Information for

Nanotechnology Engineering at Waterloo

Design solutions measured in billionths of a metre.

Nanotechnology is revolutionizing everything from smartphones to cancer treatment. Put yourself on the forefront of that revolution at Waterloo.

In Canada’s only undergraduate nanotechnology engineering program, you’ll use principles from biology, chemistry, electronics, and quantum physics to create materials and machines far too small to see with the naked eye.

You'll gain extensive experience in your lab courses and through co-op positions at places like Mercedes-Benz, Harvard Medical School, and MIT. In your upper years, you’ll spend 8 months at a time on work terms, so you can really dig deep into a project — and graduate with a seriously impressive résumé.

Learn in world-leading labs

You’ll be based in the University's $160-million Quantum-Nano Centre — a facility packed with the very latest nano-fabrication tools in ultra-sterile cleanrooms.

Meet industry leaders

Make time in your schedule for the annual Waterloo Undergraduate Nanotechnology Conference, where you’ll meet industry leaders, startup founders, and top researchers.


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.

About Nanotechnology Engineering

breifcaseGain 2 years of experience in the co-op program

clickApply directly to this program on your application

grad capEarn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree


#1Engineering school in Canada (US News & World Report 2016)

GearsOffered through the Faculty of Engineering

Money flowerStudents earn $17,800 on average per co-op term


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 high 80s
  • An Admission Information Form is required
  • Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements database

First-year courses

September to December

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

January to April

NE 102 - Intro to Nanomaterials
NE 113 - Intro to Computational Methods
NE 122 - Organic Chemistry 
NE 125 - Intro to to Material Science 
NE 131 - Physics 
MATH 119 - Calculus 2 for Engineering


After first year

See the range of courses available in Nanotechnology Engineering. You can also view all the courses required for your degree.


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

  • Microfluidics and Instrumentation Engineer Intern, Precision Nanosystems, Inc.
  • Facilities Engineering, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada
  • Food Technologist, Catelli Foods
  • Research Intern, Harvard University
  • Injection Mould Engineering, Magna International
  • Research Assistant, Canadian Space Agency
  • Oil Properties Analyst, Environment Canada
  • Polymer Synthesis and Reactor Design, Soochow University
  • Assistant Lab Technician, Government of Prince Edward Island

Careers in Nanotechnology Engineering

As a Nanotechnology Engineering graduate, you might pursue further specialized studies, a position in industry or government, or your own start-up company. With your unique collection of skills and attributes, you'll be employable in many sectors, including environment and sustainability, mining and energy, semiconductor and electronics, and agriculture and food, to name just a few.

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

Helpful links