Congratulations on admission to Cornell's College of Engineering!

As you start the process of preparing for the future, we would like to introduce you to Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). This is an exciting and important major bridging fundamental physics, chemistry, and biology with engineering that might just resonate with your interests and skills.

Everything is made from something!

MSE is the interdisciplinary, research-focused field dedicated to creating new materials for virtually all manufactured products, from sunlight harvesting nanopillars to high-tech metals for jet engines. Quite literally, MSE makes technology possible by leveraging fundamental science to solve some of the most challenging
problems today.

Cornell MSE is particularly known for embracing emerging innovations including:

Sustainable Materials: Targeting renewable energy as well as environmentally responsible resource preservation
Nanoscale Materials: Exploiting unique properties that arise at small dimensions, enabling advances ranging from quantum computers to cancer targeting drugs
Bio-inspired Materials: Mimicking the function of nature with materials for replacement tissues and organs, improving biodegradability, and enabling green manufacturing

Many opportunities exist for undergraduates to join in this and other materials-related research.

To help you learn about MSE, we've assembled a few resources. Our website describes the major, curriculum and career options. With training in fundamental research and practical engineering, the site illustrates the wide range of high-tech industrial and graduate school opportunities. Below are the essentials for first-year engineers:

Discover MSE brochure: a general description of materials science at Cornell

Introduction to Engineering courses (ENGRI) in MSE—in the 2021-22 academic year, two courses are offered by the MSE department that satisfy the requirement of every first-year engineer to take an ENGRI:

FALL 2021 - ENGRI 1140 Materials: The Future of Energy

SPRING 2021 - ENGRI 1190 Biomaterials for the Skeletal System

Join  webinars on April 16 or April 18, 2020 (both 8 PM EDT ) to speak with faculty about the MSE undergraduate program.


"The Substance of Civilization" illustrates how materials impacted human history, written by MSE Professor Steve Sass (b. 1940 d. 2019). Contact Michele Conrad for a complimentary copy of Professor Sass' book. 

Learn more from faculty and students at the MSE table during the Major Information session of Orientation Week.