FAQs for Prospective Nanoscience Students

Questions about the Application Process

The following questions are intended to help answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the application process. To find out more, contact our admissions staff.

Questions and Answers

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Nanoscience is the transformative interdisciplinary field at the interface of several fundamental science disciplines, including physics, math, chemistry, biology, and material science. For the past 20 years nanoscience has been the source of inspiration and answers to world’s future needs in energy, electronics, and medicine. The Department of Nanoscience has a world-class faculty engaging in cutting-edge research in nanoscience, with strengths in bio-nanotechnology, computational nanoscience, and nanomaterial research, with applications in energy and biosensing, bioelectronics and nanomedicine. The Department of Nanoscience is housed in the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN), home to a state-of-the-art research facility that provides students with training in advanced characterization tools and fabrication facilities. Many of our graduates have found successful employment in academic, industry, and government agencies. We encourage all interested students to visit our website and contact faculty for more information about specific research projects.

Greensboro is one of the best-kept secrets in North Carolina. It’s a small Southern city with a vibrant entertainment, arts, and culture community. The city has a lively and growing downtown scene, with great restaurants, galleries, and shops. Every Fall Greensboro hosts the North Carolina Folk Festival, a three-day event with performers from across the world, great food, and cultural activities. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a world-class university with campus activities such as concerts, plays, and sporting events, including the perennial Southern Conference powerhouse of Spartan basketball. Centrally located in the state, Greensboro is three hours from the beach and three hours from the mountains, but for shorter trips in the region, there are fantastic state and city parks within a short drive in any direction from the city. Greensboro has a four-seasons climate, but they are all relatively mild and pleasant.

All graduate applications are made through a common portal called SLATE (https://gradapply.uncg.edu/apply/) located on The Graduate School website at UNCG. These applications are forwarded to the Department of Nanoscience for review. The application fee is $65, and for a complete application we require a transcript of your academic record, GRE scores, three letters of reference, a personal statement that indicates your reasons for applying to our program, and the selection of one to three potential advisors. For international students, additional information includes a language test such as TOEFL or IELTS. We strongly encourage all interested students to contact specific faculty members via email or phone and ask about the potential to do dissertation research in their labs. The earlier that you can establish a relationship with a faculty member that enables you to match and share research goals, the faster and more efficiently the application process will proceed. Although we have deadlines (see below), we will review and accept talented students prior to these deadlines. Our goal is to accept the best students who have great potential in the field of nanoscience, and to do this as early as possible.

A Bachelor’s degree in any natural or physical sciences or an engineering field is a requirement for entering the Ph.D. program in the department of Nanoscience. These include, but are not limited to, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, molecular biology, physics, computer science, math, or biomedical engineering.

Yes, there are two deadlines for applications into the Ph.D. programs in Nanoscience. The first deadline is a departmental deadline of December 15th for applicants who wish to be considered for University fellowships and departmental assistantships; we strongly encourage all students interested in doctoral studies to apply early and contact prospective doctoral advisors about potential projects in their lab. The second deadline is March 15th for all remaining applicants; after this date, the university application system, SLATE, closes for that year’s applicants into our Ph.D. program. Applicants who meet this deadline may be considered for any remaining assistantships and tuition support. For Masters applicants the deadline is July 1st.

The math requirements for entering the Nanoscience Ph.D. program are Calculus I and II, with the understanding that the Calculus II coursework covers fundamental differential equations. Other math courses that will help you in your studies in the Nanoscience Ph.D. program include differential equations, statistics, and certain computational math courses. Students are strongly encouraged to brush up on their math skills prior to entering our program and if needed, take additional courses to supplement any deficiencies. In certain circumstances students may be accepted to the program under the condition that a deficiency is met prior to entering the program in the fall.

Yes, the UNCG graduate school requires GRE scores for applying to the Nanoscience Ph.D. program. The Department of Nanoscience uses a holistic approach to evaluate all applicants to our program, taking into account a variety of factors beyond GRE scores, and there is no minimum score on the GRE to gain admissions to our program.

Yes, we require three references for your application. These individuals should know you well enough to provide a detailed account of your work and work ethic, your intellectual ability, and your potential as a scientist. Good examples include former professors, or lab managers at a recent job.

Typically, a 3.0 GPA is the minimum for acceptance into the UNCG Graduate School. The Department of Nanoscience Ph.D. program uses a holistic approach to evaluate potential student applications. We will consider all students, even those with a GPA lower than 3.0, for our program, especially if they demonstrate great potential as graduates, as measured by their letters of reference, research accomplishments, and/or solid scores in standardized tests such as the GRE. Other options for students with low GPA include taking nanoscience courses as a non-matriculating student and proving that they are capable of graduate-level nanoscience training with a grade higher than B.

We do not have a minimum set of standards for admission into our program, and all applicants are evaluated on their individual merits. We use a holistic approach to evaluate Ph.D. applications—we use all aspects of a student’s application, including the GRE, letters of references, your undergraduate scholastic performance, and your written statement of purpose to determine whether you will be a good fit in our program. An extremely important component of your application is the list of potential advisors and the rationale for why these potential advisors were selected. Interested students are asked to directly contact any faculty during the application process

Yes, we provide a variety of financial support including assistantships, tuition remission, and university fellowships. Support can be complete or partial. These awards are available to both domestic and international students, and are awarded based on merit. University fellowships are highly competitive, and all qualified applicants are encouraged to apply. We suggest that you apply by the December 15th deadline, contact the Graduate Director of the Nanoscience program for more information, and contact potential mentors prior to applying.

The Department of Nanoscience also has several types of graduate assistantships available for students on an annual basis. Graduate assistantships allow students to work for their degree and involve up to 20 hours of work per week, in addition to coursework and research.

The Department of Nanoscience also provides tuition support for domestic and international students; this support is merit-based and can include partial to complete support. Tuition support is complex and differs for residents of North Carolina and those who are non-NC residents—i.e., US citizens from states other than NC—and international students. For more information on financial support, contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

Typically, F1 and J1 visa holders are eligible to apply to The Graduate School in the Department of Nanoscience and take advantage of potential financial support mechanisms such as assistantships. If you have any questions, contact the Director of Graduate Studies.