Thank you for considering the Ph.D. Nanoscale Science program at UNC Charlotte! We’ve compiled a list with answers to some of academic and general graduate school questions you may have. If you have any additional questions, please contact Ms. Deborah Howard, Dr. Vivero-Escoto, or Dr. Donovan-Merkert.

Academic Questions

Does the program provide teaching assistantships?

  • The Nanoscale Science program offers financial support in the form of teaching assistantships.

What is the average cost of attending UNC Charlotte as a full-time graduate student?

  • Estimated costs of tuition and fees can be found here.

Is there conference funding?

  • The student-run Graduate & Professional Student Government (GPSG) offers competitive conference funding for graduate students.

What does the typical course work consist of?

  • The following course work is required for the Nanoscale Science program (more information can be found here):

    • 1st semester: NANO 8001, NANO 8102, NANO 8105, NANO 8681.
    • 2nd semester: NANO 8101, NANO 8103, NANO 8681,NANO 8682, NANO 8900.
    • 3rd semester: Either NANO 8301 or NANO 8351, an elective course, NANO 8681, NANO 8682, NANO 8900.
    • 4th semester: An elective course, NANO 8203, NANO 8681 and NANO 8682, NANO 8900.
    • 5th semester: The Graduate School requires doctoral students to pass a qualifying examination, and to advance to candidacy by successfully defending a dissertation topic proposal at a meeting of the student’s advisory/dissertation committee. NANO 8681, NANO 8900.
    • 6th and following semesters: NANO 8681, NANO 8900.

What is the typical program outline?

  • Complete information about the Nanoscale Science program can be found here.

What is the average time for completion of the program?

  • Full-time students are normally expected to complete their degree requirements within 4-5 years of their initial semester of enrollment as a Nanoscale Science Ph.D. student.

What is the GSPE exam, and what does it cover?

  • The General Science Proficiency Exam (GSPE) tests your proficiency of science and math concepts that are important to learning Nanoscale Science. The exam , which is administered to new students at the beginning of the Fall semester, consists of two parts- a math exam and a science exam. The math exam covers math concepts up through calculus and differential equations, and the science exam focuses heavily on general chemistry, biology, and physics concepts. Information sheets, containing equations and important constants are provided during both exams. Sample questions and copies of the information sheets for both exams are provided to students a couple of months in advance of matriculation.

What happens if I fail the GSPE exam?

  • It is not uncommon for an incoming student to fail one or both of the GSPE exams. The GSPE administrator will review the graded exams with the student and provide guidance for mastering any of the content areas in which the student is currently deficient. If the student does not score a passing grade on one (or both) of the tests, then the student will be expected to study the material and retake the test (or both tests) in January. Again, the GSPE administrator will go over the graded exam(s) with the student and provide guidance for remediation if necessary. Students will have a third and final opportunity to pass the GSPE exam in May. If a student fails either of the GSPE exams a third time, the student will be terminated from the program.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the program?

  • Ms. Deborah Howard (Assistant Graduate Coordinator), Dr. Donovan-Merkert (Program Director), Dr. Juan Vivero-Escoto (Admissions Coordinator)

Who do I contact if I have questions about admissions?

  • Ms. Deborah Howard (Assistant Graduate Coordinator), Dr. Donovan-Merkert (Program Director), Dr. Juan Vivero-Escoto (Admissions Coordinator)

What specializations does the program offer?

  • The two major areas of research in the Nanoscale Science program include (1) Biochemistry and Nanomedicine, and (2) Energy and Materials.

General Questions

What housing options are there for graduate students?

  • There is on-campus housing as well as multiple nearby off-campus options. More information can be found on the UNC Charlotte Housing and Residence Life here.

What’s the weather like in Charlotte?

  • Charlotte has a comfortable year-round climate but with all four seasons. Typically, the temperature varies from 33oF to 96oF. More detailed climate information can be found here.

What’s there to do around Charlotte?

  • Charlotte has many activities including the amusement park Carowinds, the U.S. National Whitewater Center, Discovery Place (a hands-on science museum), and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Charlotte is also home to the many parks and greenways and has a vibrant city scene, including great restaurants and arts and cultural venues. A more complete list can be found here.

What’s the travel like in Charlotte?

  • The main campus of UNC Charlotte is about 15-20 minutes away from the city of Charlotte by car. The LYNX light rail is a passenger train that runs from south Charlotte up to UNC Charlotte. The train stops in South End Charlotte, Uptown Charlotte, NoDa, and UNC Charlotte. A complete list of stops can be found here. The train is free to ride for UNC Charlotte students!

Where can I find more information on opportunities for graduate students?

What activities are there on campus?

  • UNC Charlotte supports a vibrant community with plenty of organizations and events hosted on campus. All organizations and events can be found here.