About Us


The MSEN program at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, is an interdisciplinary graduate program designed to expand a student's knowledge beyond the boundaries of traditional departmental based graduate programs. Students in the Materials Science & Engineering program will participate in cross-departmental research, will take applications-intensive classes from multiple engineering and science departments, and will develop workplace productivity skills in a simulated industrial environment.

The outcome of their graduate education in this interdisciplinary environment will be a better understanding of materials and their properties; processes for producing materials and modifying their properties; creation of devices and systems with features enabled by this manipulation of material properties; and an understanding of the economics that affect successful introduction of these devices and systems into industry and society.


The Materials Science & Engineering program reports directly to Dean of the Graduate School of the University of Arkansas, but closely aligns its policies with the policies of both the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering.

Students applying for admission to the MS program must have a Bachelor of Science degree in a rigorous science or engineering field, and students must have completed a math sequence through differential equations and a calculus based physics sequence through an introduction to modern physics. Undergraduate deficiencies will be evaluated by the program's admission committee, and will be largely defined as the courses needed to support the student's success in the graduate courses they choose.

Participants in the MS program will be encouraged to complete an interdisciplinary research-thesis based Master of Science degree, although a non-thesis path could be allowed with approval of the program's graduate affairs committee. Both degree paths require a mixture of physics, engineering, other science, and business management classes, resulting in a degree that will be highly marketable to career opportunities in the development and manufacturing of high tech materials and devices.

MS students will select from one of six concentration areas of study:

  • Mechanical & Structural Materials
  • Nanoscale Materials & Devices
  • Microelectronic-Photonic Materials & Devices
  • Energy Materials & Devices
  • Biological Materials & Devices
  • Materials Modeling

Students applying for admission to the PhD Materials Science & Engineering program must have a Master's in Materials Science, Materials Engineering, or a Master's from a science or engineering program. The course requirements for theMSEN PhD will be based on the student's academic records and experience.

The program's faculty and post-doc staff in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Science & Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Physics departments will lead the MSEN research efforts. Students accepted into the MSENprogram are encouraged to begin working with the staff in their research laboratories in their first semester at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.


The MSEN graduate program was approved for Fall 2020 start by the faculty, administration, and board of trustees of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, in Fall 2019 and by the Arkansas Board of Higher Education in Spring 2020. The program is a reconfiguration of the Microelectronics-Photonics interdisciplinary graduate program which was started in 1998 by Professor Greg Salamo (PHYS) and founding director, Ken Vickers, from two NSF funded proposals - Arkansas Center for Electronic-photonic Materials Interactions (ACEMI) for the MS degree and an NSF IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) for the PhD degree. Since it's beginning in the late 90s, the core concept of emulating an industrial natural work group environment as a way to prepare our students for careers in industry, government labs, or academia still exists, but has evolved to meet the new needs of the modern technology workplace and provide greater career opportunities for its graduates.

With the move into the new Nanoscale Materials Science and Engineering building in 2011 and the ever broadening scope of nanomaterials research beyond microelectronics, an effort was made to reconfigure the program to Materials Science & Engineering. This new name and curriculum will more closely align with the research interests of most of the faculty and students affiliated with the program. As the resident graduate program of the Nanoscale Materials Science and Engineering building, students have access to world-class materials faculty, research labs, and materials characterization equipment.

While welcoming the new cohort of MSEN students starting in Fall 2021, the program proudly maintains its lineage of the predecessor Microelectronics-Photonics graduate program from which it originated. To signify commitment to this linkage, the new cohort will be known as 24-2 - the 24th for the interdisciplinary program, the 2nd for Materials Science & Engineering.