UT campus aerial view

The Texas Materials Institute at the University of Texas at Austin was established in 1998 to ensure that UT-Austin achieves excellence in graduate education and research in the broad field of materials. The role of TMI is to be a “virtual” department that guides the destiny of materials science and engineering on the UT campus without imposing the limitations or boundaries inherent to departmental structures.

Primary Missions:

  1. To operate the graduate degree program in Materials Science and Engineering (MS&E). TMI recruits graduate students for this program, ensures appropriate coursework is available to educated and train scientists and engineers in the fundamentals of the field, provides research opportunities for these graduate students, and handles all associated administrative needs.
  2. To provide faculty and students on the UT-Austin campus with the instrumentation and associated infrastructure needed to conduct modern materials research. For more information on the equipment, please visit the instrumentation page.
  3. To promote interdisciplinary research in the area of materials at UT-Austin and to help coordinate all aspects of materials research and education among the participating departments.
  4. To serve as the Organized Research Unit for materials research and to provide the necessary infrastructure for those faculty who need these services.


The Texas Materials Institute is a formal Organized Research Unit (ORU) of UT Austin. When TMI was established, it was assigned one ORU Code (1470) under which both Engineering and Natural Sciences PIs affiliated with TMI would report. In turn, this unit reported to the then College of Engineering. Since the Cockrell School of Engineering’s accounting policies and procedures are quite different from those of Natural Sciences, it proved to be very inefficient to have all documents routed through Engineering. In 2004 a “sister” unit for TMI was established (1471), under which all of the Natural Sciences PIs affiliated with TMI were assigned, and the new unit code would report to Natural Sciences. All PIs assigned to unit 1471 follow the College of Natural Sciences accounting policies and procedures. The creation of this unit code was for routing and accounting purposes only and did not affect the structure or operations of TMI.  

Materials Science and Engineering Program

The MS&E Graduate Program consistently is highly ranked in the top 15 by the U.S. News and World Report. Our students are typically offered excellent funding, and upon graduation usually receive highly competitive jobs within industry, research labs, and academia.

  • Offers an interdisciplinary graduate program that allows students the ability to study core materials subjects while also developing depth within specific areas that cut across multiple areas of science and engineering.
  • Provides access to state-of-the-art instrumentation and infrastructure needed for materials science research, which is a vital part of TMI's mission.
  • Enables you to work alongside world-renowned faculty members on groundbreaking research with cutting-edge facilities.


TMI houses more than 65 pieces of large research equipment, which are a vital part of TMI's mission for providing instrumentation and infrastructure needed for materials science research.

  • Three facilities located in two buildings on campus.
  • $40M investment in state-of-the-art materials characterization and processing infrastructure.
  • Shared user access facilities: Training and advanced courses for users (both internal and external)
  • User base of over 200 active members, including industry.
  • Support from PhD level staff scientists with 10+ years experience on equipment.
  • World leading faculty with expertise in advanced materials characterization and technique development.


TMI has over 100 affiliated faculty members. The faculty all have appointments in a home department predominately in either the Cockrell School of Engineering or the College of Natural Sciences, but with some faculty from the Jackson School of Geosciences and the College of Pharmacy. Our faculty hold numerous patents and many are highly cited researchers, who are at the forefront of cutting-edge materials science education and research.

Life in Austin

Austin has been listed as one of the best places in America to live by U.S. News and World Report. It is an active city with lots of culture, live music, and outdoor recreations with year-round sunny weather. Austin has a thriving economy and serves as a major tech industry hub, where many major companies have campuses, such as Dell, National Instruments, Apple, IBM, Samsung, Google, and many others. Learn more

  • Music, art, and tech festivals: SXSW, Austin City Limits
  • Home to 136 scenic trails, just under 500 parks and 3 lakes: Lady Bird, Lake Austin, & Lake Travis
  • Proximity to the Green Belt, natural cave systems and pools like Barton Springs Pool
  • Ranked in the top 20 best cities for young professionals in the U.S.
  • Strong tech community: Oracle, Tesla, Intel, etc.