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Materials Science & Engineering Program Area

The Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Program Area recognizes that advances in materials result in advances in technology and in our daily lives — from batteries to microchips, from transplants to biosensors. This program area prepares students to make discoveries in both fundamental science and applied engineering in fields such as nano- and bio-materials for health and sustainability, ice material physics for understanding climate change, and computational modeling to design novel materials.

MSE Program Area Lead: Jifeng Liu

The Student Experience

We are committed to facilitate close faculty-student interactions and experiential learning, as well as collaborative interdisciplinary research efforts to cultivate discovery and innovation.

Jifeng Liu lab

Based on core expertise in the structure-property relationships of materials, a diversity of concentrations is offered bridging collaborative synergies across biological and chemical, biomedical, electrical and computer, energy, and mechanical, operations and systems engineering research areas.

Students are expected to propose a plan of study that supports their interests, potentially including distinctive intellectual paths unconstrained by disciplinary boundaries and enriched by interdisciplinary synergies.


Students and faculty apply their knowledge in materials science to address the most challenging problems in our society, such as energy, sustainability and medicine. They also bridge to other research areas to maximize the human-centered impact of ongoing investigations which include:

  • Mechanical behavior of structural materials
  • Properties of functional materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Energy materials
  • Microfabrication
  • Computational materials science and modeling

Learn more

Lab Spotlight

Solar Thermal Absorber

Dartmouth Engineers Combine Materials Science Expertise to Develop Concentrated Solar Power System

Optoelectronic materials expert Jifeng Liu combined forces with high entropy alloy expert Ian Baker to win a three-year $750,000 grant from the US Department of Energy.

Learn more


Classroom batteries

Students who choose the MSE Program Area need not limit their academic interests to MSE. Many of our students and faculty move comfortably between disciplines, working at the intersection of MSE and quantum computing and sensing, biomedical engineering, and climate change, to name a few.

Our flexible curriculum allows for a wide range of academic paths which students develop with guidance from their advisor to meet individual needs.

Graduate Degrees

Students interested in obtaining a PhD, MS, or MEng focused on MSE are encouraged to contact faculty lead Jifeng Liu or other individual faculty in their areas of interest. Applicants are also invited to visit campus and meet with engineering students and faculty.

Undergraduate Degrees

Students interested in the AB/BE, or Dual-Degree program with a focus on MSE are encouraged to contact Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Doug Van Citters. Applicants are also invited to visit campus and meet with engineering students and faculty.