Engineering Physics, BS
for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics
department catalog page: Physics
department website: Department of Physics
department faculty: Physics Faculty
overview of college admissions & requirements: Engineering
college website: Engineering
email: undergradinfo@physics.illinois.edu
The Engineering Physics curriculum is a flexible program that combines a firm foundation in physics and mathematics with the freedom to choose from a diverse range of technical options. 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
A technical grade point average requirement for graduation applies to students in this curriculum. This rule is summarized at the College of Engineering's Undergraduate Advising Website.
Overview of Curricular Requirements
The curriculum requires 128 hours for graduation and is organized as shown below.
Orientation and Professional Development
These courses introduce the opportunities and resources your college, department, and curriculum can offer you as you work to achieve your career goals. They also provide the skills to work effectively and successfully in the engineering profession.
Code  Title  Hours 

ENG 100  Engineering Orientation ^{1}  0 
PHYS 110  Physics Careers ^{1}  0 
Total Hours  0 
^{1}  External transfer students take ENG 300 instead. 
Foundational Mathematics and Science
These courses stress the basic mathematical and scientific principles upon which the engineering discipline is based.
Code  Title  Hours 

MATH 221  Calculus I ^{1}  4 
MATH 231  Calculus II  3 
MATH 241  Calculus III  4 
MATH 285  Intro Differential Equations ^{2}  3 
PHYS 211  University Physics: Mechanics  4 
PHYS 212  University Physics: Elec & Mag  4 
PHYS 213  Univ Physics: Thermal Physics  2 
PHYS 214  Univ Physics: Quantum Physics  2 
CHEM 102  General Chemistry I  3 
CHEM 103  General Chemistry Lab I  1 
CS 101  Intro Computing: Engrg & Sci  3 
Total Hours  33 
^{1}  MATH 220 may be substituted, with four of the five credit hours applying toward the degree. MATH 220 is appropriate for students with no background in calculus. 
^{2} 
Engineering Physics Technical Core
These courses stress fundamental concepts and basic laboratory techniques that comprise the common intellectual understanding of engineering physics.
Code  Title  Hours 

PHYS 225  Relativity & Math Applications  2 
PHYS 325  Classical Mechanics I  3 
PHYS 435  Electromagnetic Fields I  3 
PHYS 486  Quantum Physics I ^{1,2}  4 
or PHYS 485  Atomic Phys & Quantum Theory  
Total Hours  12 
^{1}  If PHYS 486 is chosen, take prerequisite MATH 415, which may be used to meet free elective requirements. 
^{2}  If PHYS 485 is taken, an additional free elective hour or a surplus flexible physics core course hour offsets the onehour credit differential. 
Flexible Physics Core Electives
These courses complement the Engineering Physics Technical Core, extending the intellectual understanding of engineering physics.
Code  Title  Hours 

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.  915  
PHYS 326  Classical Mechanics II  3 
PHYS 401  Classical Physics Lab  3 
PHYS 402  Light  3 or 4 
PHYS 403  Modern Experimental Physics  4 or 5 
PHYS 404  Electronic Circuits  4 or 5 
PHYS 406  Acoustical Physics of Music  4 
PHYS 427  Thermal & Statistical Physics  4 
PHYS 436  Electromagnetic Fields II  3 
PHYS 460  Condensed Matter Physics  4 
PHYS 470  Subatomic Physics  4 
PHYS 475  Introduction to Biophysics  3 or 4 
PHYS 487  Quantum Physics II  4 
Mathematics Elective
Code  Title  Hours 

Mathematics elective, chosen from a departmentally approved list below:  3  
MATH 415  Applied Linear Algebra  3 or 4 
MATH 417  Intro to Abstract Algebra  3 or 4 
MATH 453  Elementary Theory of Numbers  3 or 4 
MATH 412  Graph Theory  3 or 4 
MATH 413  Intro to Combinatorics  3 or 4 
MATH 414  Mathematical Logic  3 or 4 
MATH 482  Linear Programming  3 or 4 
MATH 347  Fundamental Mathematics  3 
MATH 348  Fundamental MathematicsACP  4 
MATH 424  Honors Real Analysis  3 
MATH 441  Differential Equations  3 or 4 
MATH 442  Intro Partial Diff Equations  3 or 4 
MATH 444  Elementary Real Analysis  3 or 4 
MATH 446  Applied Complex Variables  3 or 4 
MATH 447  Real Variables  3 or 4 
MATH 484  Nonlinear Programming  3 or 4 
MATH 489  Dynamics & Differential Eqns  3 or 4 
MATH 402  Non Euclidean Geometry  3 or 4 
MATH 403  Euclidean Geometry  3 or 4 
MATH 423  Differential Geometry  3 or 4 
MATH 432  Set Theory and Topology  3 or 4 
MATH 481  Vector and Tensor Analysis  3 or 4 
MATH 461  Probability Theory  3 or 4 
MATH 463  Statistics and Probability I  4 
MATH 450  Numerical Analysis  3 or 4 
Technical/Professional Option Electives
Students may select from a list of preapproved options or design a custom option, subject to departmental approval. The current preapproved options, requiring 1222 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

