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Undergraduate Programs

Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) is a field that couples basic and applied studies in physics, chemistry and mechanics on the atomistic and nanometer scales with macroscopic materials’ properties. Materials science is frequently an important enabler for many other scientific and engineering disciplines.

The MSE Department offers two opportunities for undergraduates to develop their understanding of materials science. A minor in Materials Science and Engineering is available to all undergraduate students. For students desiring a stronger and more extensive foundation in materials science, an 11-course MSE concentration in Engineering Science is available.

Engineering Science is the only interdisciplinary degree offered by the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia. Students wishing to prepare for graduate study or careers in materials science should consider the Materials Science Option within the Engineering Science program or consider an MSE minor.

For students who may wish to pursue another interdisciplinary in Engineering Science, the program also offers several other options as well:  Nanomedicine, Structural Mechanics and Materials, and a five year program that combines the BS in Engineering Science with a Master’s in Teaching from the Curry School, resulting in teacher certification.

For more information on undergraduate opportunities in materials science or information about the Engineering Science degree, contact Susan Bagby, undergraduate coordinator and Engineering Science administrator at

MSE offers a selection of undergraduate courses with the objective of providing students with a fundamental background in the structure, properties, processing, and performance of materials. This background is essential to engineers or scientists in understanding the selection of materials for various applications.

MSE Named Program

The named degree program in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) couples the study of macroscopic materials' properties with a deep understanding of the physics, chemistry and mechanics on the atomistic and nanometer scales.

Materials science is frequently an important enabler for many other scientific and engineering disciplines. For instance, advances in communication were brought about through the utilization of ceramic fibers in fiber optic cables which minimize attenuation of light signals and transmit much more information than is possible with electrically conducting wires. Thus, advances in materials science and engineering enable the development of new technologies across engineering most disciplines.

MSE Minor

The MSE minor provides students with a foundation for understanding how the processing, properties and structure of materials affect the science, design, and application of materials in the engineering discipline of your major field of study.

Undergraduate Research

The REU program provides an extensive, hands-on research experience for undergraduate engineering students in cutting-edge engineering research laboratories.

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only.  The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at