Materials Science and Engineering

Grainger College of Engineering


What is Materials Science and Engineering?

Materials Science and Engineering is an interdisciplinary field of study. Students build a fundamental understanding of materials by taking courses in chemistry, physics, and engineering. In this program, you'll learn how to tailor the structure, properties, and performance of existing materials. You will also develop and synthesize new materials with unique properties. Finding the right material is important for both major technological and societal challenges. Examples include: renewable energy generation and storage, development of advanced microelectronics, environmental remediation, space exploration, and sustainable transportation. Our program can take you to the forefront of technology. If you want to make things smaller, faster, stronger, and smarter, this major might be for you.

Career Options

  • Manufacturing
  • Materials
  • Research
  • Packaging
  • Process development
  • Quality management

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: Texas Instruments, The Clorox Company, Ebco View All

Sample grad school destinations: University of Illinois at 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: $17,660
  • Fees: $4,664
  • Expenses: $16,420
  • Total: $38,744


  • Tuition: $38,132
  • Fees: $4,664
  • Expenses:$16,760
  • Total: $59,556


  • Tuition: $41,110
  • Fees: $4,664
  • Expenses: $16,760
  • Total: $62,534