Engineering Physics, BS

for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics


department website: Department of Physics

department faculty: Physics Faculty


overview of college admissions & requirements: The Grainger College of Engineering

college website: https://grainger.illinois.edu/


In the Physics (Engineering) program, students will study, measure, and manipulate the fundamental interactions of matter, energy, space, and time. This fundamental branch of science forms the foundation of all natural sciences and engineering disciplines. Students in this major will gain a deep conceptual and mathematical understanding of the world through their coursework and hands-on learning opportunities. This program will give students the tools to quantitatively break down complex problems to solve scientific mysteries and reveal the inner workings of nature. Further, the program will provide students with the keys to a wide range of challenging and fulfilling careers, whether they plan to enter a graduate or professional school or join the private-sector workforce after graduation. There is also the option for students to earn a Secondary Education minor and obtain certification to teach Physics in high schools.

The Physics (Engineering) program provides a solid training in fundamental physics, but also allows space for electives through a diverse range of technical options. This provides students flexibility to take more advanced Physics coursework or pursue other interests. Students may select from a list of pre-approved options or design a custom option, subject to departmental approval. The current pre-approved options, requiring 12-22 credit hours of course work, are:

  • Acoustical Physics

  • Astrophysics

  • Atmospheric Science

  • Biophysics

  • Business

  • Computational Physics

  • Computer Engineering

  • Energy/Sustainability

  • Materials Science

  • Nuclear Physics

  • Optical Physics

  • Law

  • Professional Physics

  • Solid State Electronics

  • Pre-Med

  • Pre-Law

The course work is selected in consultation with the student's advisor to address an intellectually coherent body of knowledge. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for a wide variety of technical and professional careers, including graduate study in physics or a closely allied field.

for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics


Graduation Requirements

Minimum Technical GPA: 2.0

TGPA is required for Math and Physics courses. See Technical GPA to clarify requirements.

Minimum Overall GPA: 2.0


Minimum hours required for graduation: 128 hours


General education: Students must complete the Campus General Education requirements including the campus general education language requirement.


Orientation and Professional Development

ENG 100Engineering Orientation 10
PHYS 110Physics Careers 10
Total Hours0

Foundational Mathematics and Science

MATH 221Calculus I 24
MATH 231Calculus II3
MATH 241Calculus III4
MATH 285Intro Differential Equations 33
PHYS 211University Physics: Mechanics4
PHYS 212University Physics: Elec & Mag4
PHYS 213Univ Physics: Thermal Physics2
PHYS 214Univ Physics: Quantum Physics2
CHEM 102General Chemistry I3
CHEM 103General Chemistry Lab I1
CS 101Intro Computing: Engrg & Sci3
Total Hours33

Engineering Physics Technical Core

PHYS 225Relativity & Math Applications2
PHYS 325Classical Mechanics I3
PHYS 435Electromagnetic Fields I3
PHYS 486Quantum Physics I 44
or PHYS 485 Atomic Phys & Quantum Theory
Total Hours12

Flexible Physics Core Electives

Flexible physics core electives. Choose three courses from a departmentally approved list below, with at least one being a lab course (PHYS 401, PHYS 402, PHYS 403, PHYS 404, or PHYS 406). The number of hours varies depending upon the courses chosen.9-15
PHYS 326Classical Mechanics II3
PHYS 401Classical Physics Lab3
PHYS 402Light3 or 4
PHYS 403Modern Experimental Physics4 or 5
PHYS 404Electronic Circuits4 or 5
PHYS 406Acoustical Physics of Music4
PHYS 427Thermal & Statistical Physics4
PHYS 436Electromagnetic Fields II3
PHYS 460Condensed Matter Physics4
PHYS 470Subatomic Physics4
PHYS 475Introduction to Biophysics3 or 4
PHYS 487Quantum Physics II4

Mathematics Elective

Mathematics elective, chosen from a departmentally approved list below:3
CS 357Numerical Methods I3
CS 450Numerical Analysis3 or 4
MATH 415Applied Linear Algebra3 or 4
MATH 417Intro to Abstract Algebra3 or 4
MATH 453Number Theory3 or 4
MATH 412Graph Theory3 or 4
MATH 413Intro to Combinatorics3 or 4
MATH 414Mathematical Logic3 or 4
MATH 482Linear Programming3 or 4
MATH 347Fundamental Mathematics3
MATH 348Fundamental Mathematics-ACP4
MATH 424Honors Real Analysis3
MATH 441Differential Equations3 or 4
MATH 442Intro Partial Diff Equations3 or 4
MATH 444Elementary Real Analysis3 or 4
MATH 446Applied Complex Variables3 or 4
MATH 447Real Variables3 or 4
MATH 484Nonlinear Programming3 or 4
MATH 489Dynamics & Differential Eqns3 or 4
MATH 402Non Euclidean Geometry3 or 4
MATH 403Euclidean Geometry3 or 4
MATH 423Differential Geometry3 or 4
MATH 432Set Theory and Topology3 or 4
MATH 481Vector and Tensor Analysis3 or 4
MATH 461Probability Theory3 or 4
MATH 463Statistics and Probability I4
MATH 450Numerical Analysis3 or 4

