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Materials Science

Administrative Unit:Materials Science Program
College/School: College of Engineering
Admitting Plans:M.S., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.S., M.Eng., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Doctoral Minor

Faculty: Professor Vanderby (director) (BME/Ortho); Associate Professor Stone (associate director) (Materials Science and Engineering); Professors Abbott (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Anderson (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Babcock (Materials Science amd Engineering), Beebe (Biomedical Engineering), Blick (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Booske (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Botez (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Coppersmith (Physics), Cramer (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Drugan (Engineering Physics), Eom (Materials Science and Engineering), Eriksson (Physics), Giacomin (Mechanical Engineering), Gilbert (Physics), Hamers (Chemistry), Hitchon (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Keely (Cell and Regenerative Biology), Klingenberg (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Kou (Materials Science and Engineering), Kuech (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Lagally (Materials Science and Engineering), Lakes (Engineering Physics/Biomedical Engineering), Martin (Mechanical Engineering), Mawst (Electrical and Computer Engineering), McCaughan (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Nealey (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Onellion (Physics), Osswald (Mechanical Engineering), Perepezko (Materials Science and Engineering), Rowlands (Mechanical Engineering), Sarmadi (Human Ecology), Shohet (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Tikoff (Geology and Geophysics), Turng (Mechanical Engineering), Vanderweide (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Wendt (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Winokur (Physics), Wong (Bacteriology); Associate Professors Allen (Engineering Physics), Block (Medical Physics), Chesler (Biomedical Engineering), Crone (Engineering Physics), Evans (Materials Science and Engineering), Gopalan (Materials Science and Engineering), Gong (Biomedical Engineering), Jiang (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Jin (Chemistry), Li (Mechanical Engineering), Lynn (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Ma (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Masters (Biomedical Engineering), Morgan (Materials Science and Engineering), Murphy (Biomedical Engineering), Negrut (Mechanical Engineering), Palecek (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Pfefferkorn (Mechanical Engineering), Ploeg (Mechanical Engineering), Root (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Rzchowski (Physics); Szlufarska (Materials Science and Engineering), Thelen (Mechanical Engineering), Voyles (Materials Science and Engineering), Williams (Biomedical Engineering), Xu (Geology and Geophysics); Assistant Professors Arnold (Materials Science and Engineering), Cai (Radiology/Medical Physics), Li (BME/Ortho), Mahanthappa (Chemistry), McDermott (Physics), Ogle (Biomedical Engineering), Sheinis (Astromony), Wang (Materials Science and Engineering), Weibel (Biochemistry)


Society's demand for a rapid and diverse succession of new, specialized materials requires a flexible and interdisciplinary approach to materials research and education. In the past, specialized materials were developed through a trial-and-error process. Today, the tools and expertise of scientists are being combined with those of engineers resulting in productive cooperation in both applied and theoretical areas.

Our search for new materials and the need to make better use of old ones continues to broaden the field of materials science. Creating the next generation of advanced materials—polymers, ceramics, metals, semiconductors or biomaterials—and advanced devices—such as lasers, micromotors, nanoscale technology or engineered tissues—requires a mastery of materials and interfaces with atomic to macroscopic level understanding. This is the challenging and exciting domain of materials science.

The Materials Science Program at UW–Madison is nationally recognized and is committed to providing leadership in research, education and outreach services. Graduate studies in our program at UW–Madison can lead to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in materials science.

The Materials Science Program provides excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary research through its faculty advisory committee made up of many faculty from departments throughout the UW–Madison campus. Represented in the MSP are virtually all of the engineering departments, as well as chemistry, physics, geology, human ecology, biological systems engineering, as well as several of the biological and medical sciences. Graduate students select their thesis research topics based on materials and interfaces that involve polymers, superconductors, semiconductors, advanced metals, composites, biological materials, or ceramics. Degree requirements are extremely flexible, permitting the student and advisors to formulate an educational plan that is optimal for the student's educational and professional objectives.

The Materials Science Center (MSC) has state-of-the-art electron microscopes, X-ray diffractometers, atomic force microscopes, surface analysis equipment, and advanced light mircroscopes available for hands-on use by materials science students. Augmenting the Center's capabilities is an impressive array of dedicated campus facilities, including the Synchrotron Radiation Center, and the Wisconsin Center for Applied Microelectronics. Kurt F. Wendt Library houses a comprehensive collection of reference material in engineering and the physical sciences. The MSC and MSP offices are located on the engineering campus, near Union South, a student center with a snack bar, cafeteria, and social, game, and activity areas.

A weekly seminar program provides students with an opportunity to hear and meet outstanding materials scientists and engineers from around the world.

Research assistantships generally are available to qualified applicants. Opportunities to obtain teaching assistantships are available directly with the departments of our faculty and not through the Materials Science Program office. Exceptionally well-qualified applicants are eligible for graduate fellowships.


Admission to the Materials Science Program (MSP) is evaluated by the program's admissions committee. The evaluation is based on the applicant's previous academic record(s), Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, TOEFL or IELTS (if applicable), letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Admission is competitive. Applicants are normally expected to have a bachelor's degree in engineering or the sciences, with courses in mathematics through differential equations, at least one year each of physics and chemistry, and a course in physical chemistry and/or modern physics.

For more information: Diana Rhoads, 1509 University Avenue #276, Madison, WI 53706; 608-263-1795; matsciad@engr.wisc.edu; www.engr.wisc.edu/interd/msp.