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 5 materials science programs in Canada and top 100 worldwide (QS World University Ranking 2018), this program has lots to offer.

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 5 work terms.

Meet other nano-geeks

The student-run Materials and Nanoscience Society hosts lab events, social outings, and professional development workshops to equip you with the tools for success.


Student in lab coat working at bench in lab

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

About the Materials and Nanosciences program

Briefcase Available as a co-op and regular program

ClickApply via Physical Sciences

CapEarn a Bachelor of Science in Honours Materials and Nanosciences

trophyWaterloo ranks top 5 in Canada for Materials Science
BeakerOffered through the Faculty of Science
nanotechnologyRecognized as a leading nanotechnology program

Materials and Nanosciences admissions requirements

Careers in Materials and Nanosciences

Materials and Nanosciences graduates often pursue careers in renewable energy facilities, materials research and development.

Sample careers

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

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 120/120L - 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

MNS 10 - Materials and Nanosciences Seminar
MNS 102 - Techniques for Materials and Nanosciences
CHEM 123/123L - Chemical Reactions, Equilibria and Kinetics/Laboratory
PHYS 122/PHYS 132L - Waves, Electricity and Magnetism/Laboratory
MATH 128 - Calculus 2 for the Sciences
ENGL 193/SPCOM 193 - Communication in the Sciences


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


Customize your Bachelor of Science degree

You can also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor/minors as part of your degree.

Gain relevant work experience through co-op

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)

Learn more about Materials and Nanosciences