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


"Individuals with an educational background in these interdisciplinary areas are very few in number. Rice University's idea of combining a rare and highly demanded technical education with a modest exposure to training in business will produce students who are truly unique, and these students will be highly recruited by industry." 

 – Ken Smith, Co-founder of Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc.

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. The Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology includes among its faculty Nobel Laureate R. Curl, as well as esteemed faculty from the 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 departments. It focuses on interdisciplinary studies in many areas of nanoscale science including carbon nanotubes, nanoshells, and nanobiology.

The Center for Biological and Environmental Nanoscience (CBEN) at Rice fosters the development of this field through an integrated set of programs that aim to address the scientific, technological, environmental, human resource, commercialization, and societal barriers that hinder the transition from nanoscience to nanotechnology.  The Center's research focuses on investigating and developing nanoscience at the "wet/dry" interface.

Faculty members involved in the Professional M.S in Nanoscale Physics Program include:

F. Barry Dunning, Track Director, Physics and Astronomy
Douglas A. Natelson, Track Advisor Physics and Astronomy
Andrew R. Barron, Chemistry
Mary Purugganan/Liz Eich, PSM Professional Communication
Jason H. Hafner, Physics and Astronom
Amy M. Jaffe, Baker Institute for Public Policy
Thomas C. Killian, Physics and Astronomy
Kristen M. Kulinowski, Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology
Dan Carson, Dean of Natural Sciences
Frank R. Toffoletto, Physics and Astronomy


Last updated 09/12/2011 by K. Frederick