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Accelerate your Master's degree

MicroMasters® Program in
Nanoscience and Technology

What you will learn

  • Essential physics of transistors, including modern nanoscale transistors.
  • How to design high-performance nanoelectronics.
  • Technology considerations and circuit applications.
  • How to model modern photonic nanostructures and fiber optics.
  • How to account for quantum transport phenomena in nanoscale devices and spintronics.

Nanoelectronic devices are an integral part of our life, including the billion-plus transistors in every smartphone, each of which has an active region that is only a few hundred atoms in length. This previously unimaginable scale has become possible by thoroughly understanding the critical mechanisms that take place at the scale of individual atoms and molecules. Similarly, nanophotonic devices are built into the core of modern life through technologies such as fiber-optic communications, also known as the backbone of the internet.

You can now learn how to design advanced nanoelectronics and nanophotonics from the creators of nanoHUB, the global nanotechnology research and education portal, even with no prior background in nanotechnology or quantum mechanics. A uniquely designed sequence of courses will help you develop a unified understanding of the essential physics of nanoscale electronic and photonic devices (e.g., field effect transistors, interconnects, lasers and modulators) as well as their important applications in integrated circuits and future electronic and photonic systems.

This sequence of short courses builds all critical concepts from the ground up. Starting from the familiar concepts behind Ohm’s law, the lessons in these short courses lead naturally to a new perspective on even some of the basic physics concepts. This unique viewpoint not only clarifies many old questions about what happens at smaller length scales than we can readily observe but also provides a powerful approach to new questions at the frontier of modern nanoelectronics, such as how devices can be built to control the spin of electrons or other exotic states. Concepts and applications in nanophotonics and fiber optics communications are also discussed. Furthermore, you will learn about the key enabling characteristics of the latest advances in nanophotonic, plasmonic, and metamaterial components and systems.

These courses are intended to be broadly accessible to students in any branch of science or engineering. Students should have a basic familiarity with calculus, elementary differential equations, and elementary circuit concepts such as Ohm’s law. No prior acquaintance with quantum mechanics is assumed. An introductory level understanding of basic semiconductor physics will also be helpful. This topic will be briefly reviewed in this MicroMasters® program and pointers to web-based lectures that cover background topics will be provided.

Our distinguished faculty will share their unique perspective built over 30+ years of leading-edge research and educational innovation in nanotechnology.

Expert instruction
6 graduate-level courses
Assignments and exams have specific due dates
8 months
7 - 9 hours per week
6 Academic Credits
Build your skills and your transcript
For the full program experience

Courses in this program

  1. PurdueX's Nanoscience and Technology MicroMasters® Program

  2. Started Jan 9, 2023
    8–9 hours per week, for 6 weeks

    From smartphones to satellites, semiconductors are everywhere. Tying together physics, chemistry, and electrical engineering, this easy-to-follow introduction provides the background needed to understand devices such as transistors and solar cells.

  3. Started Feb 13, 2023
    8–9 hours per week, for 5 weeks

    Learn a comprehensive set of simulation techniques to predict the performance of photonic nanostructures.

  4. Starts Jan 8, 2024
    5–6 hours per week, for 5 weeks

    Gain a new perspective on electron flow in solids with this insightful introduction.

  5. Started Feb 13, 2023
    8–9 hours per week, for 6 weeks

    This course develops a simple framework for understanding the essential physics of transistors, including modern nanoscale transistors. Important technology considerations and circuit applications are also discussed.

  6. Starts Mar 25, 2024
    7–9 hours per week, for 5 weeks

    Learn about the fundamentals of fiber optic communications, with emphasis on the historical background, current practice, and future directions.

  7. Starts Feb 12, 2024
    8–9 hours per week, for 5 weeks

    This course introduces the non-equilibrium Green’s function (NEGF) method widely used to describe quantum effects in nanoscale devices, along with its applications to spintronic devices.

  8. What is a MicroMasters Program?
    MicroMasters programs are a series of graduate level courses from top universities designed to advance your career. MicroMasters program certificates showcase deep learning and in-demand skills to employers and can help you get started on a path toward completing an advanced degree.

    How to Earn a MicroMasters Program Certificate
    To earn the program certificate, learners must complete and successfully earn a verified certificate in all six MicroMasters program courses.

    From Program Certificate to a Master’s Degree
    MicroMasters programs are designed to offer learners a pathway to an advanced degree and can count as credit toward completing a Master’s degree program. Learners who successfully earn this MicroMasters program certificate may apply for admission to a Master’s program, and if accepted, the MicroMasters program certificate will count towards the degree.

    This MicroMasters program offers learners a pathway to Master of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from edX and Purdue University. Learners who successfully complete this MicroMasters program certificate program may apply for admission to the edX/Purdue MSECE program, and if accepted, the MicroMasters program certificate will count as 6 credits (20%) towards the degree. 30 credit hours are required for the MSECE.

    Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) also offers a pathway to credit toward RIT's Master of Science in Professional Studies. If accepted into the program at RIT, students will be eligible for up to 9 credits which will serve toward one concentration required for this interdisciplinary degree. The MS in Professional Studies – which can be completed online or in-person – is a customized, flexible program that meets industry demand by enabling students to strategically combine multiple, complementary fields of study to reflect their unique career and educational goals.

    • Practically every modern electronic and integrated photonic system includes devices reliant on nanotechnology.
    • Besides the electronics and photonics industries, nanotechnologists are highly sought in auto/aerospace industries, computing and biotechnology.
    • The average salary for a nanosystems engineer in the United States is over $102K per year. This salary is expected to grow by 16% in the next 5 years (Source: Economic Research Institute).

Meet your instructors
from Purdue University (PurdueX)

Experts from PurdueX committed to teaching online learning

Program endorsements

Qualcomm Technologies

Nanoscience and technology are one of the key enablers of the latest tiny but powerful semiconductor devices today. Qualcomm’s mobile computing and communications products are also growing with the advance of nanotechnology. The nanotechnology MicroMasters program provided by Purdue, the global education and research leader in nanotechnology, would help students learn this important skill set applicable to the modern semiconductor industry.

Jeongil Kim , Senior Staff Engineer

Rolls-Royce Corporation

In addition to hiring graduates of Purdue University, Rolls-Royce has been pleased to partner with Purdue to provide various opportunities for current employees to obtain advanced learning and/or degrees. We see the edX MicroMasters program as a structure by which targeted learning can take place that will help fill a gap and allow in-depth study, particularly in emerging technology areas.

Lisa Teague , Head of Research & Technology


  • We expect that a typical student will complete the MicroMasters program in two, or at most three, academic semesters.
  • In each course in the MicroMasters, you must earn a passing grade as determined by the course grading scheme.
  • If you have completed Purdue MicroMasters courses with a grade of B or higher you can apply these credits towards the Purdue MSECE program. If you are planning to apply to the Purdue MSECE program, we encourage you to apply after completing one MicroMasters program to ensure you meet all plan-of-study requirements for the MSECE. While your performance in a Purdue MicroMasters program will be an important evaluation factor, admission is not guaranteed.

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