B.S. in Engineering Physics

The Engineering Physics major is physics with an emphasis on applications to practical problems in science and engineering. It is designed to prepare you for advanced study in physics, engineering, or other scientific disciplines, or for employment in a wide variety of technical settings. 

The curriculum contains a solid foundation in physics, deeper than what is obtained typically in a standard engineering program. This stronger foundation in basic science makes students more agile in mastering new topics, technologies, and techniques throughout their careers. Core courses from engineering add practical applications, and electives in physics and engineering allow the program to be tailored to your interests. You can focus more on physics, or on mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering applications. 

A distinctive feature of our program is the integration of numerical and computational methods for solving scientific problems throughout the core physics curriculum. Students get experience in programming, numerical analysis, and data visualization, skills that are vital for real-world scientists and engineers. 

You are also encouraged to participate in research with a faculty member, which, depending on interests, may start as early as the freshman year. Such projects take you far beyond normal classroom and textbook work, engaging your curiosity, creativity, and collaboration. The value of these experiences, both for deepening understanding and for enhancing self-confidence and intellectual maturity, are tremendous. 

Detailed Curriculum Information

Required Math Courses
MATH 1700 Calculus I
MATH 1800 Calculus II
MATH 2500 Linear Algebra
MATH 2700 Multivariable Calculus
Required Engineering Courses
ENGR 2100 Dynamics
ENGR 2200 Thermal-Fluid Science
Required Physics Courses
PHYS 1500 Principles of Physics I
PHYS 1600 Principles of Physics II
PHYS 2700 Principles of Modern Phys
PHYS 3050 Theoretical Mechanics
PHYS 3000 Classical Mechanics I
PHYS 3100 Electricity and Magnetism
PHYS 3150 Electrodynamics
PHYS 3500 Advanced Lab (WI)


4 courses (12 hours) in ENGR or PHYS at the 3000+ level. At least one course from PHYS and one course from ENGR. 

Student Learning Outcomes University Learning Goals (KMERI*)
I. Understand core physics and engineering concepts and principles. Knowledgeable
I. a. Understand principles of classical mechanics Knowledgeable
I. b. Understand principles of electrodynamics Knowledgeable
I. c. Understand the principles of at least one subfield of engineering Knowledgeable
II. Develop problem solving and critical thinking skills Multi-literate
II. a. Be able to identify the essential aspects of a problem and formulate a strategy for its solution using mathematical, graphical, and conceptual representations as appropriate Multi-literate
II. b. Be able to apply appropriate techniques (mathematical, computational) to solve a problem Multi-literate
II. c. Be able to critically evaluate a solution for correctness, for example using estimation, examination of limiting cases, and dimensional analysis Multi-literate
III. Develop laboratory experience and skills Knowledgeable, Responsible, Inquisitive
III. a. Given guidance and appropriate equipment, be able to collaboratively design and carry out an experiment to test a hypothesis or measure a physical constant Inquisitive
III. b. Be able to analyze experimental data, including identifying sources of statistical and systematic error and quantifying uncertainty Responsible
III. c. Be familiar with standard lab equipment Knowledgeable
IV. Develop communication skills Multi-literate
IV. a. Be able to express in writing their understanding of physical principles, the results of experiments, and their analysis of physical problems Multi-literate
IV. b. Be able to express orally their understanding of physical principles, the results of experiments, and their analysis of physical problems Multi-literate
IV. c. Be able to produce effective reports as a team Multi-literate
V. Have the flexibility to effectively solve problems across engineering disciplines Engaged, Responsible, Inquisitive
V. a. Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary problems in engineering Inquisitive
V. b. Understand the broad context within which engineering decisions are made Engaged
V. c. Be able to manage project costs, deadlines, and deliverables Responsible

*NOTE: KMERI refers to Otterbein's learning goals. It stands for KnowledgeableMulti-literateEngagedResponsible, and Inquisitive. To learn more about KMERI, visit our University Learning Goals page.