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Engineering Physics minors?

  1. Feb 26, 2012 #1
    TL;DR: Your opinion on engineering physics?

    Hello, I'm new here. If this post does not belong here, I apologize and accept redirections.

    Before i get started, on the engineering physics stuff, I'd like to tell you a little about myself.

    >I'm currently in my last year of High School, and I'm preparing to attend any engineering admission exam.
    >Although I am more than decided to study engineering, i dont have any area of strong interest. However, I've always been concerned by the environmental issues in the world, and secondly about the lack of aerospacial development in my country, Mexico.
    > Due to their wide range of study, I'd like to study either Mechanical-Electrical engineering or Engineering Physics, but Aeronautical engineering seems attractive as well.

    Since i can't yet decide which i like the most, the most viable course of action seems to be studying engineering physics, and then minor in whatever i like.

    What I'd like you to ask is how viable is this; is it possible to study physics and then get a minor in something aerospacial?
    What are my job prospects if i graduate in engineering physics?

    Note: Engineering Physics is held at a public college, and it has over a hundred international colleges to choose a year of exchange from.

    I apologize for my bad redaction, English is not my native language.

    TL;DR: Your opinion on engineering physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2012 #2
    This is certainly possible. In fact, you can take a lot of classes geared directly toward aerospace engineering with or without the minor, assuming you've completed the pre-requisites.

    It's difficult to say. That would depend on your experience, your grades, your college, etc. Your best bet here is to look at any employment data your school offers or talk to some graduates from the programs.

    One thing is that if you decide that you want to go in to aerospace engineering, you can always just major in that. All three of the majors you named (aerospace, mechanical, engineering physics) will have very similar courses for the first couple of years, so there is no rush to decide. You'll learn a lot once you get to college.
  4. Mar 1, 2012 #3


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    Here's the issue with Engineering Physics: it isn't very well known outside of science and engineering departments. This is a problem because to get a job, you have to get through the human resources department. Typical HR people don't know what "Engineering Physics" is, and they won't feel compelled to research it. Why? Because they have lots of applicants with degrees like "Mechanical Engineering" or "Electrical Engineering" or "Physics", and HR people know what these degrees are.

    I really think the skills acquired with an Engineering Physics degree are *very* marketable. You just have to realize you will may have a hard time getting yourself hired.
  5. Mar 1, 2012 #4


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    That's why it's important to be involved as a student. If possible, belong to a student chapter of either an engineering society or one of the physics societies. Start networking as an undergrad.

    In my first job, one of the managers contacted me. I interviewed with him, several other managers and the division VP. I got hired the next day.

    On my second and current job, the company CEO called me up and invited me to visit with him at a conference. I did, and he more or less offered me a job. I tentatively agreed as long as I could stay were I was, and basically open up a new office for the company. It helped that a mutual client was also talking to me about a position.

    The point is to be proactive and go beyond just getting a degree. Learn about an industry or a particular area of research or application.

    Show some initiative.
  6. Mar 2, 2012 #5
    Many thanks to you all. I can conclude that engineering physics is a good career, yet unknown.
    I must socialize, and get well-known for whatever abilities i develop in college
  7. Mar 3, 2012 #6
    OP, I know of one website, called mergersandinquisitions.com, which while geared towards investment banking, can prove to have some useful advice, which anyone who's interested in "networking to find an internship/a job" can benefit from. You might want to look into that.

    Astronuc, did you major in Engineering Physics? I find it fascinating that you took enough courses in engineering disciplines (i.e, courses having nothing to do with astro and nuclear physics) that you have a good understanding of them. I am really interested in doing something similar myself and would be glad to hear back from you on this.

    Lisab, if I recall correctly, you were double majoring in Physics and Chemistry, no? Why didn't you continue with the chemistry major? I have an interest in chemistry (atomic, bonding, nuclear and related stuff), which is why I ask. Would it be better to do a physics or engineering physics degree with some courses on the related subjects or vice-versa?
    Thank you.
  8. Mar 3, 2012 #7


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    I started university at the second year level, majoring in Physics with Nuclear and Space Physics (Astrophysics) options. I then migrated to nuclear engineering.

    If I could do it all over again (knowing what I now know), I would have double-majored in Physics and Nuclear Engineering - and still taken the courses in Materials Sci & Eng, etc.

    A few of my professors actually majored in Engineering Physics or Applied Physics, but that was back in the 40's, 50's and 60's - in some cases before there were any nuclear engineering programs.

    I also worked as a plumber, pipe fitter (never developed the proficiency as a stick welder), mechanical technician (heating and cooling systems), dishwasher, and iron worker.
  9. Mar 3, 2012 #8


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    Yes, I was a double major. I was also just part-time and it takes a loooong time to finish when you only take one or two classes a quarter. At 9.5 years I was completely fed up with school, and tired of being broke all the time. I had everything I needed for a physics degree and decided I was done.

