Nanotechnology Engineering

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 eighth 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.


Why Waterloo Engineering?

With its renowned co-op program and a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem, Waterloo Engineering is one of the world’s top engineering schools. You'll have access to emerging technologies, innovative professors, and world-class facilities.

"2nd" icon purplein Canada for engineering (US News & World Report 2019)
breifcaseGain two years of experience in the co-op program
Money flowerStudents earn $13,300 on average per co-op term

Nanotechnology Engineering admission requirements

Ontario students: six 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 mid- to high 80s

Complete the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.


Get tips from Waterloo students

Sign up for insider advice that can help you now and in the future. Topics include

  • tips for a successful senior year of high school,
  • how to choose a university program,
  • differences between high school and university, and more.

First-year Nanotechnology Engineering courses

September to December

  • NE 100 - Introduction to Nanotechnology Engineering
  • NE 101 - Nanotechnology Engineering Practice
  • NE 109Societal and Environmental Impacts of Nanotechnology
  • NE 111 – Introduction to Programming for Engineers
  • NE 112 - Linear Algebra for Nanotechnology Engineering
  • 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 140  - Linear Circuits 
  • NE 125 - Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering
  • NE 131 - Physics for Nanotechnology Engineering
  • 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.

Sample upper-year courses

NE 225 – Structure and Properties of Nanomaterials
NE 336 – Micro and Nanosystem Computer-aided Design
NE 471 – Nano-electronics 
NE 481 – Nanomedicine and Nanobiology


GearsOffered through the Faculty of Engineering

clickApply directly to this program on your application

grad capEarn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree


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

  • Polymer engineering intern
  • Research & development engineering
  • Laboratory research assistant
  • Material handler
  • Optical development engineering
  • Quality project coordinator
  • Food technologist

Sample co-op employers

  • Baylis Medical Company Inc.
  • AVRO Life Science
  • Myant Consulting
  • Harvard University
  • National Institute for Materials Science
  • ContextLogic

What can I do with a degree in Nanotechnology Engineering?

As a 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

  • Device Development Engineer – Analog Devices 
  • Engineering Program Manager – Apple 
  • Project Engineer Specialist – Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada 
  • Senior Manager, Technical Program – Amazon
  • Product Manager – TELUS Corporation
  • Manager, Data Science – Facebook 
  • Research Engineer – University of British Columbia

Possible professional designation

Learn about the future of careers in engineering.

Ready to learn more?