Materials Science & Engineering

College of Engineering

Materials science and engineering (MSE) is an interdisciplinary field where the scientific fundamentals of materials, their structure and properties, and their design and processing for real world applications are explored. Developing new equipment for materials development, and exploring new uses for existing and new materials are also essential tasks of MSE, particularly to meet the needs of modern technology. MSE offers two bachelor’s degrees, one in MSE and another in MSE with a degree option in Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering. A BS-to-MS program is also available to highly qualified undergraduates.Preparing our students for the wide variety of jobs that await them is our highest priority. Our graduates find employment in the aerospace, automotive, biomedical, chemical, construction, electronics, energy and telecommunication industries. We are proud to lay the foundations for successful careers in many sectors of the economy, from academia to industry.

Major category: Capacity-constrained

Curricular options: Nanoscience & Molecular Engineering

Topic: Engineering

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Quarters of general admission to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline: April 5
  • Please contact the department for details about the application process.
This major is capacity-constrained. Completion of prerequisites does not guarantee admission. Transfer students must submit two separate applications: one to the Office of Admissions and one to Material Science & Engineering.

Major Profile: In the admission decision for this and every major, a wide range of factors are taken into consideration. The profile should not be used to overstate the importance of grades in the admission decision for academic majors but it may offer some guidance as you plan for transfer.

To be eligible to apply, you must have a 2.0 (“C” grade) minimum GPA in each prerequisite course and a 2.5 cumulative GPA in all the prerequisites. Completion of 64 credits with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 is required. These are minimums; the actual GPA of those admitted is much higher.

To plan your transfer, be sure to utilize the Engineering transfer admission website, and contact the department if you have additional questions. A separate departmental application is required in addition to the UW application for admission. For more information, please visit the department’s website.

Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

Courses required for the major:

  • CHEM 142 NSc RSN – General Chemistry 1
  • CHEM 152 NSc RSN – General Chemistry 1
  • CSE 122 NSc RSN – Introduction to Computer Programming II 2 or CSE 123 NSc RSN – Introduction to Computer Programming III 2 or CSE 142 NSc RSN – Computer Programming I 2 or AMATH 301 NSc – Beginning Scientific Computing 2
  • MATH 124 NSc RSN – Calculus Analytic Geometry I 1
  • MATH 125 NSc – Calculus Analytic Geometry II 1
  • MATH 126 NSc – Calculus Analytic Geometry III 1
  • MATH 207 NSc – Intro to Diff Equations 2
  • PHYS 121 NSc RSN – Mechanics 1
  • PHYS 122 NSc – Electromagnetism 1
  • MSE 170 NSc – Fundamentals of Materials Science 2
  • English composition C 1


1 Application requirements (completed by application deadline)
2 Enrollment requirements (completed by the start of your first quarter in the major)

  • Application for admissions requires completion of at least 64 credits.
  • Transfer applicants without MSE 170 completed are still eligible to apply but will be required to take MSE 170 during their first quarter with their other MSE courses.
  • To graduate on time, MATH 208, PHYS 123, AA 210, CEE 220, HCDE 231 are recommended for completion by enrollment.

Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 112
Total from Washington community colleges: 13

Entering transfer GPA (from WA community colleges):

3.75 – 4.00: 3
3.50 – 3.74: 4
3.25 – 3.49: 2
3.00 – 3.24: 1
2.75 – 2.99: 1
2.50 – 2.74: 0
2.49 and below: 2

Career outcomes