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Engineering physics

  1. Sep 26, 2015 #1
    I am, currently, a senior in high school. I am interested in science and particularly in physics. So, I, naturally, want to major in physics when I go to University. But I'm not sure if I want to be a physicist when i grow up and I have also heard about how getting into academia is very hard and usually not possible. Is Engineering Physics a good alternative? How's the job market for a graduate in Engineering physics? Can I go to graduate school and major in physics if I get a bachelor's degree in Engineering Physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2015 #2
    Most job markets are local. You will be better advice from people familiar with your local job markets.

    If you want to go to graduate school in physics, a straight BS in physics would be preferred to engineering physics. You will likely do better on the PGRE and be better prepared for graduate courses in Mechanics, E&M, Quantum Mechanics, and Statistical Mechanics.
  4. Sep 26, 2015 #3
    The main difference I've noted between E. Physics and Physics is that the former involves more 'hands-on' work. Your course load may involve more programming, an emphasis on experimentation, or possibly even some work with machine tools or what I'm going to call device fabrication.
  5. Sep 26, 2015 #4


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    Engineering physics is another way of saying applied physics, it's typically part of engineering department. They call it engineering physics to have the program a part of the ABET accreditation scheme, although the programs can vary immensely between schools. Some programs are more like an engineering (EE ME CE) program with a minor in physics, while others are like a BS in physics with a minor in some field of engineering.

    If you want to go to graduate school for applied physics, then engineering physics is the degree to seek. If you want to go to graduate school for physics, then it's really dependent on the EP program if you'd be adequately prepared or not. As an aside, it's always easier to go to graduate school in the program you got your bachelors in, so if you know you want to go to graduate school for physics, then get a physics bachelors.

    The engineering physics degree would be more employable as a terminal bachelors, although no employer is actively seeking EP majors (or even know what they are more often than not). You'd be able to apply to jobs that specified entry level engineers that some of your course work covered. You could do the same with a bachelors in physics, but with much less success.
  6. Sep 26, 2015 #5
    Is it possible for me to transfer my major form EP to physics while I'm an undergraduate ?
  7. Sep 26, 2015 #6


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    It depends on the school you attend, typically you aren't "locked" into your major until the start of your third year.
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