Graduate Degrees

Nanoscience & Microsystems Engineering Graduate Degrees

NSME offers a Master’s degree with either a Plan I (thesis), Plan II (non-thesis/project) or Plan III (coursework only) option, as well as a PhD degree. General requirements for the degrees offered follow.

Information presented here provides a quick overview of the degree programs; consult the UNM catalog for complete details.

Core Courses (MS, PhD)

Students in the Nanoscience & Microsystems Engineering MS program are required to take the core courses listed below. Students admitted to the NSME doctoral program and not already possessing an MS degree are generally required to complete the core courses.

  • NSMS510: Chemistry & Physics at the Nanoscale (3 credits)
  • NSMS512: Characterization Methods of Nanostructures (3 credits)
  • NSMS518: Synthesis of Nanostructures (3 credits)
  • NSMS519: Advanced Micro & Nano Systems Engineering (4 credits)
  • NSMS550: Social & Ethical Implications of Nanotechnology (1 credit)

MS, Plan I (Thesis option)

  • 24 credits of course work, including core courses
  • 6 credits thesis
  • Significant milestones:
    • Thesis defense
    • Submission of completed thesis

MS, Plan II (Non-thesis option)

NOTE: The non-thesis option is available only with prior approval

  • 32 credits coursework, including core courses, and maximum of 6 credits of NSMS599: Problems/Research
  • Completion of Master’s project under the direction of a faculty member (typically be done as part of a Problems course)
  • Significant milestones:
    • Master’s Examination, consisting of an oral presentation and defense of the student’s major project, as well as oral examination of the student’s discipline principles

MS, Plan III (Coursework only option)

  • 30 credits coursework, including core courses, and up to 6 credits of Problems/Research


  • A minimum of 48 credits of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree (excluding dissertation credits)
    • At least 24 credits of coursework applied to the degree must be completed at UNM
    • At least 18 credits must be completed after formal admission to the doctoral program
    • 24 credits maximum credit applied to a master’s degree, which may include up to 6 credits of thesis credit
  • 18 credits dissertation
  • Significant milestones:
    • Qualifying Exam: The qualifying exam consists of a written and oral exam and is required for all students to proceed in the doctoral program. The Exam should be taken at the first opportunity after completing the required core courses.
    • Comprehensive Exam
    • Dissertation defense
    • Submission of completed dissertation

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