Penn State


"As one of the nation's leading research universities, Penn State positively impacts our region, our state, our nation, and beyond. Whether the impact is global or local, the object of these efforts remains the same: to create new knowledge that improves people's lives."
    –Eva J. Pell, Senior Vice President for Research and Dean of The Graduate School

Penn State offers several paths to a career in nanotechnology, the exploding area of technological growth that has often been compared to the Industrial Revolution. It is estimated that the worldwide workforce necessary to support the field of nanotechnology will number two million by 2015.

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Undergraduate Education

Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary endeavor that draws on knowledge from many traditional fields. For that reason, a thorough grounding in one of the basic sciences or engineering is highly recommended. These disciplines include physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, information technology, and materials science. Departments that train future nano scientists and technicians are housed within the College of Agricultural Science, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Eberly College of Science, and the College of Information Sciences and Technology.

In summer 2006, the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics will introduce the University's first minor in nanotechnology, focusing on: nanoscience fundamentals, designing nano and microelectromechanical systems (NEMS and MEMS), biologically inspired nanomaterials, biomolecular engineering and more. This course of study is designed to help students from diverse disciplines prepare for careers in the broad range of fields being transformed by nanotechnology. For more information, please see

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to participate in research at the frontiers of physics at University Park through the REU program. Associated with the Department of Physics and the Penn State Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), this program offers paid summer research positions working with a team made up of a faculty member, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. For more information visit the MRSEC website at and click on education.

Capstone Semester

The Nanofabrication Manufacturing Technology (NMT) program offers a capstone semester at Penn State's University Park campus available to students enrolled in the 14 colleges of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, 14 Pennsylvania community colleges, and 8 other Penn State campuses. Students receive 18 credit hours of theory along with hands-on training on state-of-the-art nanofabrication equipment and in clean room techniques. Designed to create a highly trained, high-tech workforce for Pennsylvania, the NMT program offers pathways to a career in nanotechnology at the associate degree, baccalaureate degree, or certificate level. For more information visit

Graduate Study

Penn State offers graduate students unique opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaborations on research of significant scientific importance and societal benefit. Penn State's Graduate School is one of the largest in the nation, with more than 10,000 graduate students enrolled.

Penn State is one of the nation's leaders in research support from industry, the top-ranked university worldwide for materials research, and a recognized leader in interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale with the Materials Research Institute and the Huck Institutes for the Life Sciences. To learn more about graduate studies at Penn State visit

Nanoscale Engineering of Lignocellulosic Materials for Graduate Students