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A student in a white lab coat, protective glasses and gloves pours a red liquid from a cup into a beaker.

Use scientific methodologies and techniques to explore current research topics

The Applications of Nanoscience Summer Institute is designed for high school students with a background in chemistry and a desire to learn the basics of pursuing a viable, scientifically-sound technology and bringing it to market. As a model, students will explore a few important applications of nanoscience while also learning the basics of reviewing existing scientific literature, design-thinking, and entrepreneurship. They will then go through the process of proposing a product in pursuit of bringing their nanotechnology-based idea to market, and perform preliminary research to validate the science behind their idea.

During this two-week program, students have the unique opportunity to explore questions similar to those currently investigated by the scientific community. The program involves the combination of vigorous scientific methodologies and techniques with business projects that are both fun and exciting. At the end of this course, students will demonstrate their newfound knowledge by working on a team project to experience the process of team research and pitching a business and a product to technology investors.

As of 3/15/2024, the Applications of Nanoscience Mandatory Housing track is closed to new applications. Interested students are encouraged to apply to the Commuter-Only track.

Fees and Payment Info

The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. The program fee also includes the cost of UCLA Housing (for mandatory housing programs). In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.

Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.

The program fees listed in the selection are for the Mandatory Housing version only. The following are the program fees for the Commuter version.

  • High School Student = $2,432
  • Incoming UCLA Student = $2,114
  • Incoming UC Student = $2,114

All other fees listed will remain the same for the Commuter version.



Program Fee
Registration Fee
Document Fee (for first-time Summer Sessions students)
Total Estimated Fees:
* Fees only apply for certain student types

Meet your instructors

Sarah Tolbert


Sarah Tolbert received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Yale University. She then receiver her Ph.D. in Chemistry from UC-Berkeley, studying the structure, stability, and electronic properties of nanometer sized clusters with Prof. A. Paul Alivisatos. She was then a Postdoctoral Scholar at UCSB, researching the synthesis, characterization, and physical and structural properties of new inorganic/organic composite and mesoporous materials with Prof. Galen D. Stucky.

In 1997, Sarah joined the UCLA family as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and currently serves in both the Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering Departments. Her current research interests include self-organized nanoscale materials for electronic, magnetic, optical, and structural applications; nanomaterials for energy, including electrochemical charge storage and solar energy harvesting; semiconducting polymers; polymer templated nanoporous materials, including supercapacitors and strain engineering magnetic materials; new ultrahard and ultra-incompressible materials and functional materials through solution phase self-assembly.

Image of Sarah Tolbert