Program goals

  1. In teaching, the purpose is to provide high quality education in chemistry and/or physics in preparation for professional careers in nanoscience and nanotechnology.
  2. In research, the goals are to advance nanoscience research, to keep faculty on the forefront of the field and to maintain an educational program consistent with the latest technology and development of the discipline.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Develop effective oral and written communication skills 
  2. Demonstrate expertise (breadth and depth) in nanoscience 
  3. Demonstrate appropriate ability to design and conduct experimental research 
  4. Demonstrate ability to analyze data critically and to design experiments independently
  5. Develop competency in the responsible conduct of research

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.

 

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
Ph.D.FallApr 15GRE
SpringOct 15

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School and the College of Humanities and Sciences, students are expected to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with 30 credit hours in chemistry, physics or engineering.

Admission on a provisional basis is possible for a student temporarily lacking the expected background. Acceptance is based upon undergraduate performance, satisfactory scores on the GRE and letters of recommendation.

Graduate students in the nanoscience and nanotechnology Ph.D. program may receive financial support via teaching or research assistantships or fellowships available from the home department.

Degree requirements

In addition to the VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students preparing for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in nanoscience and nanotechnology must earn a minimum of 72 credit hours consisting of core courses (nine credit hours), elective courses (nine credit hours), seminar (eight credit hours) and research (46 credit hours).

Before admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree, students must have

  1. completed at least 12 credit hours of their required course work,
  2. successfully completed cumulative exams and
  3. successfully completed an oral candidacy examination based on a research proposal

The student will be required to complete a series of cumulative exams in the area of nanoscience and nanotechnology, which will normally occur during the student’s second year in residence. After completion of the cumulative exams, an oral candidacy examination is then required to become a Ph.D. candidate. The oral examination, which is administered by the student’s graduate dissertation committee, is based upon a written proposal describing the proposed dissertation research project. It is intended to evaluate the adequacy of the proposed project, the student’s level of understanding of the project and the likelihood that the dissertation can be completed successfully.

Students must conduct a substantial original investigation under the supervision of their advisers and must submit to the graduate dissertation committee a written dissertation reporting the results of the research and analyzing its significance in relation to existing scientific knowledge. The oral dissertation defense, conducted under the direction of the dissertation committee, will examine the candidate’s research, dissertation documentation and underlying fundamental knowledge encompassed by the candidate’s research. Upon successful completion of the defense and the dissertation, the student may apply for graduation with the Ph.D. in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Full-time students should complete the degree requirements in four to five years.

Curriculum requirements

Core courses
NANO   570Nanoscale Physics3
NANO   571Nanoscale Chemistry3
NANO   660Theoretical Studies of Nanostructures3
or NANO   650
NANO   651
Experimental Techniques in Nanoscience I
and Experimental Techniques in Nanoscience II
Seminar8
Research Seminar in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (one credit hour taken six times)
Nanoscience Seminar Presentation (one credit hour taken twice)
Research46
Directed Research
Directed Research
Elective courses
Select nine credit hours of the following, or other courses approved by program director:9
Atomic and Molecular Structure
Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics
Mechanical Properties of Plastics and Polymers
Topics in Chemistry
Applied Quantum Chemistry
Molecular Spectroscopy
Modern Statistical Mechanics: Fundamentals and Applications
Surface Science
Spectrochemical Analysis
Topics in Chemistry
Biosensors and Bioelectronic Devices
Polymers in Medicine
Biomaterials
Fundamentals of Photonics Engineering
Spintronics
Nanostructures and Nanodevices
Special Topics in Engineering
Techniques in Material Research
Quantum Mechanics
Topics in Physics
Solid State Physics
Surface and Materials Physics
Special Topics
Total Hours72

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 72

Students will attend NANO   690 Research Seminar in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology throughout their degree programs, receiving an S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory) grade based on attendance and participation. Students will also give two seminar presentations, one on a literature topic and one on their dissertation research, which will be graded on the A/B/C/D/F scale.

Graduate program director
Everett E. Carpenter, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Chemistry
ecarpenter2@vcu.edu
(804) 828-7508

Additional contact
Maryanne M. Collinson, Ph.D.
Chair, graduate recruiting and admissions committee
mmcollinson@vcu.edu
(804) 828-7509

Program website: nano.vcu.edu