Engineering Physics Undergraduate Program

The engineering physics program is designed for undergraduates with an interest in both science and engineering. The program is focused on those students who wish to work in areas of rapid technological change, where a good background in the underlying science is an important ingredient to success in their careers. The curriculum includes classical and modern physics, mathematics, and their applications to one or more areas of engineering. The student learns the physical science and engineering principles underlying modern technology. Four design concentrations are offered:

  • Aerospace systems
  • Chemical systems
  • Digital electronic systems
  • Electromechanical control systems

Each option incorporates a significant design component and provides a strong base in one or more engineering disciplines. The degree is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

For programs in physics, see Physics and Astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section of the online catalog.

Educational Objectives

Engineering physics graduates will be capable of

  • Completing or successfully progressing toward completion of an advanced degree in graduate or professional school,
  • Using their analytical, problem-solving, and communications skills to conduct research or contribute to technology development projects, individually or as a team member,
  • Using their background knowledge in physics and engineering fundamentals as a foundation for developing new knowledge and experience in their chosen disciplines.

Careers

Professional Opportunities

Engineering physics enables graduates to combine an extensive background in physics, the science that underlies modern technology, with an engineering degree. Their broad training and technical breadth provide a unique flexibility. They have the science background to pursue pure research opportunities, the engineering degree and design concentration to solve practical problems in industry or a variety of other settings, and the understanding to act as a communication link between highly diversified divisions of an organization. Engineering physics graduates typically work in aerospace and avionic industries, electronics industries, research and development laboratories, telecommunications, design and consulting firms, and government agencies, and as defense contractors. Many engineering physics graduates attend graduate or professional school before entering the work force.

Undergraduate Admission to the School of Engineering

Admission to the KU School of Engineering (and its degree programs) is selective.

Students may be admitted to an engineering or computer science degree program as freshmen (first year) students, but all admissions, for both in-state and out-of-state students, are selective. Applications are judged on several factors, such as high school record, scores on national tests, academic record at college or university level, and trend of grades and more. High school transcripts and ACT scores (or equivalent SAT scores) are required.

Minimum Academic Standards for Admission

To be considered for admission to the School of Engineering, beginning first-year students must meet or exceed the following minimum standards:

  • Must be admissible to the University of Kansas by assured admissions or individual review AND
  • Have a 3.0+ GPA AND
  • Have a mathematics ACT score of 22 (or math SAT score of 540).

Important: Simply meeting these requirements won't guarantee admission to a School of Engineering degree program. Students who perform beyond these minimums will have a better probability of being admitted to their selected major.

Minimum Academic Standards for Direct Admission into Degree Program for incoming Freshmen

Students with a 26+ Math ACT (600+ Math SAT) or meet eligibility requirements for MATH 125 (Calculus I) may be admitted directly into their chosen major, with the exception of those seeking admission into an EECS program. Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Interdisciplinary Computing students must have a 28+ Math ACT (640+ Math SAT) or eligibility for MATH 125 for direct admission.

First-Year General Engineering Program

Students with a 22-25 Math ACT (540-580 Math SAT) or meet eligibility requirements for Math 104 (Pre-Calculus) are admitted to the School of Engineering First-Year Experience non-degree program for undergraduate students.

First-year Engineering students have one academic year (two semesters and one summer) to transition into a degree program. Admission to a degree program is possible after one of the following is met:

  • Complete 12+ credit hours at KU, earn a "B" or higher in Math 104 (Pre-Calculus), earn a "C" or higher in all science and engineering courses, and earn a KU GPA of 2.5+ OR
  • Earn a "C" or better in MATH 125 (Calculus I), earn a "C" or better in all science and engineering courses, and earn a KU GPA of 2.5+

Pre-Engineering

Students not admitted directly to the School of Engineering or their major but who are admissible to the university may be admitted to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as a pre-engineering student. They can later re-apply to the School of Engineering during the semester they are completing the admission requirements for transfer students.