    Are you planning to go to grad school? If so, you should take to a physics prof about switching to engineering physics. You may be able to satisfy your curiosity by taking physical chemistry - you learn a lot of cool spectroscopy there. I would expect it would count as an elective for a physics degree, at most schools.
  10. Apr 7, 2012 #9
    Hello everyone,

    Since there is alot of talking of "Engineering Physics" and quite decent graduates on the thread as well, I would appreciate some guidance.

    I will be studying "Engineering Physics" in Germany.
    Can somebody please ellaborate some experiences,advices, or any read views about the program and its scope in industry and jobs ?
  11. Apr 7, 2012 #10


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    Engineering or Applied Physics programs may vary among the different institutions offering the programs. It seems to be usually a multi-discipline approach to applied physics - with more application than theory.

    See Cornell University's programs: http://www.aep.cornell.edu/academics/


    At another university, engineering physics is more of an elective or option in the physics department.
  12. Apr 8, 2012 #11

    I will be studying "Engineerin Physics" in Germany.

    I want to go towards engineer, probably join thelas, bosch, siemens or thyseenkrupp -
    Do you suggest, Engineering Physics is a good degree for these fields.

    Also I wish to take nanotechnology, megatronics or aeronautical engineering etc
    Will this degree help ?

    Thanks !
  13. Apr 8, 2012 #12
    This is the course overview, if it helps in suggestion:

    Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering Physics: Course Concept / Overview
    1st semester, compulsory subjects: 6
    Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering I (c) - BM 1
    Computing (c) - 1 AM 7
    Mechanicsburg (c) - OM 2 8
    Introduction to Natural Science & Specialisation (cos) - ON 2
    Basic Laboratory (c) - BM 12
    Language (c) - PB162 13
    2nd semester, compulsory subjects: 14
    Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering II (c) - ON 3
    Electrodynamics and Optics (c) - BM 4
    Electronics (c) - 4 PM 17
    3rd semester, compulsory subjects: 18
    Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering III (c) - ON 5
    Nuclear physics (c) ON 6 19
    Theoretical physics (electrodynamics) (c) - 7 PM
    Basic Engineering (c) - PB 67 21
    Project Laboratory I (cos) - PB 163 4th semester, compulsory 23
    Numerical Methods (c) - 9 PM 23
    Thermodynamics and Statistics (c) - ON 10
    Physical Measurement Techniques (c) - ON 11
    Specialisation I (cos) - PB 159 28
    5th semester, compulsory subjects: 29
    Control Systems (c) - AM 13 29
    Materials Science (c) - AM 12 30
    Specialisation II (cos) - PB 77 32
    Laboratory Project II (cos) - ON 8
    6th semester, compulsory subjects: 34
    Bachelor's Thesis (cos) - BAM 34
    Internship (cos) - PB 35
    Subjects of Specialization: compulsory optional subjects (cos)
    Acoustical measurement technology (cos)
    Applied and medical acoustics (cos)
    Biomedical Physics and Neurophysics (cos)
    Energy Systems (cos) 39
    Introduction to speech processing (cos)
    Femtosecond Laser Technology (cos)
    Laser Design (cos) 42
    Lasers (cos) 43
    Lasers in Medicine I (cos) 44
    Lasers in Medicine II 45
    Laser Spectroscopy (cos) 46
    Material processing with laser beams I (cos)
    Material processing with laser beams II (cos)
    Microtechnology (cos) 49
    Optics of the atmosphere and the ocean (cos)
    Optical communication technology (cos)
    Optoelectronics (cos) 52
    Photovoltaics (cos) 53
    Power Systems and Grid (cos) 54
    Solar Energy Systems - Electric and thermal (cos)
    Wind Energy Utilization (cos) 56
    (C) MEANS compulsory subject / compulsory (Cos) MEANS compulsory optional subject / elective
  14. Apr 8, 2012 #13


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    I believe the Engineering Physics would be a good degree for one planning to work for Thales, Bosch, Siemens or ThysenKrupp, and including areas such as nanotechnology mechatronics or aeronautical engineering.

    One may wish to explore the programs at Universität Stuttgart or one of the other TUs.
  15. Apr 8, 2012 #14

    Thank you very much. That was indeed very motivating.

    Due to your exalted experience in the field of physics, I would like to ask one last question.

    Keeping in mind (companies like bosch and German economy) what suggestion do you put forward for a master's after this Engineering Physics Bachelor degree.
    I would just like to recieve some words to advice and some suggestions which ever you feel appropriate and best suited in my case.
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