The Department of Materials Science was founded in February 1997 as one of the three Departments of the former Second Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Natural Sciences of the University of Milan, which co-founded the University of Milano-Bicocca in 1998. 

The choice to create a Department of Materials Science arises from the experience of the School of Specialization in Materials Science established in the Università Statale by a group of physicists and solid state chemists who felt the necessity of bridging the gap accumulated by our country as compared to the rest of Europe in the field of new materials, a critical and essential area for the technological growth and production of the nation. Therefore, since its foundation, the experience of Materials Science in the Milan area identifies three pillars of development: training, research, and interaction with the productive world. Consistently, the Department supports a strong synergy between its three missions, a choice that allowed over the years a growth which is both qualitative and quantitative (from 29 members at its foundation to the current 38 Professors, 19 Assistant professors, 10 technicians and 1 technologist as well as several post-docs and PhD students). This allows the Materials Science degree course not only to survive the many difficulties related to the educational reorganizations of the last two decades but also to grow and to seed other successful teaching experiences.