Photo of students

Prepare to impact areas of national priority

Our graduates go on to lead research and development in areas such as aerospace, energy, manufacturing, and semiconductors.

About the Program

At Northwestern University, our first-of-its-kind materials science department collaborates extensively with our leading mechanical engineering department, resulting in a strong history of interconnected research activities, established research centers, and close educational efforts. The close relationship between these departments is driven by a number of research areas of national priority, including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, civil infrastructure, the data revolution, energy storage, integrated computational materials engineering, and the Materials Genome Initiative.

The Joint Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering program is a unique degree opportunity offering a curriculum that combines the strengths of these two departments. This interdisciplinary program allows the most talented students to develop broad expertise in both fields, enhancing career opportunities in industry and research.

Join our renowned faculty to study and perform research in state-of-the-art labs and classrooms in a program designed to address the increasing demand for innovative problem-solvers in this cross-disciplinary space.

How To Apply

Why Northwestern?

Unique Program Features

Mark Hersam with a student in his lab

Study with our top-tier, interdisciplinary faculty

Our highly interdisciplinary faculty — one-third of whom have joint appointments with other departments — include more than two dozen members of the National Academy of Engineering, eight editors-in-chief of leading journals, and numerous highly-cited researchers, according to Clarivate. Many have also received the top teaching awards at the University.

ME Students at a poster session

Join a community that goes beyond classrooms and labs

Our graduate students engage in activities and organizations across campus that promote their overall well-being through social events and mentorship programs.


The basics at-a-glance

The Joint Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering is a non-thesis master’s degree program, which students may complete on a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time students typically complete their degree in three to four quarters of study.


12 units of study are required, including:

  • Four mechanical engineering courses
  • Four materials science and engineering courses
  • One to two units of independent study involving a research project
  • Two to three additional engineering courses, allowing students to specialize or minor in a related area


Students perform research at the forefront of the field in areas spanned by the combined faculty of the ME and MSE departments. Each student is required to take at least one 499 independent research project under the joint supervision of an ME faculty member and an MSE faculty member. A 499 project culminates in a final report submitted to the advising faculty.

View Curriculum Details

Career Paths

Our graduates continue on to earn their PhDs at Northwestern or other institutions, move into industry, or join startups, in areas such as process engineering, quality control, or research and development.

Graduates often pursue careers in areas such as: