The Interdisciplinary Minor for Undergraduates in Nanoscale Science & Technology
To meet the rapidly growing interest of students in nano, and to prepare students for careers in the exciting, rapidly growing field of nanoscale science and technology, we offer an innovative undergraduate program, the Interdisciplinary Minor Program in Nanoscale Science and Technology (NS&T).
The NS&T program was created by and draws on faculty and courses from the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering at the A. James Clark School of Engineering; and the Departments of Physics and Chemistry & Biochemistry at the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. It is also supported by the Maryland NanoCenter.
The Department of Materials Science and Engineering, which spearheaded the creation of the NS&T minor, also administers the program due to its position at the intersection between science and engineering, and the large number of MSE faculty engaged in nano-based research.
The Interdisciplinary Minor Program in Nanoscale Science and Technology is designed to be accessible and available to any student majoring in Engineering, Physics or Chemistry. It is open to all students who have the necessary prerequisites to enroll in the courses which constitute the minor.
Courses fall into one of four interrelated areas, or approaches: fundamental science, characterization and measurement, fabrication and synthesis, and specialization and application. Students are required to take courses in all of these areas (see requirements, below), and to further encourage a breadth of study, only two of the minor's five total courses may be from a student's major department. A list of approved courses is available on the NanoCenter web site.
View the list of approved courses
Students wishing to participate in the NS&T minor must formally declare their participation using the Nano Minor Declaration/Advising Form (PDF). Submission of the form must follow a meeting with the faculty and/or staff member(s) responsible for advising NS&T minors in each participating department. The NS&T advisor(s) will help the student develop a program of courses suitable for the minor and a schedule for taking them. Form updated 9/17/2012.
In MSE, the NS&T program advisor is Professor Ray Phaneuf (firstname.lastname@example.org), who directs the minor. The education coordinator is Dr. Kathleen Hart (email@example.com), Associate Director of Student Services.
Students from outside participating departments will consult with one of the MSE representatives.
Examples of model programs for each participating department can be viewed on the NanoCenter web site »
The minor will consist of a total of five courses (at least 15 credits). A list of approved courses is available on the NanoCenter web site.
View the list of approved courses »
- At least two of the courses (6 credits) must be from the list of Nanofabrication/Nanosynthesis and/or Nanocharacterization electives (as classified on the list of approved courses).
- At least two of the courses (6 credits) must be from the list of Fundamental Science and/or Nanoscience electives (as classified on the list of approved courses). At least one of these must be listed as a Nanospecialization/Application elective.
- Up to two courses (6 credits) may be double counted—used both toward satisfying the requirements of the major and the NS&T minor.
- Three of the courses (9 credits) must be from outside the individual student's major. Cross listed courses (e.g. ENMA460/PHYS431) which are offered by the major department do not qualify as being outside the major.
- At least three of the courses (9 credits) must be at the 400 level or above.
- No more than two courses (6 credits) from any one department will be credited toward the NS&T minor.
- A grade of "C" or above is required in all courses to be credited toward the NS&T minor.
- Research experience courses (XXXX 499) may be included in the NS&T minor in addition to those listed above, provided that the research is NS&T-related. The course must be within a participating department. Similarly, if a department's design capstone course (e.g. ENMA 490) is judged to be in the area of NS&T, it may be counted as a Specialization Elective toward the minor. Judgment of whether these courses qualify will fall to the departmental NS&T program advisor(s).
Students who successfully complete the NS&T minor are:
- able to explain the background concepts that underlie science at the nanometer scale;
- able to carry out techniques for fabrication and or synthesis of nanostructures or materials structured at the nanometer scale;
- able to use techniques for characterizing the properties, function and performance of nanostructures; and
- able to explain applications of nanotechnology to computing, data storage, sensing, biology or other fields relevant to industry and/or society.