Materials and Nanosciences

Tiny subject matter. Huge opportunities.

Discover how to manipulate individual atoms and molecules in Materials and Nanosciences at Waterloo. As one of the top 10 materials science programs in Canada and top 100 worldwide (QS World University Ranking 2019), this program has lots to offer, including 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.

You’ll graduate ready for a career at the forefront of innovation, helping create environmentally friendly, efficient, and cost-effective solutions in fields ranging from aerospace to biomedicine.

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.


Material science degree student in lab coat working in lab

Develop a deeper understanding of materials, biomaterials, and nanomaterials as well as learn about their use and implications for society.

trophyWaterloo ranks top 10 in Canada for Materials Science

Briefcase Available as a co-op and regular program

nanotechnologyRecognized as a leading nanotechnology program


Materials and Nanosciences admissions requirements

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 (Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, and/or Physics are recommended)

Admission averages: Low 80s

We recommend completing the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

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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First-year Materials and Nanosciences courses

September to December

  • MNS 10 - Materials and Nanosciences Seminar
  • MNS 101 - Materials and Nanosciences in the Modern World
  • CHEM 121/121L - Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter/Laboratory
  • PHYS 121/121L - Mechanics/Laboratory
  • MATH 114 - Linear Algebra for Sciences
  • MATH 127 - Calculus for the Sciences

January to April


After first year

About half of the classes you’ll take will be Materials and Nanosciences courses with about the other half being Chemistry, Math and Physics courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.

View a list of all the courses required for your degree.

Sample upper-year courses

MNS 211 – Chemistry and the Solid State
MNS 322 – Polymer Materials
AMATH 250 – Introduction to Differential Equations
CHEM 209 – Introductory Spectroscopy and Structure


ClickApply via Physical Sciences and select Materials and Nanosciences as your major

BeakerOffered through the Faculty of Science

CapEarn a Bachelor of Science degree in Honours Materials and Nanosciences


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
  • BlackBerry
  • Harvard University
  • CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research
  • TRIUMF particle accelerator centre
  • SNOLAB neutrino and dark matter physics lab
  • Industrial Research Technology Institute (Taiwan)

Customize your Bachelor of Science degree

You can add additional areas of expertise by including one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students.

What can you do with a degree in Materials and Nanosciences?

Materials and Nanosciences graduates often pursue careers in the energy sector, materials research and development, or go on to conduct their own research in graduate school.

Recent graduates

  • Specialty Coatings Technician - Vive Nano
  • Decontamination Scientist - RTI International
  • Materials Scientist - Agilent Technologies

Learn about the future of careers in science.

Ready to learn more?