Engineering Physics Major

Students who love both engineering and physics can pursue an engineering physics major offered jointly by the Department of Engineering Sciences and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Students who plan to pursue additional coursework beyond the AB to earn the Bachelor of Engineering (BE) should consult early with their faculty advisors to plan their program of study.

For additional information about majors, courses, and degree requirements:

Guide to Programs & Courses


For advice about the major, contact Professor Jifeng Liu (Engineering) or Professor Kristina A. Lynch (Physics and Astronomy).

Prerequisites

Majors are expected to have a basic understanding of calculus, physics, chemistry, and computer science. First-year students interested in the major should take the placement test in mathematics.

Unless otherwise prohibited, prerequisites may be taken under the non-recording option. Any course being used to satisfy major or minor requirements beyond the prerequisites, may not be taken under the non-recording option.

COURSE TYPE NUMBER OF REQUIRED COURSES COURSES

Mathematics

4 courses

MATH 3: Calculus
MATH 8: Calculus of Functions of One and Several Variables
MATH 13: Calculus of Vector-Valued Functions
MATH 23: Differential Equations

Physics

2 courses

PHYS 13: Introductory Physics I
PHYS 14: Introductory Physics II

Chemistry*

1 course

Students will be placed in one of the following courses:

CHEM 5: General Chemistry
CHEM 10: First-Year Honors Chemistry
CHEM 11: General Chemistry

Computer Science

1 or 2 courses

Choose one option:

Option 1 (1 course):

ENGS 20: Introduction to Scientific Computing (May not be taken under the non-recording option.)

Option 2 (2 course):
COSC 1: Introduction to Programming and Computation
COSC 10: Problem Solving via Object-Oriented Programming

* Students with no prior experience with chemistry will be placed in CHEM 5. CHEM 10 is not scheduled to be offered during the 2022–2023 academic year. Starting in the Fall of 2022, students with prior experience with chemistry (as demonstrated through AP or IB exams, A-level credit, or placement exam) will be placed in CHEM 11. Students who complete CHEM 11 will also automatically receive credit for CHEM 5 toward the BE degree requirements.

Required Courses

The Engineering Physics Major must be a 5/5 split of 10 courses between Engineering Sciences and Physics. These courses include the required 3 core courses listed below and 2 electives or free electives in engineering and 2 electives or free electives in physics.

Students taking the honors sequence, PHYS 15 and 16, should substitute a third physics elective for PHYS 19.

Students wishing to pursue the BE degree are advised to elect an Engineering Sciences course.

COURSE TYPE NUMBER OF REQUIRED COURSES COURSES

Engineering Core

3 courses

ENGS 22: Systems
ENGS 23: Distributed Systems and Fields
ENGS 24: Science of Materials

Physics Core

3 courses

PHYS 19: Introductory Physics III
PHYS 40: Quantum Physics of Matter: An Introduction
PHYS 43: Statistical Physics

Electives

2 courses

Choose two courses, each from a different group:

Group A
ENGS 25: Introduction to Thermodynamics
ENGS 33: Solid Mechanics
ENGS 34: Fluid Mechanics

Group B
PHYS 50: Introductory Quantum Mechanics
PHYS 68: Introductory Plasma Physics
PHYS 91: Intermediate Quantum Mechanics

Group C
PHYS 73: Introductory Condensed Matter Physics
ENGS 131: Science of Solid State Materials

Group D
PHYS 66: Relativistic Electrodynamics
ENGS 64: Engineering Electromagnetics or ENGS 120: Electromagnetic Waves

Group E
PHYS 44: Mechanics
ENGS 72: Applied Mechanics: Dynamics

Free Electives

2 courses

Any Engineering Sciences courses numbered above 20, excluding ENGS 80 and ENGS 87, or any physics course that fulfills the straight physics major

Culminating Experience

In addition to coursework, all engineering physics majors are required to complete a culminating experience, which may include a thesis or an advanced engineering sciences course, chosen from an approved list.

CULMINATING EXPERIENCE (CHOOSE ONE OPTION) NUMBER OF REQUIRED COURSES COURSES

Thesis

1 course

Choose one course, from the following:

ENGS 86: Independent Project
ENGS 88: Honors Thesis

Design Project

2 courses

ENGS 89: Engineering Design Methodology and Project Initiation
ENGS 90: Engineering Design Methodology and Project Completion

  • Taken as a two-course design sequence.
  • May count toward both AB and BE degrees.
  • Prior to enrollment in ENGS 89, at least 6 engineering sciences courses must be completed: ENGS 21 plus 5 additional courses numbered 22 to 76 (excluding 75), and 91 and above.

Advanced Course

1 course

Choose one course from approved list below or consult with Chair of the Department of Engineering Sciences:

ENGS 58: Protein Engineering
ENGS 61: Intermediate Electrical Circuits
ENGS 62: Microprocessors in Engineered Systems
ENGS 67: Programming Parallel Systems
ENGS 71: Structural Analysis
ENGS 73: Materials Processing and Selection
ENGS 75: Product Design
ENGS 76: Machine Engineering
ENGS 112: Modern Information Technologies
ENGS 122: Semiconductor Theory and Devices
ENGS 124: Optical Devices and Systems
ENGS 125: Power Electronics and Electromechanical Energy Conversion
ENGS 126: Analog Integrated Circuit Design
ENGG 129: Instrumentation and Measurements
ENGS 130: Mechanical Behavior of Materials
ENGS 132: Thermodynamics and Kinetics in Condensed Phases
ENGS 133: Methods of Materials Characterization
ENGS 134: Nanotechnology
ENGS 135: Thin Films and Microfabrication Technology
ENGS 145: Modern Control Theory
ENGS 146: Computer-Aided Mechanical Engineering Design
ENGS 157: Chemical Process Design
ENGS 158: Chemical Kinetics and Reactors
ENGS 160: Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering
ENGS 163: Advanced Protein Engineering
ENGS 165: Biomaterials
ENGS 167: Medical Imaging
ENGS 169: Intermediate Biomedical Engineering
ENGS 171: Industrial Ecology
ENGS 172: Climate Change and EngineeringPHYS 68: Introductory Plasma Physics
PHYS 72: Introductory Particle Physics
PHYS 73: Introductory Condensed Matter Physics
PHYS 74: Space Plasma Physics
PHYS 76: Methods of Experimental Physics
PHYS 82: Special Topics Seminar
PHYS 87: Undergraduate Research