Nanoscale Science

Bachelor of Science Degree

The College of Nanoscale Science is part of the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) on the Albany site of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute. CNSE offers two approved undergraduate majors, nanoscale engineering and nanoscale science and a student initiated interdisciplinary major option. The two undergraduate degree programs are designed to educate students to explore, discover, and innovate, while ensuring their proficiency in one of the two pillars of nanotechnology. As such, CNSE is committed to make certain that both programs meet or exceed the standards of scholarly excellence and academic quality required to graduate scientists, engineers, and professionals who can successfully navigate careers in nanotechnology and, in turn, deliver the innovations that are the lifeline of modern-day academic institutions, global corporations, and the business world. The two undergraduate degrees are synergistic and complementary in scope and objectives, and build on each other’s strengths to maximize return on investment and ensure paramount effectiveness in advancing the institution’s educational mission and overarching goals. Information pertaining to the nanoscale engineering major can be found in the catalog section for the College of Nanoscale Engineering and Technology Innovation.

CNSE is dedicated to providing SUNY Poly undergraduate students with a well-rounded education in the interdisciplinary field of nanoscale science of the highest quality. The Nanoscale Science program imparts a broad-based, basic and applied scientific understanding of atomic scale phenomena, behaviors, and properties of matter in order to achieve deliberate control over nanometer-scale atomic and molecular systems. The program also enables a quantitative mastery of the fundamental nature of nanoscale interactions that can be effectively used to characterize and measure the behavior and structure of nanometer scale assemblies and systems

Our educational program, centered around our unique industrial research and development ecosystem, is designed to train high-achieving scientists, uniquely educated to pursue scientific, technical, or professional careers in emerging nanotechnology-enabled fields or competitive graduate degrees in current and emerging nanoscale science or nanoscale engineering, biotechnology and related fields, and other physical sciences such as materials science, physics, and chemistry. To achieve these goals that will serve as the career pathway targets for our graduates, the Nanoscale Science B.S. program incorporates the following Program Educational Objectives.

SUNY Poly’s Nanoscale Science program aims to equip our students with a liberal education in the foundational physical sciences, chemical sciences, mathematics, and applied science concepts, and to prepare them to demonstrate the technical and professional proficiencies necessary to enable the identification, description, discovery, experimental investigation, and theoretical interpretation of nanoscale phenomenon and, as a result, become highly successful scientists, educators, and leaders in the global “innovation economy” of the 21st century.

  1. CNSE’s Nanoscale Science program aims to develop in our students the ability to integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines (including physics, chemistry, mathematics, nanotechnology, materials science, and biology) to formulate comprehensive views of nanometer scale systems and apply such views and knowledge to understand the influence of nanoscale phenomena on atomic and molecular systems.
  2. CNSE’s Nanoscale Science program aims to educate our students to propose, formulate and execute original solutions to cutting-edge nanoscale science problems, incorporating original research as cornerstones of their approach. These capstone experiences will be facilitated by CNSE’s globally unique R&D complex, and provide the opportunity for students to work within multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary teams. A critical component of this experience is developing the ability to communicate effectively with a broad range of constituents, including peers, technical professionals, business management, and the general public.
  3. CNSE’s Nanoscale Science program aims to instill in our graduates the appreciation for and ability to engage in life-long learning and professional development. The CNSE aims to educate our students in the broadest sense, so that they will conduct themselves in an ethical and responsible manner, and to make meaningful contributions to the challenges faced by an increasingly global and technology based society.

