The University of Rochester’s Materials Science Program is a highly interdisciplinary network of faculty across the School of Arts and Sciences, the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Laboratory for Laser Energetics.

Our program’s roots date back to 1966, when it was established by Professor Ken Teegarden. Since then, the Materials Science Program has grown to include more than 60 affiliated faculty, with an average of 16 new master’s and PhD students enrolling annually.


Materials research at the University of Rochester involves high impact, complex materials challenges, ranging from chemical synthesis and novel processing approaches, to specialized characterization tools and innovative applications.

The main areas of materials research focus are:

  • Biomedical materials
  • Materials for energy storage and catalysis
  • Nanomaterials and nanostructures
  • Photonic materials
  • Quantum materials
  • Materials under extreme conditions 



Undergraduate students at Rochester have the opportunity to get a minor in materials science. As part of their studies, they explore different areas of materials science and get to take a graduate-level materials science course. This program is run by the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Undergraduates also have the opportunity to work and study alongside faculty who are conducting materials science research and to take materials science research courses aboard. See the undergraduate overview page for more information.


The Materials Science Program at the University of Rochester allows graduate students to align their studies and research with the department closest to their interest in the field of materials science. Application decisions are made by the materials science graduate admission committee. The materials science MS and PhD degrees are approved by materials science faculty.

See the materials science master’s and PhD pages for more information about specific program requirements.


The University’s faculty in materials science act as an advisory body for students interested in research in this field, and for graduate students interested in materials science degrees, graduate courses, interdepartmental research efforts, or joint use of the many specialized materials laboratory facilities.

A regular series of interdepartmental seminars brings together University of Rochester students and faculty from across the spectrum of materials science. In addition, the University’s Chapter of the Materials Research Society sponsors an annual symposium and other events.

Awards and Achievements

Our highly engaged and outstanding faculty is a major strength of the Materials Science Program at Rochester. For example, Professor John Lambropoulos and the late Professor Stephen Jacobs are known for having developed magneto-rheological finishing (MRF).

Materials Science Program faculty have been also responsible for several successful start-ups. These include:

The entrepreneurial culture in the Rochester community is well supported by the University’s Office of Technology Transfer and the Simon Business School.