Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
In addition to the general requirements for admission to graduate programs in the Graduate School and the College of Humanities and Sciences, students are expected to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with 30 semester credits in chemistry, physics or engineering.
Admission on a provisional basis is possible for a student temporarily lacking the expected background. Acceptance is based upon undergraduate performance, satisfactory scores on the GRE and letters of recommendation.
Graduate students in the nanoscience and nanotechnology Ph.D. program may receive financial support via teaching or research assistantships or fellowships available from the “home” department. Application forms and instructions for applying to all graduate programs are available on the Graduate School website at www.graduate.vcu.edu.
Students preparing for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in nanoscience and nanotechnology must earn a minimum of 72 credits consisting of core courses (9 credits), elective courses (9 credits), seminar (8 credits) and research (46 credits). The core courses include:
NANO 570 Nanoscale Physics (3 credits)
NANO 571 Nanoscale Chemistry (3 credits)
NANO 650, 651 Experimental Techniques in Nanoscience I, II (3 credits) or
NANO 660 Theoretical Studies of Nanostructures (3 credits)
The 9 elective credits shall be chosen from the following courses or other courses as approved by the program director.
CHEM 510 Atomic and Molecular Structure
CHEM 511 Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics
CHEM 580 Mechanical Properties of Plastics and Polymers
CHEM 591 Topics in Chemistry
CHEM 610 Applied Quantum Chemistry
CHEM 611 Molecular Spectroscopy
CHEM 612 Modern Statistical Mechanics: Fundamentals and Applications
CHEM 634 Surface Science
CHEM 635 Spectrochemical Analysis
CHEM 691 Topics in Chemistry
PHYS 550 Techniques in Material Research
PHYS 580 Quantum Mechanics
PHYS 591 Topics in Physics
PHYS 641 Solid State Physics
PHYS 661 Surface and Materials Physics
PHYS 691 Special Topics
CLSE 645 Biosensors and Bioelectronic Devices
CLSE 675 Polymers in Medicine
EGRB 613 Biomaterials
EGRE 525 Fundamentals of Photonics Engineering
EGRE 621 Spintronics
EGRE 623 Nanostructures and Nanodevices
EGRM 609 Advanced Characterization of Materials
ENGR 505 Characterization of Materials
ENGR 691 Special Topics in Engineering
The student will attend NANO 690 Research Seminar in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology throughout their degree program, receiving an S or U grade based on attendance and participation. The student will also give two seminar presentations, one on a literature topic and one on their dissertation research, which will be graded on the A/B/C/D/F scale.
Before admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree, students must have (a) completed at least 12 credits of their required course work; (b) successfully completed cumulative exams; and (c) successfully completed an oral candidacy examination based on a research proposal. The student will be required to complete a series of cumulative exams in the area of nanoscience and nanotechnology, which will normally occur during the student’s second year in residence. After completion of the cumulative exams, an oral candidacy examination is then required to become a Ph.D. candidate. The oral examination, which is administered by the student’s Graduate Dissertation Committee, is based upon a written proposal describing the proposed dissertation research project. It is intended to evaluate the adequacy of the proposed project, the student’s level of understanding of the project and the likelihood that the dissertation can be completed successfully.
The student must conduct a substantial original investigation under the supervision of his/her adviser and must submit to the Graduate Dissertation Committee a written dissertation reporting the results of the research and analyzing its significance in relation to existing scientific knowledge. The oral dissertation defense, conducted under direction of the Dissertation Committee, will examine the candidate’s research, dissertation documentation and underlying fundamental knowledge encompassed by his/her research. Upon successful completion of the defense and the dissertation, the student may apply for graduation with the Ph.D. in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Full-time students should complete the degree requirements in four to five years.