I'm interested in doing the sort of research that falls under the very broad category of "nanotechnology," "nanoscience," or "nanoscale physics" in graduate school, and I want to do it through a physics or applied physics Ph.D program. I've done a lot of research into this area and I just thought I'd post a few of the resources I've found and the methods I've used for the benefit of future visitors with similar interests
All the usual objections to rankings apply. The methodology is questionable and often related strongly to reputation and prestige. They should be used to get a rough
idea and nothing more. Finding a school that matches you, and a research group that interests you is much more important.
Here is an excel document I compiled with some various relevant rankings
http://www.fileden.com/files/2007/3/14/ ... nkings.xls
Here are pdf documents of the latest Small Times' nanotechnology rankings with program descriptions
THESE TAKE TIME TO LOAD BUT ARE WORTH IT!
2007: http://cnse.albany.edu/download.cfm/Sma ... ssetID=948
2006: http://www.fileden.com/files/2007/3/14/ ... ngspdf.pdf
There are also websites listing all of the Universities that offer degrees specifically related to Nanotechnology, but getting a pure science degree is better, IMO. However, if you are interested, do a Wikipedia search for "Nanotechnology education."
I looked at the rankings to get a rough idea of schools I might want to look in to. To get my own personalized list, I averaged two or three of the rankings I was interested in (for example, physics in general, nanotech, and CM physics, I summed each school's numerical ranking in each area then sorted each from least to greatest), then I deleted the schools I knew I didn't want to attend for whatever reason (usually because they were in a location I found highly unfavorable).
Once I had this very large list, I visited every department's web page, for physics and applied physics, and looked at their graduate research pages. I looked for several things both broad and specific:
--I looked for a large number of faculty engaged in condensed matter experimental research.
--I looked at the group research pages for each professor doing CM experiment and looked for projects related to nanotech that I found interesting, as well as to see how many students were involved and how many papers they were publishing recently, etc. I tried to find at least two groups I would be enthusiastic about joining at each potential school.
--I looked for one or more facilities specifically dedicated to nanotech or related research.
--I looked at the research pages for each of these facilities and for active projects that interested me.
--I looked at the faculty involved in these facilities to see how many of them were coming from the physics or applied physics departments vs. other departments.
and of course, I looked at the Ph.D requirements for each school to gauge many other things including their tone towards interdisciplinary research and the flexibility of their programs.
I guess I'll share my list, although it is only a representation of my own priorities and opinions, and is in no way meant to be complete or objective, or even, necessarily, nanotech related!
This is basically where I'm thinking of applying, and I will refine the list as I continue to research the departments and of course, once I get my GRE scores.
Order is approximately correlated to my level of interest.
SUNY - Albany
Phew that was long. Sorry. Hopefully someone someday will benefit from this.