Careers in MSE

What can you do with a B.S. in MSE? 

Naturally interdisciplinary, materials scientists and engineers can be found contributing vital knowledge to a wide array of fields. Graduates with degrees in MSE can be found everywhere from academia and industry to fields beyond engineering such as law, medicine and finance. In engineering fields, graduates work in aerospace, additive manufacturing, quantum computing, hard disk technologies, thermoelectrics, sustainable materials, soft/bio materials, petroleum, pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, semi-conductors, computational modeling, and corrosion, to name just a few.

Through my research I’ve been afforded opportunities to work with, present to, and develop relationships with people at other universities (e.g., MIT, Ohio State) and with those who work for industry giants, including Rolls-Royce, the Department of Defense, the Naval Research Laboratories, and NASA. No matter what field you’re interested in, each relies on our understanding of materials; this makes a materials scientist and engineer incredibly valuable, regardless of where you go

headshot of Erin Dubas Erin Dubas Class of 2021

Technical jobs for MSE graduates include processing engineers, research and development engineers, product development, materials characterization, materials testing and evaluations and consulting. MSE graduates are hired by companies such as GM, Intel, Boeing, USS, IBM, Dow, Xerox, Corning, Apple, Alcoa, Texas Instruments, General Dynamics, SpaceX, Rolls Royce, DuPont, Motorola, Ford and Philips.


I found the internship and scholarship I have now as a direct result of going into materials science. I took an introductory course on a whim, and it has played a key role in deciding my future.

headshot of Leeyung Chang Leeyung Chang Class of 2022

The curriculum at UVA allows students to do a deep dive in the field of materials science and engineering while also providing them with interdisciplinary skills that so many of our employers look for in UVA engineering students. Graduates gain soft skills including teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving, global understanding, technology innovation, public communication and ethics.

headshot of Julia Lapan Julia Lapan Director of Engineering Career Development

I'm thankful I chose MSE. I began working with a company that produced precious metal brazing alloys. I started as an Applications Engineer and ultimately transitioned into Sales and have been doing that ever since. I would bet that many students don’t imagine themselves going into Sales when they embark on their undergraduate studies. However, it represents an attractive career for anyone who appreciates a customer-facing role that demands strong communication skills in addition to applying the prerequisite technical knowledge. Technical sales will never be automated or replaced by e-commerce. So long as there is a need for sophisticated technology or capital equipment, there must be a human being who understands the customer challenges and matches them to a product or solution.

headshot of David Kepniss David Kepniss Class of 1996