Our Nanoscience program is a blend of three main focus areas:

1. Materials Science and Characterization
2. Microfabrication
3. Biotechnology

This follows the model used by the University of Minnesota and Dakota County Technical College. I like this mixture. Some of the Nanoscience programs out there are more of a Microelectronics program with some materials science courses added in. We try to balance the three thrust areas each semester. We used to only have one nanoscience class first semester and one nanoscience class second semester and then mostly nano classes in the third and fourth semester. This is like the "capstone" approach pioneered by Penn State. We are trying to move away from that because those last semesters are very difficult for the students and we would like to spread the nano courses out throughout the program. Students early on would complain that they did not have enough nano courses and students later in the program complained that they were overwhelmed with the nano courses. The following list indicates how we are adjusting the program. I have indicated the thrust area in parentheses following the class title.

Semester 1
Introduction to Nanoscience (Materials Science) 3 cr
Introduction to Microfabrication (Microfabrication) 3 cr

Semester 2
Nanoelectronics (Microfabrication) 3 cr
Cell biology (Biotechnology) 4 cr

Semester 3
Nanomaterials (Materials Science) 3 cr
Micro and Nanofabrication (Microfabrication) 3 cr
Nanobiotechnology (Biotechnology) 3 cr
Nanomanufacturing (Quality Methods) 3 cr

Semester 4
Materials Characterization (Materials Science) 4 cr
MEMS (Microfabrication) 4 cr
Nanobiotechnology II (Biotechnology) 4 cr

This gives us a good balance of thrust area and adds more nano courses earlier into the program and also helps to relieve some of the intensity of the "capstone" semester. "Drinking from a fire hose" is not the best way to learn something.

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