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Two professors examining microbubbles.

Discover and design new materials to shape the future

A professor in his lab is pictured with a device used by his research group to model turbulence occurrences to learn how they affect plankton ecology.

Draw on multiple scientific and engineering disciplines

About Us
A graduate student working in a lab.

Tailor your studies and research to your strengths and interests

Graduate Program


Complete a minor in materials science or take related coursework, cross-listed by parent department.

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Our flexible MS and PhD programs in materials science let you align with the department closest to your academic and research interests.

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Leveraging the scientific and engineering expertise and resources of the Hajim School, the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics.

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Rochester’s Quest for New and Advanced Materials

Biomedical materials, quantum materials, nanomaterials—these are just the start. At Rochester, there are more than 60 faculty spanning nearly a dozen science and engineering departments support research, academics, and entrepreneurship in materials science. Plus, our collaborations with the University’s nearby Medical Center, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, and Institute of Optics create unparalleled opportunities to accelerate material advances.

Feature Story

Harmful ‘forever chemicals’ removed from water with new electrocatalysis method

A novel approach using laser-made nanomaterials could lay the foundation for globally scalable remediation techniques.

Pipette releasing a water droplet atop carbon paper to illustrate the remediation of pfas forever chemicals.

Medicine and Dentistry

A graduate and doctor shaking hands at the white coat ceremony.

A nucleus of medical research, education, and patient care, the School of Medicine and Dentistry is a five-minute walk from the River Campus. Materials science students at Rochester conduct research alongside faculty in the departments of dermatology, microbiology and immunology, or biochemistry and biophysics.

Laser Energetics

Interior view of a laser.

The Laboratory for Laser Energetics is the largest university-based U.S. Department of Energy program in the nation—it houses the most powerful laser systems found at any academic institution in the world. At Rochester, materials science students and researchers regularly harness these unique resources.


A student working in a lab.

The Institute of Optics was the nation’s first optical science, engineering, and design program—and it remains at the vanguard of optics education and research. Materials science research in this domain focuses on the properties of materials important to optical applications, including nanophotonics.

A title slide from a 2019 presentation.


Annual Materials Science Symposium

Each year in the spring we bring together researchers, experts, and other leaders working at the frontiers of a specific topic or approach within materials science broadly. Recent symposium themes have included:

  • Biologically engineered materials
  • Biomimetic and anti-fouling interfaces
  • MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) and membranes
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Want more information about our graduate program in materials science? Contact us.