Technical/Professional Option Electives

Technical/professional option electives for the option selected, chosen from a departmentally approved list of Technical/Professional Option Electives (or a list designed for a departmentally approved custom option) below. The number of hours varies depending upon the option chosen. 12-22
Acoustical Physics
ECE 210Analog Signal Processing4
ECE 473Fund of Engrg Acoustics3 or 4
Choose 2 classes from the following:
ECE 310Digital Signal Processing3
ECE 417Multimedia Signal Processing4
ECE 473Fund of Engrg Acoustics3
ECE 402Electronic Music Synthesis3
PHYS 402Light3 or 4
Astrophysics
ASTR 210Introduction to Astrophysics3
ASTR 350The Big Bang, Black Holes, and the End of the Universe (OR ASTR 406: Galaxies and the Universe)3
ASTR 404Stellar Astrophysics3
ASTR 405Planetary Systems3
ASTR 414Astronomical Techniques4
Atmospheric Science
ATMS 201General Physical Meteorology3
Choose 4 classes from the following:
ATMS 301Atmospheric Thermodynamics3
ATMS 302Atmospheric Dynamics I3
ATMS 304Radiative Transfer-Remote Sens3
ATMS 305Computing and Data Analysis3
ATMS 306Cloud Physics3
ATMS 314Mesoscale Dynamics3
ATMS 405Boundary Layer Processes4
BioPhysics
CHEM 104General Chemistry II (OR CHEM 204)3
CHEM 105General Chemistry Lab II (OR CHEM 205)1
CHEM 232Elementary Organic Chemistry I (OR CHEM 236)3 or 4
CHEM 233Elementary Organic Chem Lab I2
Choose 2 classes from the following:
BIOP 401Introduction to Biophysics3
MCB 450Introductory Biochemistry (OR MCB 354: Biochemistry and Physical Basis of Life)3
PHYS 498Special Topics in Physics (Quantiative Biology)4
Business
ENG 471Seminar Energy & Sustain Engrg1
IE 420Financial Engineering3 or 4
SE 400Engineering Law3 or 4
TE 100Introduction to Innovation, Leadership and Engineering Entrepreneurship1
TE 360Lectures in Engineering Entrepreneurship1
TE 333Creativity, Innovation, Vision4
TE 461Technology Entrepreneurship3
TE 450Startups: Incorporation, Funding, Contracts, & Intellectual Property3
TE 466High-Tech Venture Marketing2
Computational Physics
CS 173Discrete Structures (OR MATH 213: Basic Discrete Structures)3
CS 225Data Structures4
Choose 3 classes from the following:
CS 357Numerical Methods I3
CS 420Parallel Progrmg: Sci & Engrg3 or 4
CS 418Interactive Computer Graphics3 or 4
CS 450Numerical Analysis3 or 4
PHYS 298Freshmen/Sophomore Special Topics in Physics (Computational Physics)2
PHYS 498Special Topics in Physics (Computation in Physics)3
Electrical and Computer Engineering
ECE 110Introduction to Electronics (OR ECE 205: Electrical and Electronic Circuits)1 to 3
ECE 120Introduction to Computing4
ECE 210Analog Signal Processing4
Take 1 class from the following:
ECE 310Digital Signal Processing3
ECE 330Power Ckts & Electromechanics3
ECE 385Digital Systems Laboratory3
PHYS 404Electronic Circuits (or ECE 342: Electronic Circuits)4 or 5
Energy/Sustainability
ATMS 201General Physical Meteorology3
ATMS 302Atmospheric Dynamics I3
ECE 205Electrical and Electronic Circuits3
ENG 471Seminar Energy & Sustain Engrg1
NRES 210Environmental Economics3
Choose 1 class from the following:
ECE 333Green Electric Energy3
NPRE 402Nuclear Power Engineering3 or 4
NPRE 412Nuclear Power Econ & Fuel Mgmt3 or 4
NPRE 470Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Sources3
NPRE 475Wind Power Systems3 or 4
Materials Science
MSE 206Mechanics for MatSE4
MSE 280Engineering Materials3
MSE 401Thermodynamics of Materials (OR PHYS 427: Thermal & Statistical Physics)3
Choose 1 class from the following:
MSE 304Electronic Properties of Matls3
MSE 402Kinetic Processes in Materials3
MSE 403Synthesis of Materials3
MSE 405Microstructure Determination3
MSE 406Thermal-Mech Behavior of Matls3
Nuclear Physics
NPRE 402Nuclear Power Engineering3 or 4
PHYS 470Subatomic Physics4
Choose 2 classes from the following:
NPRE 435Radiological Imaging3
NPRE 441Radiation Protection4
NPRE 446Radiation Interact w/Matter I3
Optical Physics
ECE 455Optical Electronics3 or 4
ECE 460Optical Imaging4
ECE 465Optical Communications Systems3
Choose 1 class from the following:
PHYS 402Light3 or 4
PHYS 404Electronic Circuits4 or 5
PHYS 436Electromagnetic Fields II3
Law
CMN 211Business and Professional Communication3
JOUR 200Introduction to Journalism3
LAW 301Introduction to Law2 or 3
Choose 2 classes from the following:
ESE 320Water Planet, Water Crisis3
NPRE 480Energy and Security3
PS 225Environmental Politics & Policy3
PS 273Environment and Society3
SE 400Engineering Law3 or 4
Professional Option
MATH 415Applied Linear Algebra3 or 4
PHYS 326Classical Mechanics II3
PHYS 436Electromagnetic Fields II3
PHYS 427Thermal & Statistical Physics4
PHYS 487Quantum Physics II4
Choose 1 lab from the following (cannot count toward Flexible Physics Core):
PHYS 401Classical Physics Lab3
PHYS 402Light3 or 4
PHYS 403Modern Experimental Physics4 or 5
PHYS 404Electronic Circuits4 or 5
Solid State Electronics
ECE 110Introduction to Electronics1 to 3
ECE 444IC Device Theory & Fabrication4
PHYS 404Electronic Circuits4 or 5
PHYS 460Condensed Matter Physics4

