Program at a glance

How much does it cost? 

Learn more about how to afford a degree from the University of Nevada, Reno.

How long does it take?

This 128 credit program is designed to be completed in four years.

How do I apply?

Open to all undergraduate students. Applicants must have a high-school diploma or GED. Learn how to apply.

What will I learn in a materials science and engineering degree program?

Materials science is the study of the relationship between a material's atomic structure and its physical properties.

The bachelor's degree in materials science and engineering teaches students to understand and apply advanced science and engineering principles to different materials such as ceramics, glasses or metals in order to develop new or better products.

Our program equips students for careers in materials processing and manufacturing, design and development of new materials, or materials selection. Students may also choose to pursue graduate study.

To be successful in a materials science and engineering degree program, you should arrive at the University with a strong background in math and science. We recommend you have taken physics and chemistry courses in high  school and be prepared to take calculus as a freshman.

Learning outcomes

Our students gain skills in the following areas:

  1. Science and engineering: Our graduates are skilled in creatively applying science, math and engineering principles to contemporary problems in materials application and design. They have experience with glasses, semiconductors, composites, metals and polymers, as well as concepts of material structure, behavior, processing and performance.
  2. Leadership and teamwork: Our graduates can make an impact in the engineering profession in various roles, including as team members and in leadership roles.
  3. Professional contributions: Our graduates are life-long learners who impact the developing understanding of research, design and application of materials.
  4. Broader impact: Our graduates are comfortable working in interdisciplinary environments and are aware of their legal, moral and environmental responsibilities as engineers.

The materials science and engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, which is the recognized worldwide leader in assuring quality and stimulating innovation in engineering education.

Senior capstone project

In the College of Engineering, hands-on learning starts on day one. The first engineering class, Engineering 100, will challenge you to work in teams to design a hovercraft capable of traversing across a pre-set course. And in your final class before you graduate, you will work in a team to develop a product that’s ready for the marketplace. Your senior capstone project will be presented to potential employers at the annual Innovation Day, In between, you’ll gain hands-on experience in classrooms and research laboratories, putting your science and mathematical knowledge to work solving engineering problems.

Learn more about the chemical and materials science engineering department

Our undergraduate programs offer you the opportunity to work closely with our research-active faculty. Small class sizes and undergraduate research opportunities help you get to know your professors and provide opportunities to get hands-on research experience. We offer Nevada's only undergraduate degree program in chemical engineering and materials science and engineering.

Specializations in the materials science and engineering program

Careers with a degree in materials science and engineering

Median starting salaries of $69,750

You can afford the University of Nevada, Reno

46% of undergraduate students receive financial aid

Almost everyone is eligible to receive financial aid. If you think your family’s income is too high to qualify for financial aid, you might be surprised.

50%+ of all students graduate with no debt

That's right. More than half of our students leave the University of Nevada, Reno with no student debt.

Life's a journey. Honors makes it meaningful.

At the University of Nevada, Reno Honors College, our students maximize their unique gifts and passions through a series of personalized experiences that deepen their capacity for transformative societal impact.

Visit the Honors College
Four honors students standing near Manzanita Lake; one is holding a soccer ball.