Nanotechnology Engineering

Design systems measured in billionths of a metre

Students wear full-body clean suits in a Nanotechnology Engineering lab at the University of Waterloo.

Join us to be a technology rebel, break convention, and create disruptive novel ideas for a bold new scientific frontier!

Nanotechnology Engineering is the foundation of future technology. It saves lives, mitigates climate change, is the pillar of national security, enables AI and quantum computing, powers the global economy, and enhances our quality of life. This discipline has been used to develop COVID mRNA vaccines and pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies, and create high-performance integrated circuits. It also enhances sustainable development and combats the climate crisis by enabling electrification.

Our program is the first accredited nanotechnology program in Canada and features a dedicated clean room with multimillion-dollar cutting-edge equipment for Nanotechnology Engineering students. 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 a range of paid co-op opportunities. When you graduate you'll be well positioned to benefit from the billions of dollars of planned investment in the global nanotechnology sector that enables advanced computing, innovative health care systems, and tackling climate change through renewable energy production and storage.

Program highlights

Tiny but mighty! Use concepts from biology, chemistry, electronics, and quantum physics to design systems measured in billionths of a metre in the $160-million Mike and Ophelia Lazardis 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.


What is Nanotechnology Engineering?

Nanotechnology Engineering at Waterloo

View more videos, including a tour of our labs.

What will you learn?

During your first year, you'll take a mix of foundational engineering and math courses. In upper years, you'll be able to select topics that interest you the most from our four core areas: nano-engineering materials, nano-electronics, nano-instrumentation, and nano-biosystems.

Learn more about the courses you'll take for your Nanotechnology Engineering degree and the facilities you'll have access to.

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Co-op = relevant paid work experience

Waterloo's co-op program, the largest in North America, is an amazing way to explore potential careers, learn to interview for jobs, graduate with up to two years of valuable experience – and make money!

Sample co-op job titles

  • Battery materials intern
  • Research & development engineering
  • Drug delivery & formulations co-op
  • Nanofabrication assistant
  • Optomechanical engineering

Co-op work-study sequence

Starting in first year, you'll normally alternate between school and work every four months, integrating your classroom learning with real-world experience. You can return to the same employer for a couple of work terms to gain greater knowledge and responsibility or work for different employers to get a broad range of experience.

Year September to December (Fall) January to April (Winter) May to August (Spring)
First Study Study Co-op
Second Study Co-op Study
Third Co-op Co-op Study
Fourth Study Co-op Co-op
Fifth Study Study -

Your first work term will be at the end of first year (May to August 2025).

Learn more about co-op →


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.


How to apply

Apply directly to this program on your application.