PreMed

PreLaw
The course work is selected in consultation with the student's advisor to address an intellectually coherent body of knowledge.
Code  Title  Hours 

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.  1227  
Acoustical Physics  
ECE 210  Analog Signal Processing  4 
ECE 473  Fund of Engrg Acoustics  3 or 4 
Choose 2 classes from the following:  
ECE 310  Digital Signal Processing  3 
ECE 417  Multimedia Signal Processing  4 
ECE 473  Fund of Engrg Acoustics  3 
ECE 402  Electronic Music Synthesis  3 
PHYS 402  Light  3 or 4 
Astrophysics  
ASTR 210  Introduction to Astrophysics  3 
ASTR 404  Stellar Astrophysics  3 
ASTR 350  The Big Bang, Black Holes, and the End of the Universe (OR ASTR 406: Galaxies and the Universe)  3 
ASTR 405  Planetary Systems  3 
ASTR 414  Astronomical Techniques  4 
Atmospheric Science  
ATMS 201  General Physical Meteorology  3 
Choose 4 classes from the following:  
ATMS 301  Atmospheric Thermodynamics  3 
ATMS 302  Atmospheric Dynamics I  3 
ATMS 304  Radiative TransferRemote Sens  3 
ATMS 305  Computing and Data Analysis  3 
ATMS 306  Cloud Physics  3 
ATMS 314  Mesoscale Dynamics  3 
ATMS 405  Boundary Layer Processes  4 
BioPhysics  
CHEM 104  General Chemistry II (OR CHEM 204)  3 
CHEM 105  General Chemistry Lab II (OR CHEM 205)  1 
CHEM 232  Elementary Organic Chemistry I (OR CHEM 236)  3 or 4 
CHEM 233  Elementary Organic Chem Lab I  2 
Choose 2 classes from the following:  
MCB 450  Introductory Biochemistry (OR MCB 354: Biochemistry and Physical Basis of Life)  3 
BIOP 401  Introduction to Biophysics  3 
PHYS 498  Special Topics in Physics (Quantiative Biology)  4 
Business  
TE 100  Introduction to Innovation, Leadership and Engineering Entrepreneurship  1 
TE 360  Lectures in Engineering Entrepreneurship  1 
SE 400  Engineering Law  3 or 4 
TE 333  Creativity, Innovation, Vision  4 
TE 461  Technology Entrepreneurship  3 
TE 450  Startups: Inc, Fund, Contracts, IP  3 
TE 466  HighTech Venture Marketing  2 
ENG 471  Seminar Energy & Sustain Engrg  1 
IE 420  Financial Engineering  3 or 4 
Computational Physics  
CS 173  Discrete Structures (OR MATH 213: Basic Discrete Structures)  3 
CS 225  Data Structures  4 
Choose 3 classes from the following:  
CS 357  Numerical Methods I  3 
CS 420  Parallel Progrmg: Sci & Engrg  3 or 4 
CS 418  Interactive Computer Graphics  3 or 4 
CS 450  Numerical Analysis  3 or 4 
PHYS 298  Freshmen/Sophomore Special Topics in Physics (Computational Physics)  2 
PHYS 498  Special Topics in Physics (Computation in Physics)  3 
Electrical and Computer Engineering  
ECE 110  Introduction to Electronics (OR ECE 205: Electrical and Electronic Circuits)  1 to 3 
ECE 120  Introduction to Computing  4 
ECE 210  Analog Signal Processing  4 
Take 1 class from the following:  
ECE 310  Digital Signal Processing  3 
PHYS 404  Electronic Circuits (or ECE 342: Electronic Circuits)  4 or 5 
ECE 330  Power Ckts & Electromechanics  3 
ECE 385  Digital Systems Laboratory  3 
Energy/Sustainability  
ENG 471  Seminar Energy & Sustain Engrg  1 
ECE 205  Electrical and Electronic Circuits  3 
ATMS 201  General Physical Meteorology  3 
NRES 210  Environmental Economics  3 
ATMS 302  Atmospheric Dynamics I  3 
Choose 1 class from the following:  
NPRE 402  Nuclear Power Engineering  3 or 4 
NPRE 412  Nuclear Power Econ & Fuel Mgmt  3 or 4 
NPRE 470  Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Sources  3 
NPRE 475  Wind Power Systems  3 or 4 
ECE 333  Green Electric Energy  3 
Materials Science  
MSE 280  Engineering Materials  3 
MSE 206  Mechanics for MatSE  4 
MSE 401  Thermodynamics of Materials (OR PHYS 427: Thermal & Statistical Physics)  3 
Choose 1 class from the following:  
MSE 304  Electronic Properties of Matls  3 
MSE 402  Kinetic Processes in Materials  3 
MSE 403  Synthesis of Materials  3 
MSE 405  Microstructure Determination  3 
MSE 406  ThermalMech Behavior of Matls  3 
Nuclear Physics  
PHYS 470  Subatomic Physics  4 
NPRE 402  Nuclear Power Engineering  3 or 4 
Choose 2 classes from the following:  
NPRE 446  Radiation Interact w/Matter I  3 
NPRE 435  Radiological Imaging  3 
NPRE 441  Radiation Protection  4 
Optical Physics  
ECE 455  Optical Electronics  3 or 4 
ECE 460  Optical Imaging  4 
ECE 465  Optical Communications Systems  3 
Choose 1 class from the following:  
PHYS 404  Electronic Circuits  4 or 5 
PHYS 402  Light  3 or 4 
PHYS 436  Electromagnetic Fields II  3 
Law  
LAW 301  Introduction to Law  2 or 3 
JOUR 200  Introduction to Journalism  3 
CMN 211  Business Communication  3 
Choose 2 classes from the following:  
SE 400  Engineering Law  3 or 4 
PS 225  Environmental Politics & Policy  3 
PS 273  Environment and Society  3 
NPRE 480  Energy and Security  3 
ESE 320  Water Planet, Water Crisis  3 
Professional Option  
MATH 415  Applied Linear Algebra  3 or 4 
PHYS 326  Classical Mechanics II  3 
PHYS 436  Electromagnetic Fields II  3 
PHYS 427  Thermal & Statistical Physics  4 
PHYS 487  Quantum Physics II  4 
Choose 1 lab from the following (cannot count toward Flexible Physics Core):  
PHYS 401  Classical Physics Lab  3 
PHYS 402  Light  3 or 4 
PHYS 403  Modern Experimental Physics  4 or 5 
PHYS 404  Electronic Circuits  4 or 5 
Solid State Electronics  
PHYS 404  Electronic Circuits  4 or 5 
PHYS 460  Condensed Matter Physics  4 
ECE 110  Introduction to Electronics  1 to 3 
ECE 444  IC Device Theory & Fabrication  4 
Liberal Education
The liberal education courses develop students’ understanding of human culture and society, build skills of inquiry and critical thinking, and lay a foundation for civic engagement and lifelong learning.
Code  Title  Hours 

