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Graduate Portfolio Program

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The education and training of graduate students in nanoscience and nanotechnology requires a streamlined, multidisciplinary effort that crosses departmental and college boundaries.

The Graduate Portfolio Program in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology is a certification program which provides an opportunity for doctoral students to obtain credentials in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology while they are completing the requirements for a doctoral degree in a particular discipline. This portfolio program is an efficient and effective introduction to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology for students from a wide range of technical disciplines.


Graduate Portfolio Program is a formal mechanism for recognizing and rewarding students who obtain the broad educational background necessary to become leaders in nanoscience and nanotechnology after graduation. The program is designed to enrich the research experience, increase the breadth of training, and expand the scholarly credentials of graduate students. At the time of graduation, the student's transcript will reflect a certification that the student has completed the graduate portfolio in nanoscience and nanotechnology.


First and second year doctoral students at the University of Texas at Austin with a concentration in Chemistry & Biochemistry, Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology or Pharmacy may apply.

There is no minimum GPA for admission to the program.


Course Requirement: Students take four courses (12 semester hours) chosen from a list of courses approved by the Portfolio Committee. One of the four courses must be an introductory survey course on nanoscience and nanotechnology. Among the other courses, two must be outside the student's home department. Courses taken as part of doctoral degree program may be counted toward completion of the portfolio program.

Grad Students

Introductory Survey Course (Any one of the Following)

  • CH 393L Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (Prof. Paul Barbara)
  • CHE 384 Nanomaterials Chemistry and Engineering (Prof. Brian Korgel)
  • ME 386Q Nanomaterials (Prof. Paulo Ferreira)

Other Portfolio Courses

  • Total 3 courses from the List of Approved Portfolio Courses
  • Two of these courses must be outside student's immediate area of study and one course can be inside student's home department

Research Requirement: Each student is required to draft a research proposal that is evaluated by the Portfolio Program Committee. Prior to graduation, each student is required to present his/her research in the porfolio program student seminar.

Seminar Series: Students attend weekly seminars. The seminars promote interaction between students from different disciplines, providing a comprehensive view of the integration of nanotechnology into numerous areas of research. Attendance at these seminars is mandatory.

Students are expected to attend the seminars for the duration of the program. Students who cannot attend the seminar series due to a schedule conflict should submit a printout of their schedule along with a letter explaining the conflict to Tesse Smitherman.


The Graduate Portfolio Program in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology was first offered in Fall 2004. As of Fall 2010, a total of 172 students enrolled in the program. These students represent 8 departments and 33 different research groups. Currently there are 75 students are currently enrolled.


Students are accepted into the program in spring and fall semesters.

All students applying for the program must submit the following:

a) Application
b) One page research proposal
c) Letter of support from advisor indicating that the student will be permitted to participte in Portfolio activities (e.g. coursework, seminars)
d) Graduate school transcript

Application packets will be reviewed by the Portfolio Program Committee.

Click Here to Download Application Form

Complete Application Packet should be submitted to:
Portfolio Program Administrator
Graduate Portfolio Program in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station, A5500
102 E. 24th Street
Austin, Texas 78712


Spring 2011: September 15
Fall 2011: February 2


The Graduate Portfolio Program is administered by a team of professors who primarily use nanotechnology in their research. The committee, representing a variety of disciplines from the Colleges of Natural Sciences and Engineering, make all administrative decision regarding the program.

Katherine Willets (Chemistry and Biochemistry)
Bian Korgel (Chemical Engineering)
Ananth Dodabalapur (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Stanislav Emelianov (Biomedical Engineering)
Rui Huang (Engineering Mechanics)
Desiderio Kovar (Materials Science and Engineering)
Xiaoqin (Elaine) Li (Physics)


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Tesse Smitherman, Administrative Associate
Center for Nano and Molecular Science and Technology
Brian Korgel
Katherine Willets, Associate Professor
Chemistry and Biochemistry


Porfolio Program Brochure

Graduate Student Highlights

Student Profiles

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