Engineering PhysicsEngineering Physics
It might seem like engineering physics is someone’s idea of a cruel joke—combining two of the toughest majors into one. But no pain, no gain, my friend! And gains in this field come in the form of a wide blanket of job opportunities and—if you play your cards right—a pretty nice-looking starting salary. Engineering physics majors blend courses from engineering, physics, and math to build an understanding of how these areas interact and support each other. You’ll boost your knowledge of the physical environment while discovering how physics is applied to problem-solving in our rapidly changing high-tech world. You were the kid who took first prize at the science fair? You secretly liked helping friends with their math homework? Perfect. As an engineering physics major, you’ll study the fundamentals and intricacies of both engineering and physics, including electricity, magnetism, statics, strength of materials, thermodynamics, and fluid dynamics. Want more? Some programs include research in space science, superconductivity, optical materials, and nuclear engineering. You’ll also take courses in calculus and differential equations. Laboratory work will teach you how to use experimental techniques and will give you hands-on experience with high-tech equipment. An engineering physics major comes in handy for a range of job opportunities, including positions in research and development (“R&D”) at high-technology industries as well as jobs in national laboratories and universities. Further career development may lead to a position as staff engineer, scientist, or technical director.
If you’re thinking of majoring in engineering physics, you must like science—which is a good thing, because you’ll need to take a lot of it in high school to prepare for your college studies. Take courses in physics, chemistry, biology, calculus, and any other math and science courses you can, taking advanced-level classes if they’re offered. Scientists must also be good communicators, so be sure to take English, foreign language, and other humanities courses that will help you strengthen your reading, writing, and speaking skills.