Materials Science and Engineering

Grainger College of Engineering


What is Materials Science and Engineering?

Materials Science and Engineering is the manipulation and creation of materials to meet and exceed societal and technological needs.

As a MatSE student, you’ll gain an understanding of the science of materials. Students take courses in biology, chemistry, computer science, and physics. You’ll be able to tailor your curriculum to match your interests.

Industry-leading companies and vibrant start-ups rely on improved materials technologies. MatSE is a versatile discipline, and our graduates are in demand. Work may involve

  • computational research with machine learning,
  • understanding new medical therapies,
  • creating protective coatings for hypersonic flight and space travel,
  • manufacturing next-generation solar cells,
  • building quantum computers, or
  • designing safer and more sustainable batteries.

Excited about the real-world application of biology, chemistry, computer science, physics, and more? Contact matse@illinois.edu for more information.

Career Options

  • Research Scientist
  • Process Engineer
  • Quality Control Engineer
  • Failure Analysis
  • Project Manager

Post-Graduation Success1

88% employed or continuing education

55% employed after graduation

33% attending graduate school

$63,282 average starting annual income

Sample employer destinations: 3M, AbbVie, IBM View All

Sample grad school destinations: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University, Stanford University View All

Review Criteria

First-Year Major-Specific Criteria

  • Strong math and science coursework and performance
  • Calculus preferred and physics expected (if available at high school)
  • Strong teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
  • Interest in improving society through engineering
  • Demonstrated understanding of and interest in the engineering major selected

View All Review Criteria

Transfer Criteria

Transfer Guide

Graduation & Retention2

3.9 years to degree

94% first-year retention rate

69% four-year graduation rate

85% six-year graduation rate

Annual Program Costs3

Illinois Resident

  • Tuition: $17,976
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,222
  • Total: $41,126


  • Tuition: $39,736
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses:$18,562
  • Total: $63,226


  • Tuition: $42,868
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,562
  • Total: $66,358