Materials and Nanosciences

Degree: Honours Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Materials and Nanosciences
Departments: Joint with Chemistry and Physics and Astronomy
Systems of study available: regular or co-op
Length: 4 years (regular), 5 years (co-op — includes both study and work terms)

Materials and nanosciences student in lab


  • Both materials science and nanoscience have been very active research areas during the past few decades, and are now having major impact in diverse fields, ranging from manufacturing to materials technology to nanomedicine to renewable energy to information technology.
  • Aimed at students interested in learning about and working in these new high-tech fields. Complements the nanotechnology engineering plan offered through the Faculty of Engineering. It is, however, designed for students who are more motivated by and interested in the fundamental building blocks of materials and devices, both at the macroscopic and nanometer scales.
  • Has two themes, one associated with inorganic and organic materials, the other with biomaterials.

First-year courses

Beginning in first year, you'll have access to a large number and variety of state-of-the-art labs. Informal seminars and research lab tours can keep you current with the latest research being conducted by your professors.

fall term winter term

MNS 10 Materials and Nanosciences Seminar 

CHEM 120/120L Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter/Lab

PHYS 121/121L Mechanics/Lab

MATH 114 Linear Algebra for Science

MNS 101 Materials and Nanosciences in the Modern World

MATH 127 Calculus 1 for the Sciences

MNS 10 Materials and Nanosciences Seminar

CHEM 123/123L Chemical Reactions, Equilibria and Kinetics/Lab

PHYS 122/132L Waves, Electricity and Magnetism/Lab

MATH 128 Calculus 2 for the Sciences

MNS 102 Techniques for Materials and Nanosciences

One elective

Upper-year courses

View the full list of upper year courses in the Academic Calendar


Minors add additional areas of expertise to your degree. View a complete list of minors. Choose minors within Science or even in other faculties. Some restrictions may apply depending on your program.

Co-operative education (co-op)

MNS is available as a co-op system of study. You'll need to indicate if you choose co-op when you apply.

What is co -op?

In the second term of your second year, you'll able to begin a co-op job. You'll complete 4 months of co-op, then return for 4 months of school. This pattern will continue the rest of your stay at University of Waterloo.

Co-op students at work

  • Novel Materials Synthesis, Xerox Research Centre of Canada
  • Product Development Assistant, KIK Custom Products
  • Chemical Research and Development, Quadrise Ltd.

Learn more about co-op and how much you can earn on co-op work terms.


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

See more in the science careers list.

Important information for future students

  • Apply via Physical Sciences on the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC)
  • Visit Waterloo’s main future student website for details on admissions, financing, housing, and more.

2017 QS World Subject Ranking Material Sciences Top 100

Explore other MNS-related programs in the Faculty of Science

Build your own BSc

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