Department of Physics

Engineering Physics

What is Engineering Physics?

Engineering Physics combines courses in physics and mathematics with several diverse courses in engineering.  Serving the foundation of the program is a set of courses that provides a fundamental understanding of traditional topics in physics including the motion of solid bodies, sound, fluids, electricity, magnetism, and the interaction between light and matter.  These “foundational” courses describe how theories about natural phenomena are deduced from experiments and observations, develop the mathematical formalism through which these theories are expressed, and present techniques for using this formalism to describe and analyze systems.  Overarching these “foundational” courses are a set of “engineering” courses that focus on the application of scientific principles toward the design and construction of structures, materials, devices and systems that serve an intended function.  A senior capstone experience provided through a two-semester sequence teaches the product development process typically utilized in the engineering community and enables students to experience the process from idea conception through production. 

The program is intended for students who want a solid foundation in physics and a rigorous set of engineering courses that will allow them to pursue an engineering related career or an advanced degree in engineering. In addition, the program provides students interested in other specialized fields of Engineering a clear track to pursue a 1-year Masters in Engineering or a 2-year, research-based Masters in Science at the University of Cincinnati in:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Science Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Civil Engineering

Why Engineering Physics at Xavier?

The engineering physics program provides students with a strong foundation from which to pursue an engineering career or an advanced degree (PhD or Masters) in engineering, doing so from the advantage of a small, liberal arts setting that is advantaged by:

  • Hands-on, project based curriculum
  • State of the art testing and measurement equipment, and research labs
  • Small classes
  • Close interaction between faculty and student
  • University specific-values\community service
  • Connection with the local industries

Career Options

Many employers value the unique problem solving approach of Engineers with rigorous physics background (those are Engineering Physicists!).

Engineering Physics graduates tend to work on cutting edge ideas in science and technology, with opportunities in both industry and academia. Career options after graduation might include aerospace, biomedicine, renewable energy, quantum information, semiconductor electronics, microwave engineering and wireless systems, and materials development. Careers could also include intellectual property and patent law, systems engineering teaching, and management in a technical field.

  • Designing and manufacturing of electronic devices and integrated circuits
  • Telecommunications and networking
  • Robotics and manufacturing systems
  • Avionics and transportation
  • Biotechnology and biomedical devices
  • Computer and information technology
  • Intellectual property and patent law
  • Research and development in national and private industry laboratories
  • Teaching
  • Sales, marketing and management in the above areas

Engineering Physics majors are also very well prepared to pursue advanced degrees (Masters or PhD) in engineering, bio-medicine, physics and other technical disciplines. Since engineering programs typically offer scholarships and teaching/research assistantships, the total cost can be comparable to or less than that of obtaining a traditional 5 year engineering degree.

Program Education Objectives

  1. To equip students with the necessary engineering and physics fundamentals and technical knowledge for professional success in:
    • Technical careers in industry and government in wide range of engineering disciplines such as: Electrical, Mechanical, Aerospace, and Industrial Engineering, and Applied Science fields including: Electronics, Telecommunications, Robotics, Avionics, Biotechnology and Biomedical Devices, Data Analytics, Software Development and Information Technology.
    • Research and Development in Government and Industry Laboratories.
    • Non-technical careers such as Intellectual Property and Patent Law, Education, Medicine, and Public Policy.
    • Entrepreneurship, Business Development, Business Management, Product Development and Marketing careers.
  2. To prepare students to successfully progress towards earning an advanced degree in a technical or non-technical field.
  3. To produce graduates who work effectively either individually or as team members on multi-disciplinary projects in diverse professional environments by utilizing outstanding communication skills and a deep commitment to ethical and social responsibilities.

Student Outcomes

Student who graduate with an Engineering Physics degree will have:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Student Enrollment and Graduation Data

Course Sequence

The four-year course sequence for the engineering physics major can be found on the Xavier Engineering Physics Fact Page

Related Minors

  • Mathematics Minor - can be satisfied with 6 additional credit hours beyond program requirements.
  • Applied Mathematics Minor - can be satisfied with 3 additional credit hours beyond program requirements.
  • Statistics Minor - can be satisfied with 9 additional credit hours beyond program requirements.
  • Computer Science Minor - can be satisfied with 9 additional credit hours beyond program requirements. CS department will substitute ENGR354 (microprocessors) for a program elective.