century, first in chemistry and later in chemical engineering. The title “Professor of Metallurgy” was first used in 1854. The study of materials (metallurgy) at the University of Michigan gained momentum with the appointment of Edward DeMille Campbell in 1890 as Assistant Professor of Metallurgy. He later became “Head Professor of Chemistry and Metallurgy” and director of the Chemical Laboratory. In 1914 the Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering was formed.  In 1969 Professor Lawrence H. Van Vlack became chair of the Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering.  Shortly thereafter the department was subdivided into two divisions, and in 1971 two separate departments were established, the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering.  


Former campus


In 1985, the department name was changed from Materials and Metallurgical Engineering to Materials Science and Engineering.  It is now one of the largest materials science and engineering programs in the country with approximately 175 undergraduate and 125 graduate (PhD and MS) students and numerous postdoctoral scholars and visiting scientists.  In Fall 2016, the department has 25 tenured and tenure-track core faculty, 2 partial and 15 courtesy appointments, coming from a wide range of engineering and science departments such as mechanical, aerospace, electrical, chemical, nuclear, civil, and biomedical engineering, and chemistry. Several of our faculty members are affiliated with the Macromolecular Science and Engineering, and Applied physics interdisciplinary graduate programs at University of Michigan. The department has been consistently ranked amongst the top undergraduate and graduate programs of MSE in the country. 


Holding Wafer


The MSE department is a learning community steeped in tradition and always ready to explore exciting new approaches to education and research..Course work and research in the MSE department emphasize the relationship between how a material is processed, its structure and the resulting properties and is built on a firm grounding in physics, chemistry and metallurgy. Experiential learning and access to sophisticated instrumentation allow students to gain valuable experience in characterizing materials structures and properties. Our research and instructional laboratories are some of the best in the country and include the new Michigan Center for Materials Characterization and L. H. Van Vlack Undergraduate Laboratory that is devoted to hands-on laboratory and computational instruction.


teaching group