Tiny subject matter. Huge opportunities.
Discover how to manipulate individual atoms and molecules in Materials and Nanosciences at Waterloo. As one of the top nanoscience programs in Canada (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022), this program has lots to offer, including paid co-op opportunities. You’ll learn the ins and outs of designing composite materials, ceramics, semiconductor materials, fuel cells, energy storage devices, solar cells, and more. And thanks to small classes, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to connect with other students and professors.
Materials and Nanoscience is a mix of chemistry, physics, and math. You’ll also take materials science courses where you learn about what makes a substance unique. For example, if you arrange atoms in a certain way, why does the material have stability and strength rather than flexibility? In upper years, you can choose to take more chemistry or physics. It all depends on what aspects of materials science you enjoy.
- Build an awesome résumé. Conduct research in our world-leading Quantum-Nano Centre, or join Waterloo's Nanorobotics Group. If you opt for co-op, you’ll gain valuable skills during your five work terms.
- Meet other nano-geeks. The student-run Materials and Nanoscience (MNS) Society hosts lab events, social outings, and professional development workshops to equip you with the tools for success.
- Available as a regular or co-op program
- Graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Materials and Nanoscience
- Offered through the Faculty of Science
What will you learn?
In your first year, you'll take a mixture of Materials and Nanosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics courses to give you the foundations for your upper-year classes. After first year, most of your classes will be Materials and Nanoscience courses.
Learn more about courses you'll take for your Materials and Nanosciences degree.
Customize your degree
You can include one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students.
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Co-op = relevant paid work experience
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 job titles
- Materials lab associate
- Nanoscale optics and photonics research assistant
- Software developer
- Science & math peer tutor
- Undergraduate research assistant
- Quality assurance technician
- Product development assistant
Sample co-op employers
- Xerox Research Centre of Canada
- Harvard University
- CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research
- TRIUMF particle accelerator centre
- SNOLAB neutrino and dark matter physics lab
- Industrial Research Technology Institute (Taiwan)
What can you do with a degree in Materials and Nanosciences?
Graduates often pursue careers in fields ranging from aerospace, biomedicine, the energy sector, and materials research and development. Some also choose to pursue further education and conduct their own research in graduate school.
- Specialty Coatings Technician - Vive Nano
- Decontamination Scientist - RTI International
- Materials Scientist - Agilent Technologies
Learn about the future of careers in science.
What is the difference between Materials and Nanosciences and Nanotechnology Engineering?
As a material scientist, you might research how to create a new nanomaterial based on the chemistry and physics of atoms and bonding. As an engineer, you might then take that material and find uses for it. The scientist is more focused on the research while engineers tend to be more applied. That being said, many times both roles overlap.
Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
- English (ENG4U) (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
- Advanced Functions (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
- Calculus and Vectors (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
- Two of Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Mathematics of Data Management, or Physics
Admission averages: Low 80s
Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.
How to apply?
Apply to Physical Sciences and select Materials and Nanosciences as your major.
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Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?
Please contact Alisia, our Science recruitment coordinator who can answer any questions you have.