Electives

Free Electives
The Grainger College of Engineering Liberal Education course list, or additional courses from the campus General Education lists for Social and Behavrioal Sciences or Humanities and the Arts 56
Free electives. Additional unrestricted course work, subject to certain exceptions as noted by the College, so that there are at least 128 credit hours earned toward the degree. The number of hours varies depending upon the total hours earned in both the Flexible Physics Core and the Technical/Professional Option and whether or not MATH 415 and PHYS 486 are taken in place of PHYS 485. 613-37
Total Hours of Curriculum to Graduate128

for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics


Suggested Sequence

The curriculum sequence below is a suggested sequence, as all Grainger Engineering students work with a department academic advisor to achieve their educational goals, specific to their needs and preparation. Dynamic and Static curricular maps, which include prerequisite sequencing, can be found here (with Tech Electives) and here (Professional Track).

First Year
First SemesterHours
PHYS 110Physics Careers0
ENG 100Engineering Orientation0
MATH 2211,2Calculus I4
CHEM 102General Chemistry I3
CHEM 103General Chemistry Lab I1
RHET 105 (or General education elective)3,4Writing and Research4-3
General education elective43
 Semester Hours15-14
Second Semester
CS 101Intro Computing: Engrg Sci3
MATH 231Calculus II3
PHYS 2112University Physics: Mechanics4
General Education elective (or RHET 105)3,43-4
General Education elective43
 Semester Hours16-17
Second Year
First Semester
MATH 241Calculus III4
PHYS 212University Physics: Elec Mag4
PHYS 225Relativity Math Applications2
General education electives46
 Semester Hours16
Second Semester
MATH 2855Intro Differential Equations3
PHYS 213Univ Physics: Thermal Physics2
PHYS 214Univ Physics: Quantum Physics2
PHYS 325Classical Mechanics I3
Technical/professional option elective63
General education elective43
 Semester Hours16
Third Year
First Semester
MATH 415Applied Linear Algebra3
PHYS 435Electromagnetic Fields I3
Flexible physics core elective7,83
Mathematics elective93
Technical/professional option elective63
Free elective3
 Semester Hours18
Second Semester
Flexible physics core electives7,86
Technical/professional option electives610
 Semester Hours16
Fourth Year
First Semester
PHYS 485 or 48610Atomic Phys Quantum Theory3-4
Technical/professional option electives or Free electives6,116
Flexible physics core electives or Free electives7,86
 Semester Hours15-16
Second Semester
Free electives11-10
Technical/professional option electives or Free electives6,115
 Semester Hours16-15
 Total Hours: 128