Electives from the campus General Education Social and Behavioral Sciences list.  6  
Electives from the campus General Education Humanities and the Arts list.  6  
Electives either from a list approved by the college, or from the campus General Education lists for Social and Behavioral Sciences or Humanities and the Arts.  6  
Total Hours  18 
Students must also complete the campus cultural studies requirement by completing (i) one western/comparative culture(s) course, (ii) one nonwestern culture(s) course, and (iii) one U.S. Minority Culture(s) course from the General Education cultural studies lists. Most students select liberal education courses that simultaneously satisfy these cultural studies requirements. Courses from the western, nonwestern, and U.S. Minority lists that fall into free electives or other categories may also be used satisfy the cultural studies requirements.
Composition
These courses teach fundamentals of expository writing.
Code  Title  Hours 

RHET 105  Writing and Research  4 
Advanced Composition. May be satisfied by completing a course with the Advanced Composition designation in either the social sciences and humanities or the free elective categories.  
Total Hours  4 
Free Electives
These unrestricted electives, subject to certain exceptions as noted at the College of Engineering Advising Website, give the student the opportunity to explore any intellectual area of unique interest. This freedom plays a critical role in helping students to define research specialties or to complete minors.
Code  Title  Hours 

Free electives. Additional unrestricted course work, subject to certain exceptions as noted at the College of Engineering Advising Website, 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.  1337 
for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics
Suggested Sequence
The schedule that follows is illustrative, showing the typical sequence in which courses would be taken by a student with no college course credit already earned and who intends to graduate in four years. Each individual's case may vary, but the position of required named courses is generally indicative of the order in which they should be taken.
First Year  

