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Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering option

What is Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering (NME)?

Nanoscience is the study of structures, materials, and devices with nanometer-sized features (one nanometer is a billionth of a meter). Similarly, molecular engineering concerns how new materials, systems, and processes can be enabled by designing and tailoring properties and structures at the molecular level. The field of nanoscience and molecular engineering is at the forefront of scientific research, and has yielded an array of transformative breakthroughs stemming from the properties and phenomena supported by nanoscale structures that are unique from their macroscale counterparts. As part of the NME option, students will have the opportunity for an interdisciplinary experience, drawing from the areas of mechanical engineering, materials science, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, and bioengineering.


Admission to the ME NME Option is decided in fall quarter of the senior year after completion of ME prerequisites. General admission to the ME NME Option is upon completion of NME 220. Admission decisions are based upon grades including NME 220 and ME courses taken up to this point. A small number of students may be admitted into the NME Option upon application to the department. Students selecting to apply for the NME Option should indicate so in their Mechanical Engineering application and discuss their interests and background in the essay. Prior to submitting the application, it is recommended that it be discussed with an academic adviser in the ME department.

Program requirements

The NME ME option includes a total of 25 credits: 12 from required core courses, and 13 to be chosen from among approved electives.

Required NME option courses

Course Credits Title Quarter
NME 220 4 Lecture: Introduction to Molecular and Nanoscale Principles Spring
NME 221 1 Seminar: Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering Seminar I (Occasionally) Spring
NME 421 1 Seminar: Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering Seminar III



ME 410 3 Nanodevices: Design and Manufacture Autumn
ME 411 3 Biological Frameworks for Engineers Autumn

Elective courses

Contact the ME Advising Office for the most up-to-date information. Many ME electives courses are suitable substitutes but require pre-approval from the ME Advising Office if not listed here. Also feel free to inquire about substitution of relevant courses from other departments. The NME option listings for other departments are a good place to search for relevant elective courses.

Course Credits Title
ME 461 3 Mechanics of Thin Films
ME 480 4 Introduction to Computer-Aided Technology
ME 498 3 Control Issues in Nanopositioning
ME 499 2-5 Special Projects, research credits
ME 599 3 Analysis and Modeling of Cell Mechanics
BioEn 487 4 Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
ChemE 455 3 Surface and Colloid Science Laboratory
ChemE 458 3 Surface Analysis
EE 486 3 Fundamentals of Integrated Circuit Technology
MSE 481 3 Science and Technology of Nanostructures
MSE 482 3 Biomaterials/Nanomaterials in Tissue Engineering
MSE 483 3 Nanomedicine

NME plan of study

For a suggested course schedule of ME NME Option Electives, contact the ME Advising Office.

Year 3
Year 3
Year 3
Year 4
Year 4
Year 4
ME 410 (3) NME elective / research (3) NME 220 (4) ME 411 (3) NME elective / research (3) NME 421 (1) or alternative seminar
or ME 411 (3)   NME 221 (1) or alternative seminar or ME 410 (3) Alternative seminar when NME 221/421 not available NME elective / research (4)
    NME elective / research (3)