Transfer Admission Standards

Applications from all transfer students, whether from other institutions or from other academic schools at the University of Kansas, are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Transfer students must be admissible to KU AND have a cumulative college transferable grade-point average of 2.5+ to be considered. In addition, students must have grades of "C" or better in those courses in math (must include MATH 125 Calculus I or equivalent), science, and engineering applicable to the engineering degree.

Students interested in the Information Technology program are admitted as juniors. They must have completed 60 hours of pre-requisite courses including foundational courses in math, science, and computer science and have a 2.5+ cumulative GPA or better. The Information Technology program resides at the Edwards Campus in Overland Park, KS. Click here for more information.

Current KU Students admitted to other academic units may apply to the School of Engineering by completing a Change of School form. This must be turned in to the School of Engineering Dean's Office by the appropriate deadlines indicated below.

Already Applied to KU, But Not Engineering?

Don't worry. It's not too late to change your mind if you’ve already applied to KU and selected a major outside the School of Engineering. If you think one of the 12 engineering or computer science majors is a better fit for your talents, you can still change your requested major — preferably before May 1 — and be considered for admission to the School of Engineering and all the benefits that go with it.

To update your application, visit Undergraduate Admissions and click on “Change application term, major, mailing address, and/or email address.”

Please contact a member of our recruitment team, 785-864-3881, if you have any difficulty.

Application Deadlines For New Freshman and Transfer Applicants

September 15Priority deadline for current KU students to apply for spring admission to Engineering.
November 1Final deadline for scholarship consideration for incoming freshmen planning to enter in fall or summer semesters.
December 1Final deadline to apply for the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program for incoming freshmen
February 1Final deadline for scholarship consideration for transfer students planning to enter in fall or summer semesters. Applications available for the Engineering Learning Community
February 15Priority deadline for current KU students to apply for summer or fall admission to Engineering.
May 1Enrollment Deposit due.

First- and Second-Year Preparation

Recommended enrollments for the first 2 years vary with the design concentration selected (see below). Consult a departmental advisor as early as possible. Courses common to all concentrations are

Freshman
FallHoursSpringHours
CHEM 150, 130, 170, or 1905KU Core Goal 2.13
KU Core Goal 2.13PHSX 211, and PHSX 216, or PHSX 2135
PHSX 1500.5MATH 1264
MATH 1254 
 12.5 12
Sophomore
FallHoursSpringHours
MATH 1274PHSX 3133
MATH 2902PHSX 3161
PHSX 212, and PHSX 236, or PHSX 2144MATH 220 or 3203
 10 7
Total Hours: 41.5

Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics Degree Requirements

Each student takes a common core of courses and selects 1 of 4 design concentrations.

Common Core

Physics
PHSX 150Seminar in Physics, Astronomy and Engineering Physics0.5
PHSX 211
PHSX 216
General Physics I
and General Physics I Laboratory
5
or PHSX 213 General Physics I Honors
PHSX 212
PHSX 236
General Physics II
and General Physics II Laboratory
4
or PHSX 214 General Physics II Honors
PHSX 313General Physics III3
PHSX 316Intermediate Physics Laboratory I1
PHSX 516Physical Measurements4
or EPHX 516 Physical Measurements
PHSX 521Mechanics I3
or EPHX 521 Mechanics I
PHSX 531Electricity and Magnetism3
or EPHX 531 Electricity and Magnetism
EPHX 601Design of Physical and Electronic Systems4
Chemistry
CHEM 150Chemistry for Engineers (Note: CHEM 170 required for Chemical Systems Concentration)5
or CHEM 130 General Chemistry I
or CHEM 170 Chemistry for the Chemical Sciences I
or CHEM 190 Foundations of Chemistry I, Honors
Mathematics
MATH 125Calculus I4
MATH 126Calculus II4
MATH 127Calculus III4
MATH 290Elementary Linear Algebra2
MATH 220Applied Differential Equations3
or MATH 320 Elementary Differential Equations
KU Core Curriculum Goals 2.1, 2.2, 3H, 3S, 4.1, & 4.2 (21)21