Degree Requirements Overview
The requirements for the Nanoscale Science program at SUNY Poly are governed by the requirements of the State Education Department. Following the State Education Department criteria, a student’s coursework towards the Nanoscale Science degree must include:

  • Two years of a combination of college-level Mathematics (at least 18 credits), Foundational Principals (20 credits) (some with experimental experience) appropriate to Nanoscale Science, Nanotechnology Survey courses (6 credits), and 200-level Nanoscale Science and Technology electives (6 credits)
  • Two years of science topics appropriate to Nanoscale Science, consisting of
    • Core Competencies courses: 21 credits
    • Concentration courses: 12 credits of Nanoscale Engineering or Science courses from 1 of the following concentration areas:
      • Materials
      • Nanobioscience
    • 9 credits of 400-level Nanoscale Engineering or Science topical elective courses
    • Capstone Undergraduate Research/Design courses: 9 credits
  • In addition to the writing, oral discourse and ethical content embedded throughout CNSE coursework, a general education component that complements the technical content of the nanoscale science curriculum and is consistent with the program and institutional objectives

B.S. in Nanoscale Science—102 total credits

Students shall satisfy the requirements listed below.

I. SUNY General Education Requirements (30 credits)

All SUNY students must satisfy the following requirements.

No fewer than 30 credits must be attained from the SUNY approved General Education Course List with the following provisions:

  • Mathematics (satisfied by major mathematics requirement)
  • Basic Communication (satisfied by Capstone courses)
  • Information Management (satisfied by Capstone courses)
  • Critical Thinking (satisfied by Capstone courses)

At least five (5) out of the following eight (8) SUNY General Education categories:

  • Natural Sciences (satisfied by major requirement)
  • Social Sciences (satisfied by major requirement)
  • American History
  • Western Civilization
  • Other World Civilizations
  • Humanities
  • The Arts
  • Foreign Language

The requirement to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nanoscale Science already meets a minimum of 25 credits that fulfill SUNY General Education

The Basic Communication (written and oral discourse) and the Critical Thinking and Information Management competencies are embedded throughout the Nanoscale Science major’s curriculum and are specifically approved by SUNY for the three-semester Capstone Requirement.

In order to graduate with a Nanoscale Science major a student needs to complete requirement three of the following general education categories: American History, Western Civilization, Other World Civilizations, Humanities, The Arts, or Foreign Languages.

With one exception, the student may use a course that applies to more than one General Education category to meet all of the categories satisfied by that course. The one exception is no student may use one course to meet both The Arts and the Humanities requirements.

A student bringing in a course as Advanced Placement, transfer, or other credit, whether acquired before or after matriculation, which fulfills a SUNY General Education requirement may use that course to meet the requirement. NOTE: a student who brings in such credit or is thinking of taking a course elsewhere after matriculation should verify with his or her Academic Advisor or the CNSE Director of Academic Advisement whether the course indeed will fulfill the SUNY General Education requirement.

II. Liberal Arts/Sciences Requirements (30 credits) 

The New York State Education Department (SED) requires a student earning a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree to attain no fewer than 60 credits of combined SUNY General Education and Liberal Arts/Sciences courses. There may be overlap between courses meeting both the SUNY General Education Requirements and Liberal Arts/Sciences Requirements, but a student may receive course credits only once even if multiple requirements are satisfied by a single course. The total number of combined credit hours must be no fewer than 60 credits.

Since all mathematics requirements in the major, all nanoscale science (N SCI) and all nanoscale engineering (N ENG) courses except N ENG 405, 408, 411, and 444 are Liberal Arts and Sciences Courses, students will automatically meet this requirement within the major.

III. Nanoscale Science Program Coursework (102 credits)*

A. Foundational Principles courses (20 credits):

  • N SCI 114 Chemical Principles of Nanoscale Science and Engineering I
  • N SCI 115 Chemical Principles of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Laboratory I
  • N SCI 116 Chemical Principles of Nanoscale Science and Engineering II
  • N SCI 117 Chemical Principles of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Laboratory II
  • N SCI 126 Physical Principles of Nanoscale Science and Engineering I
  • N SCI 127 Physical Principles of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Laboratory I
  • N SCI 128 Physical Principles of Nanoscale Science and Engineering II
  • N SCI 129 Physical Principles of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Laboratory II
  • N SCI 140 Physical Principles of Nanoscale Science and Engineering III
  • N SCI 141 Physical Principles of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Laboratory III

