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The third floor of ESC open corridor (from EIT bridge to B1) is closed. The Physics building main stairwell and office wing on both second and third floors will be closed until necessary repairs to the main stairwell are completed. Physics administrative offices will re-open on Monday, June 11 in PHY 345.

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

student writing on whiteboard

Study the discovery, design, and use of materials, while gaining a fuller understanding of how small-scale nanoscience is making big leaps in materials technology and innovation. 


Dive into the world of nanoparticles and learn about the properties of materials, such as superconductors, insulators, and biomaterials, and how they are designed and synthesized. Materials science is one of the oldest forms of applied science, with certain eras of time — such as the Stone, Bronze, and Iron ages — named after the material of major significance. With new technologies assisting scientists to see the world on a whole new level, materials science has become increasingly important and essential. Resource availability/scarcity poses one of the most pressing scientific problems that humans currently face — and breakthroughs in materials science will significantly impact the future of technology. Think about graphene, a relatively new material, and how it is 200 times stronger than the strongest steel. Now, couple materials science with nanoscience, the study of matter on an extremely small scale (1-billionth of a meter, to be exact) and you open up a whole new realm of science to pursue. At the University of Waterloo, we have a specialized research lab dedicated to studying at the nanoscale — a state-of-the-art facility that controls even the most minor changes in vibration, temperature, and electromagnetic radiation — so that we can continue to be at the forefront of research and discovery.

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

Co-operative education (co-op) available: Yes

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.
  • Materials Lab Associate, BlackBerry Ltd.

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

Career fields

  • Synthesis and analysis of materials
  • Nanomedicine
  • Renewable energy
  • Information technology
  • Industrial research

See more in the science careers list.

Admission 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.

Meet Our Ambassadors

Find out more about life as a Waterloo Materials and Nanosciences student. Come in for a tour or to one of our open houses and you might even meet them in person!

Material Sci QS Ranking 2018

Explore other MNS-related programs in the Faculty of Science

Build your own BSc

Explore other MNS-related programs at Waterloo

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