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Engineering Physics vs. Honors Physics

  1. Do Engineering Physics

    6 vote(s)
  2. Do Honors Physics

    8 vote(s)
  1. Jul 11, 2010 #1

    I am trying to decide between the engineering physics program and the honors physics program at my university. The engineering physics program at my university is fairly similar to this one: http://www.engphys.ubc.ca/courses.html [Broken]. The honors physics program is fairly standard.

    My ultimate goal is to become an experimental physicist in a yet to be determined field. I am indifferent to working in industry or academia.

    Engineering physics requires ~45 more credits to graduate but gives me enough electrical engineering knowledge to get a P.Eng in electrical engineering if I so choose.

    The honours physics program includes an honours thesis in the final year which could lead to a publication which would be beneficial for grad school.

    What do all of you think?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2010 #2
    Please help out. :)
  4. Jul 11, 2010 #3
    It is all about if you want to spend another year to get the extra options given by eng phys? It contains everything you could expect from a physics bachelor so it wont hold you back in that department.
  5. Jul 12, 2010 #4
    I may be a bit partial, as I'm taking a 5 years engineering physics program in Sweden, including both a 3 years bachelor and a 2 years masters degree. We definitely get a fair bit of both subjects in the first three years - and I'm going to use the masters to go more into theoretical physics, including some PhD courses, so the level is not a problem either.

    The UBC courses do seem similar (in names) to ones we have. I'd say that perhaps there is an advantage to knowing some engineering if you want to construct experimental setups, but then again it's hardly impossible for a physicist to learn circuit analysis when the time comes. However, this way you get a little broader engineering knowledge, which would also help you in industry jobs if you don't end up as an experimentalist.
  6. Jul 12, 2010 #5
    To me it seems that the UBC Engineering Physics course is really meant to prepare you more of an engineer than a physicst.

    In Europe, Engineering Physics is the revised name for "Technical Physics".
    In Technical Physics you study more or less the same physics courses as the other majors but you have to do some applied science lectures (e.g. mechanical engineering).

    There is one issue here, you can be an experimentalist either way, but if you want to be an experimental physicist I think the Physics honors degree would be more suitable.

    You never know, say you don't like the whole applied thing later and found your calling in theoretical physics.

    I talked to a few physicsts who started doing research in fields that are new them (experimental), they just learned the very basic during the bachelor, and for their experiments had to learn new things naturally.
  7. Jul 13, 2010 #6
    Thanks for your advice everyone, I've already made my decision now so please stop replying to this thread.
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