A-Z Index

Nanoscale Science

Why Major in Nanoscale Science?

The comprehensive major in nanoscience is the study of structures in nanometer size which is smaller than cells but larger than most molecules. At Northwest, this interdisciplinary majors focuses on providing practical laboratory experiences, isolating DNA and synthesizing nanoparticles to construct solar cells. Students can choose to specialize in nanoscale biology, nanoscale chemistry or nanoscale physics.

Nanoscale biology applies nanotechnology at the cellular level. Two approaches include using nanotechnology to study part of a living cell or use part of the living system as a model for creating nanoscale devices. This major utilizes cellular mechanisms to create new technologies.

Nanoscale chemistry focuses on utilizing nanomaterials for drug delivery systems, carbon nanotubes, dye-sensitized solar cells and semiconductor nanowires. This major continues to evolve as chemists use their skills in synthesis and chemical modification, and employ state-of-the-art instrumentation and technology to characterize and manipulate nanostructures.

Nanoscale physics focuses on the interaction of light and electromagnetic radiation at a nano level, the change in properties from the large scale to the nanoscale, and practical experience in designing and looking at materials at a nano level. 

Career Opportunities

placement rate

100% of the nanoscale biology, nanoscale chemistry and nanoscale physics graduates have either find employment or continue their education within six months of graduation. Below is a list of job titles:

Nanoscale Biology Nanoscale Chemistry Nanoscale Physics
  • Biomedical Researcher
  • Biotechnician
  • Industrial Hygienist
  • Microbiologist
  • Molecular Biologist
  • Analytical Chemist
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Industrial Hygienist
  • Quality Control Testing
  • Pharmaceutical Designer
  • Forensics
  • Academic or Federal Lab Researcher
  • Electrical Engineer
  • BiEnergy Production and Storage Technician
  • Software Developer
  • Spectroscopist
  • Aerospace Engineering

*Based on self-reported data in recent years.

Profession-Based Learning Experiences

Hubbard Center

Northwest’s award-winning Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation features more than $3 million invested in state-of-the-art instruments that undergraduate students may access to gain profession-based experience. 

Faculty-led Research is an opportunity for undergraduate students to produce original research with the goal of publishing their work and gaining valuable professional experience. This is available for students showing interest in furthering their education.


Although internships are not required in any of the nanoscience majors, they are encourage to gain hands-on experience.

QuoteJay TaylorI was accepted into a very competitive research internship at the University of New Mexico. I spent 10 weeks constructing nanoscale patterns used in a variety of applications including more efficient solar panels, the design of nano field effect transistors and more efficient LED sources. The patterns I was constructing were a lot smaller than particles found in the air, so the suit I was wearing and the room I was in are designed to keep contaminates away from my patterns.Quote

Jay Taylor
Kansas City, Mo.

Study Abroad

Study Abroad

Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their academic development. Faculty members provide short-term study programs that prepare students before, during and after the program. Two types of study abroad programs are available: faculty-led and traditional study abroad.

The traditional program may be a semester, summer or year-long program and is taught by Northwest’s international partner institutions.

For more information about study abroad opportunities »

The Northwest Difference

The Northwest Difference

Founded in 1905, Northwest is a traditional campus with more than 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in the middle of everywhere, Maryville is two hours from Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Missouri and 2 ½ hours from Des Moines, Iowa.

Textbooks and Laptops Included

Save more than $7,200 over four years through our textbooks and laptop program.

Laptop Program Information
$22 Million money for you

Nearly $22 Million in scholarships and grants awarded annually.

Scholarship Information
Career Ready. Day One.

Students organizations, internships and profession-based learning experiences ensure students are Career Ready, Day One.

Read student stories
Graduation Rate: 90th percentile

Graduation Rate: 90th percentile of Northwest's national peer group.