Overview of a Nanotechnology Degree Program
Degree programs in nanotechnology can be found in a few regions of the United States. This field of cutting edge science opens a student's intellect to the possibilities of creating matter at the size of atoms and molecules. It offers chemistry, physics, biology and calculus coursework. Below is some important information about nanotechnology requirements and possible admissions needs. You can also find out about several different careers that could use this degree after completion.
Admissions Requirements for a Nanotechnology Degree
Prospective nanotechnology students wanting to pursue a degree in this field will need to submit their high school diplomas or their passing grades on the GED. Schools will also expect to receive any necessary letters of recommendation, transcripts, and essays. To work toward a degree in nanotechnology, you may also be required to have successfully completed a certain amount of advanced math and science classes in high school. Dependent on the school's admissions requirements, incoming freshmen may also be asked to submit their ACT or SAT entrance scores.
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Nanotechnology Degree Program Coursework
A nanotechnology degree program will usually include several courses in physics, chemistry, biology, calculus and engineering, and these courses will be taken alongside the university's core curriculum for undergraduate studies. Other classes may include those in fabrication, materials and probability/statistics along with the nanotechnology curriculum. Below are some of the more common courses:
Several courses in physics are often required for students of nanotechnology. These classes may start as fundamentals and expand to more specific physics coursework as the program progresses. Courses might be non-calculus and stress areas of light, electricity, sound and magnetism. Students could also study the foundational aspects of motion, relativity, rotational equilibrium, force, Newton's Law, and Gauss' Law.
Calculus will be required for this degree and is necessary to advance a student's knowledge of functions, derivatives, applications, and limits and continuity. Other work stressed will be the fundamental theorems of calculus, numerical integration, differential equations and integration techniques. Students will need to check their degree plan for any advanced calculus work that might also be required beyond any general requirements.
Chemistry is another of the basics that students need to master before moving on into more advanced nanotechnology coursework. Students will need to understand the basic principles of atomic and molecular structure, states of matter, thermochemistry, and chemical bonding. Before moving upward, pupils will need to prove themselves in areas like thermodynamics, acids and bases, solubility equilibrium, solutions and kinetics.
Fundamentals of Engineering
Engineering knowledge is tantamount to success in this program and students will experience coursework and labs on the areas of study such as measurement tools, fabrication techniques and various engineering materials. Eventually this work will lead to access of information on nanoengineering and the work being done in areas like nano-tubes, wires, particles and scales. All this work will aid in the study of nanoscale fabrication for fields like nanobiotechnology, nanomedicine, and nanomotors.
Nanotechnology study should lead to the creation and use of various nanosystems and devices. Through these classes and labs students will work with nanodevices, systems and sensors and develop skills in synthesis, analysis, design, modelling and optimization. Work may include the realization of today's current technology limitations while designing next generation material integrating circuits, designing sub-micron boards and memory circuits, in addition to exploring the impact on new nanotechnologies.
How to Choose a Degree Program in Nanotechnology
Degree programs at the bachelor's level are limited to a few programs around the United States. Students may desire to look at the school's scientific and engineering labs and facilities, as most coursework will require labs several times a week in these programs. Potential students might wish to look at schools near cities with science centers where they might find a perfect fit for internships or future employment. Also, prospective students could take into consideration a school's nanotechnology reputation and possible graduate programs for further study.
Career Options with a Nanotechnology Degree
Those people with a degree in nanotechnology will find possible employment in areas like teaching, engineering, biomedicine or new technologies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates nanotechnology engineering technologists, for example, will grow by 1% from 2014-2024, while the median salary for these technologists in 2016 was $62,330. Prospective graduates could also find other careers like the ones below in a nanotechnology field that they may find equally fulfilling.