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UCF is now the first and only university in Florida to offer a research-focused master’s degree in nanoscience.

The Master of Science in Nanotechnology program further elevates the prominence of UCF’s nanotechnology research, said Sudipta Seal, director of the university’s NanoScience Technology Center, Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center (AMPAC) and interim chair of Materials Science and Engineering.

The new program is expected to draw students from who have earned a bachelor’s degree in physics, chemistry, biology or engineering and who are interested in nanoscience, where research is opening up new technologies at a rapid pace.

The two-year nanoscience master’s program, which will launch in the upcoming fall 2015 semester, is geared toward students interested in a career in research, as well as those who want to ultimately earn a doctoral degree. Participants will write and defend a thesis while earning their master’s degree.

Last year, UCF launched a similar degree track aimed at students who want to take their nanotech knowledge into the business world. The Professional Science Master’s in Nanotechnology pares core courses in nanoscience with professional development courses in business and entrepreneurship. It does not require a thesis, but culminates in an internship within the industry.

“We will prepare students for research and careers in industry or academia,” Seal said. “UCF is still leading the state and the nation with this dual degree program.”

The U.S. National Science Foundation estimates the global market for nanotechnology-related goods and services at $1 trillion, making it one of the fastest-growing industries in history. There is an increasing demand for skilled workers and academic researchers in nanoscience.

The NanoScience Technology Center is an interdisciplinary facility with a diverse faculty, all of whom have joint appointments to the both the center and other academic departments.

“Among the faculty we have chemists, physicists, engineers, and biomedical scientists,” said professor Qun “Treen” Huo. “The center offers a central hub for education, training and research. We have a wide range of instruments and equipment for biomedical, energy and engineering-related interdisciplinary research, so we’ll be able to provide lab facilities and a direct research training experience for the students.”

Huo said the center hopes to enroll 10-15 students in the program at its start. Visit here for more information.

The new program has also been covered in a Central Florida Future article.