Microelectronics and Nanomanufacturing Certificate Program (MNCP)


Spring 2024 Cohort Clean room MNCP


Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Microelectronics and Nanomanufacturing Certificate Program (MNCP) is a partnership between Southwestern College, UC San Diego, and Pennsylvania State University. It is an intensive, 13-week program aimed at quickly upskilling and training military veterans and their dependents for entering careers in the semiconductor manufacturing industry and related sectors.

Why go into the semiconductor industry?

A great long-term outlook: The semiconductor industry is expected to become a trillion-dollar industry by 2030. Graduates from this program make for competitive entry-level technician candidates at companies such as Intel, Samsung, and TSMC among others. Moreover, this is a great time to break into the industry, as some of the biggest semiconductor companies can’t find enough workers.

You can help ensure our national security: With the passage of the $52B 2022 CHIPS and Science Act, the federal government has doubled down in its efforts to ensure that high-tech supply chains, many of which are vital to national security, are immune to the geopolitical influence of hostile nations.

Competitive wages:  Entry-level semiconductor technicians can expect to start around $25/hour. It is not uncommon for technicians to work their way up into managerial and engineering positions, which can command six-figure salaries. States with a high density of semiconductor manufacturing jobs such as Arizona and Texas tend to have little to no income tax.

Application Information

We will be recruiting our next cohort of MNCP trainees in the Spring/Summer 2024 to start their training in the Fall of 2024.

The online application will open on April 29, 2024. The deadline to apply is August 23, 2024. Applicants will receive admissions decisions on a rolling schedule, usually within two to three weeks from their application submission date. The selection of candidates is handled on a first come first serve basis. 

The Microelectronics and Nanomanufacturing Program runs from September 3, 2024, to November 22, 2024.

  • A mandatory orientation meeting will be held the week before classes start (Time TBD)
  • Graduation will be held on the morning of December 6th, 2024

Apply here

Competitive applicants will be:

  • An honorably discharged veteran or a dependent of a service member by the start of the upcoming cohort
  • Completed coursework in introductory physical sciences (e.g. chemistry, physics), preferably at the college level
  • Committed to starting a new career in a high-tech industry, even if those opportunities are not necessarily in Southern California
  • A desire to work with their hands and in a team environment 
  • Willing budget 30+ hours per week* to attend class and complete assignments as required.
  • Able to provide their own transportation to UC San Diego (La Jolla) for hands-on training twice per week

*This figure is an average. Students who have been away from school for an extended period, or lack a thorough background in STEM may require more time to be successful in this program.


MNCP Industry Partners

The following companies are officially vetted partners of the Microelectronics and Nanomanufacturing Program. They are interested in interviewing and hiring graduates with the skills taught in this program.



Southwestern College MNCP Team

 Please contact us with any questions!

Juan Gonzalez, MS  

Co-PrincipaI Investigator Professor of Chemsitry


Dmitriy Kalantarov, Ph.D.

Program Coordinator Professor of Engineering


JD White  

Outreach Specialist Veterans Resource Center Coordinator