Rice: Wiess School of Natural Sciences

Professional Master's Program: An Unconventional Career Track

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Prof. Master's Program
6100 Main Street, MS-103
Houston, TX 77005
713.348.3188  tel
713.348.3121  fax


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Initial Funding by the
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation


"Nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary field that will require special business acumen to carry new technologies from research to manufacturing. The Nanoscale Physics track is composed of students who already have a strong technical background. The program enhances their problem-solving, business and communication skills, positioning them to effectively introduce game-changing technologies into the world of business."  

– Kyle Kissell, Ph.D. Director, Technology Development, NanoRidge 

The Nanoscale Physics program prepares students for a career in nanoscience by combining a strong component in quantum theory, which governs the behavior of systems at the nanoscale, with the study of practical nano- and mesoscale devices. This provides the student with the knowledge required to successfully navigate the emerging field of nanoscale science and nanotechnology.  In addition, a year-long course in methods of experimental physics is offered to ensure that students obtain the advanced practical skills valuable to the nanotechnology industry.

Rice is a well-established center for nanotechnology, with researchers active in several departments outside the physics core. In 2015, Rice University has merged two of its multidisciplinary research institutes, the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology and the Rice Quantum Institute, to form a new entity, the Smalley-Curl Institute (SCI). The Institute will assist its members in forging new, cross-cutting and interdisciplinary research areas, and in seeking new means of supporting their work. Research in SCI encompasses advanced materials, quantum magnetism, plasmonics and photonics, biophysics and bioengineering, ultracold atom physics, condensed matter and chemical physics, and all aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology. 

The Smalley-Curl Institute includes among its faculty Nobel Laureate Robert Curl, as well as esteemed faculty from the departments of physics and astronomy, chemistry, electrical and computer engineering, civil and environmental engineering, chemical engineering, bioengineering, computational and applied math, and mechanical engineering and materials science. It focuses on interdisciplinary studies in many areas of nanoscale science including carbon nanotubes, nanoshells, and nanobiology.


Faculty involved in the Nanoscale Physics Program:  

Barry Dunning, Track Director, Physics and Astronomy
Douglas Natelson, Track Advisor Physics and Astronomy
Andrew Barron, Chemistry
Mary Purugganan / Liz Eich, PSM Professional Communication
Jason Hafner, Physics and Astronomy
Thomas Killian, Physics and Astronomy
Kristen Kulinowski, Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology
Peter Rossky, Dean of Natural Sciences
Frank Toffoletto, Physics and Astronomy


Last updated 10/15 P. Jones