Materials Science and Engineering (B.S.)


  • All of our students do some type of undergraduate research.
  • Undergraduate research is encouraged with various National Science Foundation-funded studies.
  • Both our faculty and students are highly recognized in this field.
  • Small class sizes allow our professors to give students individual attention.

Designed for students who wonder how and why materials behave the way they do, the materials science and engineering program is a perfect fit for those who want to discover the next revolutionary material. This major explores the building blocks of all materials and develops the understanding of the properties of polymers, glasses, ceramics, thin films, fibers and metals. Studying the “why and how” a material behaves the way it does, this program is a perfect fit if you’re interested in discovering new, exotic and revolutionary materials. Within the major, you can choose to focus your studies on inorganic materials or polymeric materials.


What you'll study:

Freshmen who major in engineering at Clemson are initially admitted into our general engineering program, giving you a chance to explore different types of engineering before you select your specialty.

When you decide to major in materials science and engineering, you’ll focus on designing, developing and characterizing all types of organic and inorganic materials (polymers, ceramics and metals). You’ll learn how to harness material properties for applications in fields such as biomedicine, aerospace, high-performance fibers and fabrics, and infrastructure.

The broad scope of industrial responsibilities assumed by those who work in this field requires knowledge of mathematics, science, engineering and the social sciences; skills in problem solving, engineering analysis and design; and an aptitude in written and oral communication. Our program combines laboratory with classroom experiences to prepare students for life-long learning and exciting career opportunities.  

We offer two concentrations, both of which explore the relationships between structure and properties in all classes of material. 

  • Inorganic Materials Concentration: Take an in-depth study of the engineering and science of materials such as ceramics, glasses, metals, optical and electronic materials.
  • Polymeric Materials Concentration: This concentration provides more emphasis on plastics, elastomers, fibers and fibrous materials, films, coatings and adhesives.


Popular Minors:

  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Mathematical Science

Similar Majors:


As a materials science and engineering major, you’ll have numerous outlets for gaining chances for hands-on learning, applying what you’ve already learned to real-world situations and networking with professionals already practicing in the field.

Internships and Research Projects:

Opportunities to gain real-world experience abound for our undergraduate students. Engineering research, internship and co-op positions with industry leaders and prominent research institutions are available throughout the year.
We make sure our students take part in undergraduate research by requiring a senior research course and numerous in-class group projects.

Connect with Other Students:


What are students doing at graduation?*




Grad School


Seeking Employment



Where are students headed at graduation?*

Recent employers and job titles*

  • Timken Co. — Steel Sales Engineer
  • U.S. Air Force — Research and Development Engineer
  • RTI International — Materials Engineer

Recent graduate schools and sought degree types*

  • Georgia Tech — Ph.D.
  • University of Florida — Ph.D.
  • Virginia Tech — Ph.D.

Common Career Areas**

  • Materials Science and Engineering
    • Metallurgy
    • Ceramics
    • Plastics/Polymers/Fibers
    • Composites
    • Analysis and Testing
    • Research and Development
    • Applications
    • Management
    • Sales
    • Service
    • Consulting
    • Manufacturing
  • Any Engineering Discipline
    • Production
    • Sales and Marketing
    • Management
    • Consulting
    • Research and Development
    • Teaching
    • Law
*Represents only Clemson University graduates who completed Michelin Career Center surveys from 2009 to 2011.
**Used w/permission from Univ. of Tennessee.

Have more questions or want more information? Fill out the form below, which goes directly to the following department contact. If you’d also like to receive general University information from Clemson’s admissions office, please follow the link to the right and sign up to join our mailing list.

Christopher Porter, CES Undergraduate Recruitment Director
864-656-7870 —