B. Core Competencies courses (21 credits):

  • N SCI 220 Structure of Matter
  • N SCI 230 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics for Nanoscale Systems
  • N SCI 300 Integrated NanoLaboratory I
  • N SCI 305 Integrated NanoLaboratory II
  • N SCI 350 Introduction to Quantum Theory for Nanoscale Systems
  • N SCI 360 Nanoscale Molecular Materials and Soft Matter
  • N SCI 410 Quantum Origins of Material Properties

C. Capstone Undergraduate Research/Design courses (9 credits):

  • N SCI 390 Capstone Research I
  • N SCI 490 Capstone Research II. Team Research and Project Review
  • N SCI 492 Capstone Research III. Team Research and Final Report

D. Concentrations courses (12 credits):

Choose ONE of these concentrations

1. Materials

  • N SCI 310 Nanoscale Surfaces and Interfaces
  • N SCI 320 Advanced Physical/Chemical Concepts for Nanoscale Science
  • N SCI 420 Electronic Properties of Nanomaterials
  • N SCI 421 Nanoscale Electronic Devices
  • N SCI 431 Growth of Nanostructured Materials
  • N SCI 434 Nanostructural Characterization Techniques

2. Nanobioscience

  • N SCI 240 Biochemical Principles for Nanoscale Science
  • N ENG 424 Nanoscale Chemical and Biological Sensors
  • N ENG 435 Nanobiological Systems
  • N SCI 441 Nanobiology for Nanotechnology Applications
  • N ENG / N SCI 445 Introduction to Pharmaceuticals and Biomanufacturing
  • N SCI 447 Introduction to Cellular Signaling
  • N SCI 448 Nanotoxicology

E. 400-level Nanoscale Science or Engineering topical elective courses (9 credits by advisement)

F. Nanotechnology survey courses (6 credits):

Choose TWO of these courses

  • N SCI 101 Nanotechnology Survey
  • N SCI 102 Societal Impacts of Nanotechnology
  • N SCI 103 Economic Impacts of Nanotechnology
  • N SCI 104 Disruptive Nanotechnologies

G. 200-level Nanoscale Engineering Design and Skills electives (6 credits):

  • N SCI 201 Introduction to Nanoscale Engineering Design and Manufacturing
  • N SCI 202 Computer Control of Instrumentation
  • N SCI 203 Advanced Circuits Laboratory
  • N SCI 204 Finite Element Modeling
  • N SCI 205 Numerical Simulation
  • N SCI 210 Introduction to Nanobioscience Methods and Skills

H. Mathematics (at least 18 credits):

  • MAT 151 Calculus I
  • MAT 152 Calculus II
  • MAT 253 Calculus III
  • MAT 260 Ordinary Differential Equations and Series Solutions
  • MAT 280 Linear Algebra

*Some of the courses in this degree program were inspired in part by the scholarly programs of other institutions.  To this end, SUNY Poly acknowledges the academic work of MIT and Stanford.

IV. Honors Program in Nanoscale Science Coursework (102 credits)

A. Admission
Students are evaluated in the junior year for the honors in the major program in nanoscale science. Invitations to participate will be made by the CNSE Honors Director. The student must have an earned overall GPA of 3.25, and a 3.50 for all courses attempted in the major, at the time of admission to the honors program. In addition, all applicants to the honors in the major program must provide as part of the completed application a written statement of purpose which explains the reasons and motivation for wanting to undertake the honors in the major program.

B. Requirements
Students admitted to the Honors Program in Nanoscale Science will take all of the same coursework as student following the Nanoscale Science major except that Honors students take N SCI 491 Capstone Research II. Team Research and Project Review (Honors) in lieu of N SCI 490 and N SCI 493 Capstone Research III. Team Research and Final Report (Honors) in lieu of N SCI 492.

V. Open Electives (remainder of 120 credits)

This program requires first-year students to purchase a laptop for use in classes and labs. The faculty feel that laptops are an important tool for a student’s education. Details regarding laptop specifications will be sent to new admitted students prior to enrollment.