Materials Science and Engineering (B.S.)


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 processing, structure and properties of polymers, glasses, ceramics, metals and composites in all forms — particles, thin films, fibers and bulk materials. Since engineered materials are a critical enabling technology for almost all engineering applications, students graduating from this major are able to work in a broad spectrum of industries. Within this major, you will choose an emphasis area to achieve a greater depth of knowledge in a particular area of materials science (such as energy, biomaterials or advanced manufacturing).


  • A materials science and engineering degree allows graduates a broad range of industry careers with companies like Boeing, Michelin and General Electric.
  • Our graduates are highly sought after by top Ph.D. programs.
  • The average starting salary for a materials science and engineering Bachelor of Science graduate is $60,000.
  • We have a student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-1.
  • All of our students do some type of undergraduate research.
  • This degree is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.


Freshmen who major in engineering at Clemson are initially admitted into our general engineering program, where you’ll have a year to explore many different engineering disciplines, meet faculty from each of our engineering departments and discover which major fits your personal interests and talents. On the admissions application, you will apply as a general engineering major.

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 bio-technology aerospace, automotive, information technology hardware, energy conversion, high-performance fibers and composites, 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 lifelong learning and exciting career opportunities both in engineering and scientific research.

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering establishes in students a broad foundation in the science and engineering of materials.

Sophomores are introduced to metals and ceramics, polymer science, thermodynamics, mechanical behavior and kinetics.

Juniors take classroom experiences integrated with laboratory work in the processing, fabrication, and characterization of materials.

Seniors focus on a particular area of emphasis such as energy, biomaterials, advanced manufacturing, etc. Fundamentals of research are developed and carried out in a senior capstone design project.

Popular Minors

  • Chemistry
  • Mathematical Sciences


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.

 Put your classwork knowledge to work by spending alternate semesters working at an industry and studying on campus as part of Clemson's Cooperative Education program.
 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.



Your college decision isn't really about the next four years. We get it. It's about what doors are opened by your degree and whether those opportunities are what you had envisioned for yourself. Here's a snapshot of what life after graduation looks like for some of our most recent students.


  • Process Improvement Engineer

    Milliken & Company

  • R&D Technologist

    Sandia National Labs

  • Product Industrialization Engineer


  • Engineer

    Savannah River Nuclear Solutions

  • Production Scheduler



  • Ph.D. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

    University of Cambridge

  • Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering

    Purdue University

  • Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering

    North Carolina State University

  • DMD

    Medical University of South Carolina


    • 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

Used with permission from the University 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

CECAS Undergraduate Recruitment Director