Jun 29, 2022  
2021-2022 SDSM&T Academic Catalog 
2021-2022 SDSM&T Academic Catalog

Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, PhD

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Contact Information

Dr. Steve Smith, Professor
Nanoscience and Nanoengineering
Biomedical Engineering
(605) 394-5268
E-mail: Steve.Smith@sdsmt.edu

PhD in Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

Nanoscience and Nanoengineering refer to fields of science and engineering with a focus on visualizing, manipulating and delineating the laws governing all phases of matter on the scale of one billionth of a meter, roughly one hundred thousandth the diameter of a human hair. Nanotechnology refers to the specific technologies enabled by Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. The Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (Nano SE) PhD program offers a research-intensive degree focused on nanoscience and nanoengineering, with an emphasis on visualizing, manipulating and understanding nano-scale materials, nano-bio systems, and phenomena which define nanotechnology.

Degree requirements

Distribution of credits

Core requirements: 13 credits
Research requirements: 30-40 credits
Elective requirements: 27-37 credits
Total credits: 80

At least 40 of the required 80 credits must be taken at the 600 level or above.

Students may apply 24 coursework credits from a previous MS degree in a relevant discipline toward the PhD requirements, subject to approval by the student’s committee.

Core requirements

The Nano SE PhD program builds on traditional science and engineering disciplines, and offers a “core” curriculum which introduces students from varying science and engineering backgrounds to contemporary topics in nanoscience and nanoengineering. These “core” courses are intended to introduce students to contemporary topics in nanoscience and nanoengineering, and to initiate a cross-disciplinary approach to research and learning. These courses can usually be completed in one, or at most two years. More information is available in the Nano SE PhD Program Handbook.

Research requirements

The completion of a doctoral dissertation, approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee and the Dean of Graduate Education, is required for this degree.

  • Credits: Credit to be arranged. **
  • **At least 30 credits of NANO 898 are required for the degree. No more than 40 credits of NANO 898 may be applied to the degree.

Elective requirements

Students, after consultation with their advisor, select graduate level electives which provide a framework upon which the PhD is based. Between 27-37 credits of electives are required. The following is a list of currently approved NANO electives. Other graduate level courses approved by the student’s graduate committee may also be counted as electives. All courses on the program of study must be approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee. More information is available in the Nano SE PhD Program Handbook.


Detailed information on examination policy, admission to candidacy, and defense of dissertation are included in the School of Mines Nano SE PhD Program Handbook.

Qualifying examination

The Nano SE PhD program qualifying examination is a 2 hour written examination covering the Nano SE core courses: NANO 701,702 and 703. The exam is typically offered at the end of the spring semester. Further information regarding the exam may be found in the Nano SE PhD Program Handbook.

Comprehensive examination and admission to candidacy

Nano SE PhD students submit a written prospectus to their dissertation committee between the second and third year; an oral presentation and examination by the committee follows no earlier than two weeks after submission of the prospectus. Further information regarding the exam may be found in the Nano SE PhD program handbook. The comprehensive examination, and subsequent admission to candidacy, must be completed at least 12 months before the dissertation is defended.

Dissertation defense

A dissertation defense and a final oral examination are required for this degree.

Additional requirements

For program supervision purposes, the Nano SE PhD program director is the graduate advisor until the major professor is appointed. The major professor is responsible for the student’s dissertation research. The graduate office representative on the student’s dissertation committee must be selected from outside of the department with which the major professor is affiliated, and should not be a member of the Nano PhD Advisory Council.

In addition to these degree-specific requirements, the student must also meet the requirements and policies applied to all graduate degrees  by the Council of Graduate Education.

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