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Materials Science 

at UW-EauClaire

(Printable version)

Every day we come into contact with hundreds of manufactured objects that are essential to modern life: vehicles, clothes, machines in our homes and offices, sport and leisure equipment, computers and phones, and medical technology. Everything we see and use is made from materials derived from the earth: metals, polymers, ceramics, semiconductors and composites. Materials Science majors study structure, properties and behavior of all materials, develop processes to manufacture useful products from them, and research environmentally friendly materials.

Fast-growing industry

Materials are evolving faster today than any time in history, enabling scientists and engineers to improve the performance of existing products and to develop innovative technologies that will enhance every aspect of our lives. Materials Science has become a key discipline in the competitive global economy and is recognized as one of the technical disciplines with the most exciting career opportunities.

materials Science Student
Materials Science Research

Great facilities

Students have the opportunity to use excellent on-campus state-of-the-art materials science facilities including instrumentation housed in the Materials Science Center. Instrumentation includes: a scanning Auger nanoprobe, a transmission electron microscope, a scanning electron microscope, an x-ray photoelectron spectrometer, a scanning tunneling electron microscope, atomic force microscopes, a high resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer, x-ray diffractometer, x-ray fluorescence spectrometer and a molecular beam epitaxial growth chamber to name a few!

Research opportunities

Students have summer and academic year research opportunities at UW-Eau Claire and other locations across the United States.

Great faculty

Our outstanding faculty are proud of the individual attention they give their students. You’ll learn in small class settings and get lots of one-on-one attention from professors who inspire learning and truly want you to succeed. Faculty draw from several areas of expertise, including, chemistry, physics, materials science, and have experience in polymer engineering, metallurgy, industry and working with super conductors.


Materials Science Comprehensive major (requires no minor) with a choice of 7 emphases:

•  Nanoscience

•  Physics of Materials
•  Chemistry of Materials
•  Applied Materials
•  Geomaterials
•  Biomaterials
•  Liberal Arts

Suggested freshman curriculum

• Intro to Nanoscience and
  Materials Science
• Precalculus and Calculus I
• Chemical Principles or
  General Chemistry I and II
• University Physics 1

• Social Science/Humanities
• University writing
  Requirement — depending on
  placement exam.
  For test out options, see
  Blugold seminar/test out.
• Wellness or Physical Activity
More advising information

Our graduates

Typical positions held by materials science graduates include materials science engineer, technical journalism, forensic science, technical sales and marketing, research and development, design and manufacture, quality assurance, production management; continued education at the graduate level.
More career information

Places our grads go:
• Graduate student,
  Washington State
  University, Pullman, WA
• Lab Analyst, 3M, Card
  Materials Business,
  Maplewood, MN
• Materials Scientist,
  Fiberstar Bio,
  Eau Claire, WI
• GMP Scientist,
  Product Development, Inc.,
  Madison, WI

Department contact information

Marc Mc Ellistrem

note wide

Unusual and unique

The field of materials science and engineering is the study of “condensed matter” (that is, solids and liquids), and how that understanding can be applied to fabricating devices and structures of utility. A relatively young discipline, materials science is an outgrowth of two traditional areas: the study of matter (and its structure-property relationship) that originated in chemistry and physics and developments in various “materials” engineering fields (notably, microelectronics, metallurgy, and plastics).

The major is designed to give students a strong foundation in fundamental sciences and mathematics. The absence of engineering courses in a materials science major is unusual and integrating it into a liberal arts and sciences degree is unique. The structure of the major is deliberately interdisciplinary and broadly defined, consistent with a liberal education approach.
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