FAQ's about Engineering Physics

What is Engineering Physics?

It's a degree designed for students with an interest in both science and engineering. Engineering physics combines the basic concepts of physics and mathematics with their applications to one or more areas of engineering.

What kind of student is in the Engineering Physics program?

If you are interested in applying scientific knowledge to modern technology, if you want to understand the science underlying modern engineering, as well as see it applied, then Engineering Physics may be for you. You will find yourself in the company of strong students who are thoroughly interested in science and math and their application to technology. Past Engineering Physics majors have received national competitive awards such as Goldwater Scholarships and National Science Foundation fellowships.

What degree is offered?

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Engineering Physics is granted from the School of Engineering and is run jointly with the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. There are four design options to choose from:

  • aerospace systems,
  • chemical systems,
  • digital electronic systems, and
  • electromechanical control systems.

What will my course load be like?

Depending upon the design option, the required number of credit hours for the degree is either 127 or 128. To graduate in four years, you need to take about 16 hours per semester.

What kinds of undergraduate research opportunities are there?

Most Engineering Physics majors participate in some kind of undergraduate research while at KU. It is not required for the degree, but it is required for graduating with Departmental Honors. Numerous research opportunities are available in the affiliated engineering discipline and, on the physics side, the faculty is active in research in fields such as nanotechnology, quantum computing, semiconductor lasers, nonlinear dynamics, astrophysics, nuclear and particle physics.

What can I do with an Engineering Physics degree?

With a B.S. in Engineering Physics, you can get a job either as a scientist or an engineer. Graduates have found positions in high technology research and development with large companies or the government. Recent graduates have been hired by companies such as Rockwell International, Texas Instruments, and General Dynamics. About half of our graduates choose to go on to graduate study and have been accepted into top programs. Students can go to graduate school in either their engineering discipline or physics. Business school, law school (especially patent law), and medical school are other possible career paths. Areas of specialization depend on which design option you choose and may include careers in digital electronics, robotics, material science, space exploration, or alternative energy sources.

Where can I get more information?

Visit the Physics Department or School of Engineering Web sites to learn more about the faculty, events, programs and student services or contact the program director, Prof. Steve Hawley, at sahawley@ku.edu.

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