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MS in Materials Engineering

student working with fluids and machinery in lab

Materials—including metals, intermetallics, polymers, ceramics, composites, and electronic materials—are critical to modern industrial society. Materials engineering is an expansive field that encompasses many specialties and offers rich opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.

Materials engineering addresses the design, manufacture, and characterization of materials for specific applications. Materials development is an enabling step to the production of advanced engineering devices. Materials selection is a key element in the design, manufacturing, and quality control of structures and devices.

Because UIC and many other universities do not offer an undergraduate program in materials engineering, it is common for students with degrees in relevant subjects other than materials engineering to pursue this degree and enter the field. Our faculty help our graduate students in materials engineering to design an individualized academic program that makes use of the strengths in their background and gives them the knowledge and skills needed to move forward.

The MS in Materials Engineering is offered as a thesis option, a research-oriented degree that provides research experience and potential pathways toward research sponsorship or other funding, or a coursework-only option.

The areas of concentration for this master’s program are:

The curriculum requirements for the MS in Materials Engineering vary based on whether students select the thesis option or the coursework-only option. Expand the sections below to view the curriculum plan for each option.

MS Students in Their Own Words Heading link


Samuel Mermall ’21
MS in Materials Engineering

Why did you choose UIC? UIC is part of an excellent state university system in the heart of an amazing city that I call home. It caters academically to my passions and gives me the flexibility I need as a full-time working professional.

What do you hope to be doing right after graduation? Innovating in the battery space and helping to commercialize advanced, economically sound, and sustainable energy storage.

How is UIC preparing you for your future goals? There is so much to say, from the hard science education to project accounting. My courses at UIC are preparing me to be a holistic leader who will solve interesting challenges at the intersection of technology, business, and science.

The best trip/vacation you’ve ever taken, and why: A scuba diving trip to Palau. Scuba diving is one of my passions, and getting to do it all day every day in one of the most beautiful places on Earth was almost too good to be true.

What do you suggest a newcomer to Chicago see or do if they’ve already seen Navy Pier, the Riverwalk, and Skydeck? Explore the many amazing neighborhoods Chicago has to offer! There is so much to do, see, and taste in this culturally rich city.


Chu Wang ’21
MS in Materials Engineering

What is your academic area of focus within your department? Atomistic modeling of deformation processes in materials.

Have you worked in any labs? Yes, the Advanced Materials and Microstructures Lab.

Looking broadly at your field of study, who is the person you admire the most, and why? Dr. Lu Ke. He is the youngest academic in China who does experimental studies on nanostructured metals and alloys.

Favorite restaurant in Chicago, and why: Happy lamb Hot Pot. It has the most popular food in China.

For international students: Is there anything in Chicago that reminds you of home? We have Chinatown, so absolutely!

Learn about MS program admissions