What will I learn?

Nanoscience and Nanoengineering PhD

The Nano Science and Engineering Ph.D. (Nano SE Ph.D.) Program at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program focusing on the science and engineering of nano-scale materials, nano-metrology, and nano-biotechnology. The goal of nanoscience and nanotechnology is to manipulate matter at the atomic and “nano” length scales (dimensions from a few to 100’s of atomic radii), e.g. the molecular to mesoscopic levels, where new materials and phenomena have been discovered. The ability to engineer systems at these length scales will require professionals with a broad understanding of fundamental principles and the ability to cross-over into other fields. The nano program provides the training to allow scientists and engineers to address these challenges, and the opportunity for students to engage in such research at the School of Mines while pursuing the Ph.D.

The Nano SE Ph.D. program offers a research-intensive degree focused on nanoscience and nanotechnology, with an emphasis on nano-scale materials. A multi-disciplinary core curriculum is taken by students from diverse science and engineering backgrounds. These “core” courses are intended to introduce students to contemporary topics in nanoscience and nanotechnology, and to initiate a cross-disciplinary approach to research and learning. These courses can usually be completed in one, or at most two years. In addition to this core, students entering with an M.S. degree are required to take at least two electives outside the student’s traditional area of training. Students entering at the B.S. level will be expected to pursue, or take coursework equivalent to, an M.S. degree, in addition to the nano core curriculum.

Students from traditional science and engineering backgrounds enter the program with well-defined research interests and affiliate themselves with a research group and a faculty mentor. Current nano program participants draw from the Departments of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, Physics, Chemistry, Chemical, Electrical, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering. Students with traditional training in these areas participate in cross-disciplinary research with a nano focus. Three major focus areas of the program are Electronic-Photonic Materials, Nano-Bio Imaging, and Nano-composites. Examples of research projects are: synthesis and characterization of nanocomposite materials, photo-activated nano-inks for direct write applications, nano-energetic materials, polymer chemistry, theory of spintronic devices, structural and optical characterization of nano-materials for solar energy, bio-fuels and other forms of renewable energy, superresolution optical imaging methods and nonlinear optics applied to the imaging of nano-scale bio-materials and systems.

Which department am I in?

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Study options

Full Time (80 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$14,730.00 per year
Start date

Expected January, August 2022


South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

501 East Saint Joseph Street,


South Dakota,

57701, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Admission to a doctoral program in the Graduate School normally requires a master’s degree or its equivalent, a grade point average in graduate work of at least 3.00, and acceptance by the academic unit offering the doctoral program. Other English Language Requirements accepted: 550 on the paper-based TOEFL; 213 on the computer-based TOEFL; 5.0 on the iTep Academic Plus Exam; C1 required on the Cambridge English Exam.

For international students

Students must hold a bachelor degree in engineering or science from accredited 4-year colleges and universities with a recommended GPA of 3.0.

English Proficiency Requirements: TOEFL Internet-based test: 68 minimum score (Upper level score - 83), Computer Based Test – 190 minimum score (Upper level score – 220), Paper Based Test – 520 minimum score (Upper level score – 560); IELTS: 5.5 minimum score (Upper level score – 6.5), Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE): 47 minimum score (Upper level score – 56)

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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