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Winter 2016
The Graduate Calendar

Physics and Astronomy


Collaborative Program in Nanotechnology
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Master of Science in Physics (Nanotechnology)

The University of Waterloo offers the first Master of Science (MSc) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs in Nanotechnology of its kind in Canada. The interdisciplinary research programs, jointly offered by three departments in the Faculty of Science and four in the Faculty of Engineering, provide students with a stimulating educational environment that spans from basic research through to application. The goal of the collaborative programs is to allow students to gain perspectives on nanotechnology from a wide community of scholars within and outside their disciplines in both course and thesis work.

The MSc degree collaborative program provides a strong foundation in the emerging areas of nano-science or nano-engineering in preparation for the workforce or for further graduate study and research leading to a doctoral degree.  Four key areas of research strengths have been identified: nanomaterials, nano-electronics design and fabrication, nano-instruments and devices, and nano-biosystems. The objective of the PhD program is to prepare students for careers in academia, industrial R & D and government research labs. Students from Science and Engineering will work side-by-side in world class laboratory facilities namely, the Giga-to-Nano Electronics Lab (G2N), Waterloo Advanced Technology Lab (WatLAB) and the new 225,000 gross sq. ft. Nano-Quantum Center expected to be completed in early 2011.

There are nearly 50 faculty members involved in nanotechnology research at the university with many who are internationally renowned leaders in their fields. Among them are seven Canada Research Chairs and two NSERC Industrial Research Chairs.

Admission requirements are the same as home department programs. The home department in which the applicant intends to pursue graduate study must approve the application. Interested students should apply directly to one of the following departments via the regular university application process:

Chemical Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
Physics and Astronomy
Systems Design Engineering

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements are the same as those for MSc and PhD in Physics and Astronomy. Please refer to the following website: 

Degree Requirements

The MSc program requirements are:

  • four half credit (0.5) courses including two required core courses, one elective course  from the approved list and Phys 701,
  • MSc thesis proposal milestone,
  • original research thesis, and
  • nanotechnology seminar graded on a Credit/Non-Credit basis

For the PhD program, students who are admitted with an appropriate masters degree must complete:

  • four half credit (0.5) courses including two required core courses, one elective course from the approved list and PHYS 701. If, however, PHYS 701 has already been taken for MSc credit, one of 704,706 can be used as a substitute.
  • nanotechnology seminar graded on a Credit/Non-Credit basis, and
  • an original research dissertation

Students admitted with an appropriate honours bachelor’s degree or who transfer directly from a masters program to the PhD program must complete:

  • eight half credit (0.5) courses including two required core courses, five elective courses from the approved list and Physics 701.
  • nanotechnology seminar graded on a Credit/Non-Credit basis, and
  • an original research dissertation

Core Courses

Core courses are designed to provide the base knowledge and skill set required to prepare students for more specialized courses and to conduct interdisciplinary nanoscale research. Generally, students are required to take two core courses and complete the Nanotechnology seminar. All core courses will have written examinations.

The two required core courses are:

NANO 701: Fundamentals of Nanotechnology (0.5 credit) - course descriptions (pdf)
NANO 702: Nanotechnology Tools (0.5 credit) - course descriptions (pdf)


Students who have completed their BASc degree in Nanotechnology Engineering or Masters degree in Nanotechnology at the University of Waterloo will not be required to take the two core courses. Instead, they can choose all graduate courses from the prescribed list of electives.

Technical Electives

Approved technical elective courses (pdf)

Note: An average of at least 70% must be obtained in the required courses. A minimum grade of 65% is required for a pass in each course. No more than two courses, of the first four taken, can have averages of less than 70%. If a student does not meet these minimum grade requirements, or receives a failing grade in any course, he/she may be required to withdraw from the program.

Nanotechnology Seminar

This seminar is a forum for student presentation of research results or proposals. Invited speakers from academia and industry will also present results of research from time to time. The range of topics that will be addressed in the seminar crosses all areas of research in the collaborative program. Each student is required to present at least one research seminar. To receive credit, students are required to attend at least eight seminars other than their own before completing their program.

Academic Integrity Workshop

This is a milestone requirement for all full-time students. Part-time and Non-Degree students are NOT required to complete this workshop. This is a mandatory workshop on academic integrity and intellectual property which will be offered to all new incoming graduate students within the Faculty of Science during the first term of each Fall and Winter.
PLEASE NOTE: Students will be required to complete BOTH the Academic Integrity Module as a required course along with the Academic Integrity Workshop Milestone. The Module will appear on the student's transcript as a Course. The Workshop will appear on the student's transcript as a Milestone.   

Faculty Advisors/Thesis Supervisors

Current listing of thesis supervisors and their home departments can be found at the following link: 

For more information, please contact the Guelph Waterloo Physics Institute Office

Kiley Rider
Assistant to the Director
Physics Building, Room 244
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
TEL: 519-888-4567 x37598
FAX: 519-746-8115

Graduate Studies Office
Needles Hall, Room 2201
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
519 888 4567 x35411

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