Master of Science in Nanoscale Science (MSNS) Degree

Program Learning Outcomes for the MSNS Degree

Upon completing the MSNS degree, students will:

  1. Develop knowledge of quantum theory and its application to nano- and mesoscale devices.
  2. Demonstrate written, oral, and visual communication skills to bridge the gaps between science and business.
  3. Develop business and management skills, and obtain practical skills valuable to nanotechnology - related companies. 

Requirements for the MSNS Degree

The MSNS degree is a non-thesis master's degree.  For general university requirements, please see Non-Thesis Master's Degrees. Students pursuing the MSNS degree must complete:

  • A minimum of 14 courses (40-41 credit hours depending on course selection) to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A 3-6 month internship. At the conclusion of the internship, students must present a summary of the internship project in both oral and written form as part of the professional master’s seminar.
  • A minimum of 30 credit hours at the 500-level or above.

In addition to the core science courses, students are required to complete a three to six month internship and take a set of cohort courses focusing on business and communication. Part-time students who already work in their area of study may fulfill the internship requirement by working on an approved project with their current employer. Certain course requirements may be waived based upon prior graduate coursework or industrial experience.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this degree program. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the PSM (Professional Science Masters) program director and the MSNS advisor (or official certifier). Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the MSNS Degree40-41

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Core Science Courses
PHYS 533NANOSTRUCTURE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY I3
PHYS 534NANOSTRUCTURE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY II3
PHYS 537METHODS OF EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS I4
Select 1 from the following:3-4
METHODS OF EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS II
CHARACTERIZATION AND FABRICATION AT THE NANOSCALE
COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS
COMPUTATIONAL ELECTRODYNAMICS AND NANOPHOTONICS
IMAGING AT THE NANOSCALE
Cohort Courses
NSCI 610 / ENGI 610MANAGEMENT FOR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING3
NSCI 501PROFESSIONAL MASTER'S SEMINAR (required for 2 semesters, 1st semester)1
NSCI 501PROFESSIONAL MASTER'S SEMINAR (required for 2 semesters, 2nd semester)1
NSCI 511SCIENCE POLICY, AND ETHICS3
NSCI 512PROFESSIONAL MASTER'S PROJECT1
Internship 1
Recommended Electives
Select 6 elective courses from the following: 2,318
Nano-Materials
CRYSTALLOGRAPHY & DIFFRACTION
MICROSCOPY METHODS IN MATERIALS SCIENCE
SPECIAL TOPICS II
NANOMATERIALS AND NANOMECHANICS
COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS
CHARACTERIZATION AND FABRICATION AT THE NANOSCALE
Nano-Optics and Nano-Photonics
LASER SPECTROSCOPY
IMAGING AT THE NANOSCALE
FUNDAMENTALS OF MEDICAL IMAGING I
TOPICS IN NANOPHOTONICS
ULTRAFAST OPTICAL PHENOMENA
Nano-Bio
TISSUE ENGINEERING LAB MODULE
SUPRAMOLECULAR CHEMISTRY
LASER SPECTROSCOPY
IMAGING AT THE NANOSCALE
CHARACTERIZATION AND FABRICATION AT THE NANOSCALE
Management and Entrepreneurship
FOUNDATIONS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP: STRATEGY AND FUNDING
CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP
BUSINESS PLAN DEVELOPMENT
OPERATIONS STRATEGY
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
TECHNOLOGY ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Other Electives
ENGINEERING PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND ECONOMICS
LEARNING HOW TO INNOVATE?
OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
MANAGING ENERGY TRANSITIONS
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LAW
BUSINESS STRATEGY IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY
OPERATIONS STRATEGY
Total Credit Hours40-41

Footnotes and Additional Information

Policies for the MSNS Degree 

Nanoscale Science Graduate Program Handbook

The General Announcements (GA) is the official Rice curriculum. As an additional resource for students, Nanoscale Science publishes a graduate program handbook, which can be found here: http://gradhandbooks.rice.edu/2017_18/Professional_Science_Masters_Handbook.pdf

Admission

Admission to graduate study in nanoscale science is open to qualified students holding a bachelor’s degree in physics, electrical engineering, or a related field that includes intermediate level work in mathematics, electrodynamics, and quantum physics. Department faculty evaluate the previous academic record and credentials of each applicant individually.

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities.

For additional information, please see the Nanoscale Science website: https://profms.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the MSNS Degree

Fifth-Year MSNS Degree Option for Rice Undergraduate Students

Rice undergraduate students have an option to pursue the MSNS degree by adding an additional fifth year to their four undergraduate years of science studies. Advanced Rice undergraduate students in good academic standing may apply to the graduate program during their junior year. Upon acceptance, depending on course load, financial aid status, and other variables, they may then start taking required core courses of the Nanoscale Science program during their senior year. A plan of study based on their particular focus area will need to be approved by the PSM (Professional Science Masters) program director and the MSNS advisor. 

As part of this option and opportunity, Rice undergraduate students:

  • must complete the requirements for their bachelor's degree and the MSNS degree independently of each other (i.e. no course may be counted toward the fulfillment of both degrees). 
  • should be aware that there could be financial aid implications, if the conversion of undergraduate coursework to that of graduate-level reduces their earned undergraduate credit for any semester below that of full-time status (12 credit hours).   

For additional information, please see the Nanoscale Science website: https://profms.rice.edu/