First Semester  Hours  
CHEM 102  General Chemistry I  3 
CHEM 103  General Chemistry Lab I  1 
ENG 100  Engineering Orientation  0 
MATH 221^{1,2}  Calculus I  4 
PHYS 110  Physics Careers  0 
RHET 105 (or Liberal education elective)^{3,4}  Writing and Research  43 
Liberal education elective^{4}  3  
Semester Hours  1514  
Second Semester  
CS 101  Intro Computing: Engrg Sci  3 
MATH 231  Calculus II  3 
PHYS 211^{2}  University Physics: Mechanics  4 
RHET 105 (or Liberal education elective)^{3,4}  Writing and Research  34 
Liberal education elective^{4}  3  
Semester Hours  1617  
Second Year  
First Semester  
MATH 241  Calculus III  4 
PHYS 212  University Physics: Elec Mag  4 
PHYS 225  Relativity Math Applications  2 
Liberal education electives^{4}  6  
Semester Hours  16  
Second Semester  
MATH 285^{5}  Intro Differential Equations  3 
PHYS 213  Univ Physics: Thermal Physics  2 
PHYS 214  Univ Physics: Quantum Physics  2 
PHYS 325  Classical Mechanics I  3 
Technical/professional option elective^{6}  3  
Liberal education elective^{4}  3  
Semester Hours  16  
Third Year  
First Semester  
MATH 415 (if PHYS 486 will be taken) or Free elective  Applied Linear Algebra  3 
PHYS 435  Electromagnetic Fields I  3 
Flexible physics core elective^{7,8}  3  
Mathematics elective^{9}  3  
Technical/professional option elective^{6}  3  
Free elective  3  
Semester Hours  18  
Second Semester  
PHYS 485 or 486^{10}  Atomic Phys Quantum Theory  34 
Flexible physics core electives^{7,8}  6  
Technical/professional option electives^{6}  6  
Semester Hours  1516  
Fourth Year  
First Semester  
Technical/professional option electives or Free electives^{6,11}  10  
Flexible physics core electives or Free electives^{7,8}  6  
Semester Hours  16  
Second Semester  
Free electives  1110  
Technical/professional option electives or Free electives^{6,11}  5  
Semester Hours  1615  
Total Hours:  128 
^{1}  MATH 220 may be substituted, with four of the five credit hours applying toward the degree. MATH 220 is appropriate for students with no background in calculus. 
^{2}  Students with proficiency or advanced placement (AP or IB) credit in MATH 221 are strongly encouraged to enroll in MATH 231 and PHYS 211 for the first semester. 
^{3}  RHET 105 may be taken in the first or second semester of the first year as authorized. The alternative is a social sciences or humanities elective. 
^{4}  Liberal education electives must include 6 hours of social & behavioral sciences and 6 hours of humanities & the arts course work from the campus General Education lists. The remaining 6 hours may be selected from a list maintained by the college, or additional course work from the campus General Education lists for social & behavioral sciences or humanities & the arts. Students must also complete the campus cultural studies requirement by completing (i) one western/comparative culture(s) course, (ii) one nonwestern culture(s) course, and (iii) one U.S. Minority Culture(s) course from the General Education cultural studies lists. Most students select liberal education courses that simultaneously satisfy these cultural studies requirements. Courses from the western, nonwestern, and U.S. Minority lists that fall into free electives or other categories may also be used satisfy the cultural studies requirements. 
^{5}  
^{6}  To be chosen from a departmentally approved list of Technical/Professional Option Electives, in consultation with the student’s advisor, for the option elected (or a list fashioned for a departmentally approved custom option). The number of credit hours varies 1222 depending upon the option chosen. 
^{7}  The flexible physics core requirement consists of three courses chosen from a departmentally approved list of Flexible Physics Core Electives with at least one of them being a lab course, PHYS 401, PHYS 403, PHYS 404, or PHYS 406. The number of credit hours varies 915 depending upon the courses chosen. 
^{8}  For courses chosen with more than 3 hours credit, the surplus hours may be used to meet free elective requirements. 
^{9}  To be chosen from a departmentally approved list of Mathematics Electives. Any course satisfying the Mathematics Elective cannot be used to satisfy any other requirement. 
^{10}  If PHYS 485 is taken, an additional free elective hour or a surplus flexible physics core course hour offsets the onehour credit differential. 
^{11}  Taken if needed to complete a technical/professional option requiring more than 12 hours of credit. 