Information for

Nanotechnology Engineering at Waterloo

At a glance

  • Available as a co-op program only
  • Starts in first year so apply directly to this program on your application
  • Earn a Bachelor of Applied Science in Nanotechnology Engineering
  • Offered by the Faculty of Engineering

About the program

Nanotechnology Engineering applies ideas from chemistry, quantum physics, biology, and electronics to build objects through manipulations at the atomic or molecular level.

As a nanotechnology engineer, you'll build structures ranging from one to one hundred nanometers (billionths of a metre). You'll use mathematics, science, and engineering to model, design, and make structures for sensors, electronics, biosystems, or advanced materials.

After you graduate, you'll be able to apply your knowledge to create advanced materials that can be used in new ways. For example, you could reduce the weight of materials to increase efficiency, find new ways to test for environmental pollutants, or work in the medical field using miniature devices that can act at the molecular level.

Waterloo Nanotechnology Engineering student working on experiment in lab

Waterloo is the first university in Canada to offer a full degree in Nanotechnology Engineering. The University's $160-million Quantum-Nano Centre houses specialized labs for you to get hands-on, practical experience.

Admission requirements

  • Ontario students: 6 Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
    • Advanced Functions (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Calculus and Vectors (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Chemistry (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • Physics (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
    • English (ENG4U) (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Admission averages: Individual selection from the low to mid-90s
  • An Admission Information Form is required
  • Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements database

First-year courses

September to December

NE 100 - Introduction to Nanotechnology Engineering
NE 101 - Nanotechnology Engineering Practice
NE 111 – Introduction to Engineering Computing
NE 112 - Linear Algebra for Nanotechnology Engineers
NE 109Societal and Environmental Impacts of Nanotechnology
NE 121 - Chemical Principles
MATH 117 - Calculus 1 for Engineering

January to April

NE 102 - Introduction to Nanomaterials Health Risk; Nanotechnology Engineering Practice
NE 113 - Introduction to Computational Methods
NE 122 - Organic Chemistry for Nanotechnology Engineers
NE 125 - Introduction to Material Science and Engineering
NE 131 - Physics for Nanotechnology Engineering
MATH 119 - Calculus 2 for Engineering

What other courses will you take?


By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.

Sample co-op positions

  • Industry Internship Program, WORLDiscoveries
  • Android Integration Engineering, QUALCOMM Inc
  • Trainee Technical Support Engineering, Paperless Trail Inc
  • Research Assistant, University of Rajasthan
  • Web Programmer, CPCS Transcom Ltd
  • Assistant Lab Technician, Government of Prince Edward Island
  • Commissioning Assistant, CFMS Consulting INC
  • Capital Markets Intern, Milliman Inc

Co-op work/study sequences

  Fall Winter Spring
First year School School Co-op
Second year School Co-op School
Third year Co-op Co-op School
Fourth year School Co-op Co-op
Final year School School  

Fall = September to December, Winter = January to April, Spring = May to August
School = 4-month school term
Co-op = 4-month co-op work term


Recent graduates

  • Test Process Engineer, Angstrom Engineering Inc.
  • R&D Engineer, Qidni Labs Inc.
  • Control Engineer, Syncrude Canada Ltd.
  • Co-Founder, Suncayr
  • Physics Technician, University of Alberta
  • Process Engineer, Procter & Gamble Inc.
  • Nanotechnology Specialist, Intlvac
  • Research Engineer, iNano Medical Inc.

Possible professional designation

Learn more about Nanotechnology Engineering