Admissions to the Materials Engineering M.S. have been suspended as of spring 2016 and will be discontinued as of fall 2019. If you have any questions, please contact the department.

The department mission is to provide local, national, and international leadership in materials research and education. Graduate research in materials science and engineering covers a full range of cutting-edge technologies.

Department faculty run internationally recognized research programs which span the field to include computational materials science, biomaterials, nanomaterials, energy related materials, metals, polymers, electronic materials, ceramics, and composites. Of the 17 full-time faculty in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, five senior faculty belong to the National Academy of Engineering and five assistant professors introduce expertise in exciting new areas. Faculty at all levels bring leadership in research and education.

The creation of advanced materials and devices requires the application of increasingly sophisticated concepts and tools. Tailored materials with desired properties can be engineered through control of the structure of solids at all length scales ranging from centimeters down to the atomic level. Students of materials are engaged in creating and understanding new materials and new materials phenomena. After they leave Wisconsin, materials graduates find careers in private industry, national laboratories, and academia.

The UW offers two graduate programs in materials: Materials Engineering (M S & E) and the Materials Science Program (MSP). Students who apply to one are usually considered by the other. Department faculty supervise the thesis work of students from both M S & E and MSP.

The vast majority of students receive financial aid in the form of fellowships, research or teaching assistantships, or advanced opportunity grants.

Admissions to the Materials Engineering M.S. have been suspended as of spring 2016 and will be discontinued as of fall 2019. If you have any questions, please contact the department.

The requirements for the M.S. in Materials Engineering have been merged with Materials Science. See "Materials Science & Engineering M.S." The information that appears in this entry is provided for the benefit of students currently admitted to the program.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations Contact the program for information on required assessments and examinations.
Language Requirements Contact the program for information on any language requirements.

Required COURSES

Contact the program for information on any additional required courses.

CBE 660 Intermediate Problems in Chemical Engineering 13
E P/​E M A  547 Engineering Analysis I 13
E P/​E M A  548 Engineering Analysis II 13
MATH 703 Methods of Applied Mathematics 1 13
MATH 704 Methods of Applied Mathematics-2 13
PHYSICS 721 Theoretical Physics-Electrodynamics 13
M S & E 900 Materials Research Seminar 21
M S & E 530 Thermodynamics of Solids 33
M S & E 570 Properties of Solid Surfaces 33
M S & E 445 33
CBE 540 Polymer Science and Technology3
CBE/​E C E/​M S & E  544 Processing of Electronic Materials3

The courses must span two or more departments, meeting the objective of an interdisciplinary education in materials.

Also within the first year, each student must select and declare to the MSP office three core courses that are fundamental to their research specialization. These courses must be approved by the student's MSP advisor. In the Research Report and Research Readiness exam, the student will be examined orally on these subjects in additions to questions on their research presentation.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

A Graduate Program Handbook containing all of the program's policies and requirements is forthcoming from the program.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count graduate coursework from other institutions toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement and the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. No credits from other institutions can be counted toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

Up to 7 credits numbered 300 or above can be counted toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement. Up to 7 credits of MS&E courses numbered 700 or above can be counted toward the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. No credits can be counted toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval and payment of the difference in tuition (between Special and graduate tuition), students are allowed to count up to 15 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison Special student toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement, and the minimum graduate degree credit requirement; if that coursework is numbered 700 or above it may satisfy the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.


Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies.

A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.


15 credits

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.



Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 



Mike Arnold, Sue Babcock, Chang-Beom Eom, Paul Evans, Padma Gopalan, Sindo Kou, Max Lagally, Rod Lakes, Dane Morgan, John Perepezko, Ian Robertson, Don Stone, Izabela Szlufarska, Paul Voyles, and Xudong Wang.

Assistant Professors:

Jason Kawasaki and Jamian Hu.

Affiliate Faculty:

Nicholas Abbott, Todd Allen, Randolph Ashton, David Beebe, John Booske, Dan Botez, Weibo Cai, Naomi Chesler, Susan Coppersmith, Adrien Couet, Steven Cramer, Wendy Crone, Walter Drugan, Mark Eriksson, Melih Eriten, Pupa Gilbert, Randall Goldsmith, Shaoqin Sarah Gong, Sundaram Gunasekaran, Robert Hamers, William Hitchon, Hongrui Jiang, Song Jin, Mikhail Kats, Patricia Keely, Daniel Klingenberg, Irena Knezevic, Tom Kuech, Wang-ju Li, David Lynn, Zhenqiang Jack Ma, Kristyn Masters, Luke Mawst, Robert McDermott, William Murphy, Dan Negrut, Marshall Onellion, Tim Osswald, Sean Palecek, Frank Pfefferkorn, Heidi-Lynn Ploeg, Jess Reed, Mark Rzchowski, Majid Sarmadi, J. Leon Shohet, Kumar Sridharan, Darryl Thelen, Lih-sheng Turng, Daniel van der Weide, Ray Vanderby, Douglas Weibel, Amy Wendt, Justin Williams, Michael Winokur, Huifang Xu, Zongfu Yu