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Engineering Physics Schools

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  1. Dec 30, 2013 #1
    Hi there, my fine-feathered physics friends,
    Caleb here. I'm researching undergraduate Engineering Physics programs in the States and wonder if y'all would lend me your opinions. I've done a good bit of invaluable searching here already but would like to add a small bit of specificity to the question of "Which school is best?" I'd like to concentrate on plasma physics and hopefully optics/photonics. I'll be a transfer student, and I have the GI bill, so my preference is for the best public or low-cost private university. Berkeley is out of the question, but I have no other caveats.

    What do you think?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2013 #2

    Student100

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    UCSD has a program, as do some of the other UC's under the name "Applied Physics." Your best bet is to talk to the transfer center of the school you’ll be transferring from.
     
  4. Dec 30, 2013 #3
    I'll take a look at the Applied Physics programs. I haven't looked into that. I'm going to ask my adviser again as soon as the semester starts up in a week, because the last time we talked I was considering ME or EE. Thanks, 100. I go to a small university, by the way. The most we have is pre-engineering, so no specialty courses.
     
  5. Dec 30, 2013 #4

    Student100

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    No problem, I would like to believe that most of the people who work in the transfer centers have a more in-depth knowledge of programs you'd be a good fit for. EP might be a bit rare, so they probably don't get many interested people asking about it. (I'd also like to beleive they have more resources than just google for such things)

    Applied physics, to my knowledge, is like EP but it doesn't fall into the stringent engineering accreditation scheme. So it seems like you'd have more freedom to pursue your interests in class selection; however, this is just an assumption- I don't really know. Not falling under an engineering accredited program may not be what you want, either.
     
  6. Dec 30, 2013 #5

    D H

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    A word of caution: Low-cost and private are rather contradictory terms when it comes to colleges, and if it's a public school but you're out of state, they'll charge close to private school rates. University of Michigan, for example, charges $40K/year for out of state students. A noted exception is University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is always in the top five (and currently is the top-rated) engineering physics program in the country. Their out-of-state tuition is only $25K/year (plus another $2700 in fees). Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado, and Texas Tech are also fairly low cost public schools with regard to out of state tuition that have undergrad engineering physics program. Private schools are going to be close to or above $40K/year.

    Here's a list of engineering physics schools in the US: http://www.cappex.com/colleges/majors/Engineering-Physics-650.
     
  7. Dec 30, 2013 #6
    Thanks, D H. That's exactly what I've found regarding private schools. I was kinda dangling that out there in case there was a hidden gem I hadn't heard of.

    The GI Bill pays $17.5 tops for private schools, but they have no limit on in-state public-school tuitions. I heard a while back that there was a push in Congress to give all vets in-state tuition no matter what, but I haven't heard what became of it. Some states offer in-state tuition to vets.

    I think however it plays out, I'm just going to have to bite the bullet on the out-of-state tuition (within reason). I live in Georgia, and I wouldn't balk at Georgia Tech, but I'd have to settle for EE since they don't have an EP program.

    Thanks for the link. It'll keep my wife and me busy for a while. Any on the list with good plasma-physics/optics/photonics concentrations? UIUC is on the top of my list, for sure.
     
  8. Dec 30, 2013 #7

    jasonRF

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    Just note that optics/photonics is included in many (of not most) EE departments. Also, some (but not most) EE departments have plasma physics of one sort or another - some for ionospheric / magnetospheric physics and radiowave propagation, some for laboratory plasmas. If you can do it in either EE or applied/engineering physics then you may want to look at student job placement by both departments to see what makes the most sense for you.

    Anyway, back to engineering / applied physics, US News has a ranking that should only be taken with a giant grain of salt, but provides a list of schools that are likely worth googling:
    http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandr...ankings/engineering-doctorate-science-physics

    Jason
     
  9. Dec 30, 2013 #8
    Ohio State University has a very flexible, accomodating EP program, owing to a large engineering college, large physics department, and large research budget.
     
  10. Dec 31, 2013 #9
    I think I follow you, Jason. You're saying that what sorts of job placements are common at a university are indicative of what specializations they have?

    My wife and I have been hitting those rankings (with that giant grain of salt).


    Thanks, Tom. OSU added to the list. You had me at "large research budget."


    'Preciate y'all's input.
     
  11. Jan 5, 2014 #10

    jasonRF

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    What I meant was that some universities have plasma physics and/or optics in more than one department (some faculty are in multiple departments, too). For example, Wisconsin has plasma physics in several departments. If you find that, which department should you choose? I would personally choose based upon success of graduates at finding employment, but other criterion could work as well, such as success at finding employment that actually used plasma physics (totally different!). This info might be hard/impossible to find, but at the very least before making a final decision you can ask faculty what their past graduates are doing now.

    sorry for the late reply - been on a vacation schedule and staying off the computer mostly!

    jason
     
  12. Jan 5, 2014 #11

    analogdesign

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    Check out the Department of Applied Science at UC Davis. It has close connections with Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Silicon Valley companies. I was extremely impressed by them and I came *really* close to joining that department for graduate school. The Department was founded by Edward Teller himself back in the day.

    http://www.das.ucdavis.edu/
     
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