Design Concentrations

Aerospace Systems
AE 245Introduction to Aerospace Engineering3
AE 345Fluid Mechanics3
AE 421Aerospace Computer Graphics3
AE 445Aircraft Aerodynamics and Performance3
AE 507Aerospace Structures I3
AE 545Fundamentals of Aerodynamics4
AE 550Dynamics of Flight I4
AE 551Dynamics of Flight II4
AE 572Fundamentals of Jet Propulsion3
C&PE 121Introduction to Computers in Engineering3
C&PE 221Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics3
CE 301Statics and Dynamics5
CE 310Strength of Materials4
EPHX 536Electronic Circuit Measurement and Design4
Select one of the following tracks:7
For the aircraft track
Aerospace Structures II (3)
Aerospace Systems Design I (4)
Or for the spacecraft track
Spacecraft Systems (3)
Space Systems Design (4)
Chemical Systems
C&PE 121Introduction to Computers in Engineering3
C&PE 211Material and Energy Balances4
C&PE 221Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics3
C&PE 511Momentum Transfer3
C&PE 512Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics II3
C&PE 521Heat Transfer3
C&PE 522Economic Appraisal of Chemical and Petroleum Projects2
C&PE 523Mass Transfer4
C&PE 524Chemical Engineering Kinetics and Reactor Design3
C&PE 613Chemical Engineering Design I4
C&PE 615Introduction to Process Dynamics and Control3
C&PE 616Chemical Engineering Laboratory I3
C&PE 623Chemical Engineering Design II2
CHEM 135General Chemistry II5
or CHEM 175 Chemistry for the Chemical Sciences II
CHEM 330Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 530Physical Chemistry I3
EPHX 536Electronic Circuit Measurement and Design4
EPHX 511Introductory Quantum Mechanics3
Digital Electronic Systems
EECS 140Introduction to Digital Logic Design4
EECS 168Programming I4
EECS 268Programming II4
EECS 211Circuits I3
EECS 212Circuits II4
EECS 312Electronic Circuits I3
EECS 360Signal and System Analysis4
EECS 388Embedded Systems4
EECS 443Digital Systems Design4
EECS 448Software Engineering I4
EECS 461Probability and Statistics3
EECS 470Electronic Devices and Properties of Materials3
EECS 541Computer Systems Design Laboratory I3
EECS 542Computer Systems Design Laboratory II3
EECS 645Computer Architecture3
One EECS Elective (specific electives not required)3
EPHX 511Introductory Quantum Mechanics3
Electromechanical Control Systems
EECS 140Introduction to Digital Logic Design4
EECS 168Programming I4
EECS 268Programming II4
EECS 211Circuits I3
EECS 212Circuits II4
EECS 312Electronic Circuits I3
EECS 360Signal and System Analysis4
EECS 444Control Systems3
or ME 682 System Dynamics and Control Systems
EPHX 511Introductory Quantum Mechanics3
ME 210Introduction to Mechanics1
ME 228Computer Graphics3
ME 311Mechanics of Materials3
ME 312Basic Engineering Thermodynamics3
ME 501Mechanical Engineering Design Process2
ME 628Mechanical Design3
ME 640Design Project2
Select one of the following:2-4
Design Project Option A
Design Project Option B
Design Project Option C
Additional engineering elective3

Credit for Foreign Language

Foreign language courses are not applicable to this degree program.

Graduation Plans

A suggested graduation plan for each of the design concentrations is available on the Engineering Physics website.

Departmental Honors

Engineering physics undergraduates may graduate with departmental honors by achieving a minimum grade-point average of 3.5 in major courses taken in residence and at other institutions, by completing at least 1 credit hour of undergraduate research with a grade of B or better in EPHX 501 or EPHX 503, and the results presented in a manner specified by the Department. Please see your advisor for details.