Department of Materials Science and Engineering College of Engineering University of Michigan

Department of Materials Science and Engineering College of Engineering University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
2 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


Top Graduate Program in Materials Science and Engineering at UM

The University of Michigan (UM), located in Ann Arbor, is a public research university that is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan.

The university's Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) situated within the College of Engineering, is one of the oldest, largest, and most technically diverse graduate programs of its kind in the nation and throughout the world. The department offers two master's degrees and one doctoral program.

Highly ranked for its substantial levels of research funding, the depth and breadth of its faculty's expertise, and its diverse student body, the department offers students a challenging, well-rounded education at the forefront of materials research.

High Caliber Focus and Facilities Among Nation's Best

Core competencies of UM's MSE program include structural, electronic, and inorganic materials; organic and bio materials; and computational materials science. These continue to expand, keeping pace with advances in nanoscience, energy conversion and storage, photonics, and sensor design.

Computational materials science has more recently become part of the program's focus. It encompasses computer modeling and simulation to guide the design, development, and characterization of materials -- all identified as areas of national need by the National Science Foundation and other science organizations.

The University of Michigan has committed significant resources to improving the quality of its materials science laboratories, making them competitive with the best materials science centers in the nation. Students in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering work in high-caliber materials synthesis and characterization facilities.

For example, the Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory, or EMAL, includes a state-of-the-art electron microscope and focused ion beam machining equipment. Also, a new X-ray Micro Analysis Laboratory, or XMAL, provides nanoscale characterization capabilities.

Leading the Research Frontier in Materials Science

Materials research at the University of Michigan covers a broad range of material systems, technical approaches, and applications in biomedical, electronic, energy, nanotechnology, and structural fields.

Among UM's 8 centers of research dedicated to these studies are: the Center for Advanced Electronic Materials, the Center for Nanomaterials Science, and the Center for Solar and Thermal Conversion.

Research funding in the MSE department currently includes 3 multi-million-dollar, multi-investigator, interdisciplinary grants from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation.

Research expenditures in the MSE department are among the highest in the college, demonstrating its commitment to leading developments in the field. The department also has a training grant from the Department of Education, providing fellowships for research and studies in areas of national need.

Two Master of Science in Engineering Degree Tracks

The University of Michigan offers 2 different types of Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) degrees: one with a primary focus on coursework (coursework M.S.E.) and one with an emphasis on research (research M.S.E.).

Coursework M.S.E. Requirements

Requirements for the coursework M.S.E. degree involve 30 credit hours of courses, 15 of which must be MSE department courses. Students must also complete 2 cognate (elective) courses, which may include biochemistry, aerospace, applied physics, biophysics, astronomy, and others.

Up to 8 credit hours may be satisfied by MSE 690, Research Problems in Materials Science and Engineering, in which students work in groups or individually on problems of particular interest to them and submit a final report. The paper must be approved by the project supervisor and may also be used as a document for the Ph.D. oral candidacy exam.

Research M.S.E. Requirements

Requirements for the research M.S.E. degree involve a total of 30 credit hours of combined coursework and research. Twelve credit hours must be in MSE department courses and 9 must be in MSE 690.

Students must also complete 2 cognate courses (a minimum of 4 credit hours) and defend an oral master's thesis. The oral defense may also serve as the Ph.D. oral candidacy exam at the committee's discretion.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree Requirements

Candidates for the Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering must complete an additional 9 hours of formal coursework beyond the relevant M.S.E. degree, as well as 2 cognate courses and a written exam and oral exam.

One semester of teaching experience as a graduate student instructor is required, as is submission of a Ph.D. thesis and final defense.

Faculty Diversity and Experience Widely Recognized

Many students say the cutting-edge faculty was the reason they enrolled in the MSE graduate program. UM's College of Engineering faculty is widely known for its diversity, depth, enthusiasm, and breadth of expertise. Women comprise nearly a quarter of the MSE faculty, which is more than twice the national average.

The majority of the 20-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.

Faculty members are distinguished not only for research accomplishments, but they also serve as leaders of, and hold fellowships in, many professional and technical societies. Most are editors or members of editorial boards of prestigious scientific journals and have filed patents; several have founded companies.

University of Michigan "Pedigree" Fuels Employment Opportunities

UM's MSE graduates say that the program's entrepreneurial spirit keeps them involved and engaged. The chance to work with faculty on cutting-edge laboratory research frequently spins off into start-up ventures, giving graduates an advantage when they enter the job market.

Alumni say the MSE program has prepared them well for a competitive, global workplace. Recruiters from top academic, governmental, and corporate institutions often consider the University of Michigan "pedigree" as a preferred status for job candidates.

Location & Contact

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

College of Engineering
University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Amit Misra

Department Chair

Phone: 734-764-7799
Fax: 734-763-4788

Renee Hilgendorf

Graduate Program Coordinator

Phone: 734-763-9790
Fax: 734-763-4788

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Materials Engineering Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 36
    • Doctoral Degrees 28
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


17% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 508
    • Accepted 90
    • Acceptance Rate 17
    • Enrolled 34
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic Not Reported
    • Application Fee - International Not Reported
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test, minimum GPA of 3.0 in related field
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test, minimum GPA of 3.0 in related field, master's degree
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableNot Reported

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students164
    • Female Percentage28%
    • Male Percentage72%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students164
    • Part-time Percentage1%
    • Full-time Percentage99%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / LatinoNot Reported
    • Black / African AmericanNot Reported
    • White / CaucasianNot Reported
    • American Indian / Alaskan NativeNot Reported
    • AsianNot Reported
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific IslanderNot Reported
    • Two or more racesNot Reported
    • UnknownNot Reported


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchSoft materials (polymers, biomaterials), computational materials science, structural materials, electronic and optical materials, nanocomposite materials
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$17,556,463