University Education

Choosing a course of study for work in nanotechnology? Will it be chemistry, physics, engineering, biology, IT or other technology fields?

picture of Stan Williamsleft quote markI want people who are very deep in their discipline and can talk to each other.right quote mark

Stan Williams, Director, Quantum Science Research, Hewlett Packard

Highly regarded researcher Stan Williams says that students often ask him what they should study to prepare for the field of nanotechnology. "I tell them to figure out what they like and get good at it and to take communications courses, whether writing or journalism," he notes. While nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field, Williams is concerned that students could pursue too broad an education and end up knowing a little about a lot of fields, but not enough in any one field to make significant contributions.

There are undoubtedly other opinions about education in nanotechnology, and it's a subject worthy of consideration as students plan their studies. Today, few universities offer degrees in nanotechnology, although a vast number of research universities offer courses in the field. Many universities also offer undergraduate experiences in interdisplinary centers.

Degrees in Nanotechnology

In conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania, an Associate Degree in Nanobiotechnology is now offered at community colleges in Pennsylvania.

Dakota County Technical College (Rosemount, Minn.) in conjunction with the University of Minnesota, Associate in Applied Science degree in Nanoscience Technology

City University of New York offers a Ph.D. in Nanotechnology & Materials Chemistry as part of the Ph.D. program in chemistry.

Louisiana Tech University offers a Bachelor of Science in Nanosystems Engineering, a Master of Science in Molecular Sciences and Nanotechnology, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Engineering that focuses on micro/nanosystems.

Rice University offers a Professional Master of Science in Nanoscale Physics

University at Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), offers a Ph.D. and a MS in both Nanoscale Science and Nanoscale Engineering. It also offers two dual-degree "Nano+MBA" programs: MS in Nanoscale Science/Masters of Business Administration and MS in Nanoscale Engineering/Masters of Business Administration.

University of Washington, Ph.D. in Nanotechnology

North Seattle Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science-T degree in nanotechnology, soon to be joined by a certificate program.

Examples of Programs and Courses on Nanoscale Science and Engineering Offered in U.S. Colleges and Universities

Cornell University, Nanobiotechnology Course

Florida Institute of Technology, Nanoscience/Nanotechnology Lab Course

George Mason University, Graduate Certificate in Nanotechnology and Nanoscience

Kansas State University, Visual Quantum Mechanics

Michigan Technological University, interdisciplinary minor in Nanoscale Science and Engineering (Nanotechnology)

Normandale Community College, Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nanotechnology with emphasis in vacuum technology and surface science or semiconductor process technician.

Penn State University, Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization, Nanofabrication Manufacturing Technology (NMT) Capstone Semester, for two-year colleges

Purdue University, Graduate Level Courses in Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Nanostructured Materials

Rice University, Introduction to Nanoscience

University of Central Florida, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Track (B.S.) Liberal Studies Major

University of Maryland, Nano-related Courses at UMD

University of Texas at Austin's Doctoral Portfolio Program in Nanotechnology is a certification program which provides a formal mechanism for recognizing and rewarding students who obtain the broad educational background necessary to become leaders in nanotechnology after graduation.

University of Washington, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Joint Institute for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Intensive Courses in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

University of Wisconsin - Madison and other institutions collaborating with the UW Materials Research Science and Engineering Center on Nanostructured Interfaces, Nano-related Course Information and Syllabi

Other Resources:

Every summer, the National Nanofabrication Infrastructure Network hosts a Research Experience for Undergraduates Program (NNIN REU) from June to August. Engineering and science students with a genuine interest in nanotechnology are eligible if they are not graduating before the end of the program in August. Also, applicants must be Citizens or Permanent Residents of the United States. Minority and female candidates are especially encouraged to apply. For the full program information, please visit the NNIN REU Information Center.

Cornell University, Research Experience for Undergraduates at the Nanobiotechnology Center

Northwestern University, Research Experience for Undergraduates at the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center

University of Central Florida, Research Experience for Undergraduates at the Nanoscience and Technology Center

See also

Careers in Nanotechnology, Scholarships, Fellowships, & Postdoctoral Positions