Graduate Program Overview

Be at the forefront of materials research.

The University of Michigan Department of Materials Science is one of the oldest and largest programs in the country. We offer a challenging, well-rounded education in one of the most technically diverse departments in the country. Our professors work in areas from organic electronics to biomaterials to metallurgy and ceramics, and they can’t wait to work with the next generation of material scientists and engineers.

The University of Michigan is home to an internationally recognized and diverse faculty, a diverse and collegial student body, and high levels of research funding. We host a wide range of state-of-the-art research facilities for advanced materials research.

Our five major research areas are:

Structural Materials
Organic & Biomaterials
Electronic Materials
Inorganic & Nanomaterials
Computational Materials

Top-notch facilities

Graduate students access these high-caliber materials synthesis and characterization facilities:



An interdisciplinary approach to research

Materials science and engineering is a naturally multidisciplinary field. When there are advances in nanoscience, energy conversion and storage, photonics and sensor design, MSE research advances further. When we are able to advance the field materials science, other fields also advance.

The majority of our 25-member faculty hold joint appointments in other engineering and scientific disciplines, including macromolecular science and engineering, chemical, biomedical and mechanical engineering, physics, biology and chemistry. 

Our faculty work together with graduate students to create cutting-edge research on campus.  

MSE grad students tell their stories. Read some research highlights from our graduate students and hear from our students about their experiences as MSE graduate students.

Strong financial support for funding

Research expenditures are among the highest in the College – nearly $12 million in 2018, demonstrating the focus on not merely keeping abreast of but leading developments in the field.

The MSE Department faculty lead a wide range of federally funded multi-disciplinary research efforts, including:

  • $11M DoE Software Innovation Center, called the PRedictive Integrated Structural Materials Science Center, or PRISMS, led by MSE Professor John Allison.

  • $13-million National Science Foundation center based at The University of Michigan developing high-tech materials that manipulate light in new ways. The research could enable advances such as invisibility cloaks, nanoscale lasers, high-efficiency lighting, and quantum computers.

And receives research and training grants like:

  • Research funding also includes three multi-million-dollar, multi-investigator, interdisciplinary grants from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation.

  • The department also has a training grant from the Department of Education, providing fellowships for research and studies in areas of national need.

Industrial funding is strong and exceeds the College of Engineering average.

Companies providing funding include:

  • Dow Corning

  • Ford Motor Co.

  • General Electric

  • General Motors

  • Semiconductor Research Corp.

  • Toyota

Quick facts about MSE

  • 138 students pursuing MSE degrees

  • 20 additional students from other disciplines, advised by MSE jointly appointed faculty in other departments.

  • 25 core faculty plus 12 affiliated faculty, with a highly productive research and education portfolio.

  • Four faculty members of the National Academy of Engineering

  • Consistent top 10 U.S. News and World Report ranking for the department, one of 9 top 10 College of Engineering departments

  • Women comprise nearly a quarter of faculty, above average

  • Women and underrepresented minorities make up 30% of the graduate class 

Ready to explore the MSE graduate program?

What do you think? If our program interests you, please check out the curriculum and how to apply.  You may also want to take a look at financial aid and housing options and explore what life would be like in Ann Arbor.


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