Engineering Physics

The engineering physics program focuses on the foundations of modern technology. The program prepares students for research, development, and entrepreneurial careers in many frontier areas of engineering, including quantum devices, ultra fast lasers, adaptive optics, cryogenic electronics, computer simulation of physical systems, solar cells, magnetic storage technology, micro-mechanical systems, and molecular electronics. All students study the core theoretical subjects of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermal physics, and quantum mechanics, supplemented by courses in mathematics, computation, and laboratory technique. The program can be tailored to a student’s interests through electives in engineering, physics, or other sciences.

Bachelor's Degree Program(s)

Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Physics


During the freshman and sophomore years, students receive a broad introduction to physics and chemistry as well as five semesters of applied mathematics and mathematical methods in physics. Starting in the junior year, students take a full year of electrodynamics, a year of quantum mechanics, a semester of classical mechanics, a semester of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, a year of physical chemistry, and an additional semester of advanced mathematics. Laboratory courses emphasize student-developed and student-designed independent projects where students use the knowledge acquired to build apparatus of their own choosing. The Advanced Laboratory (PHYS 4430) provides students with hands-on experience with optical spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, scanning tunneling microscopy, and laser cooling and trapping of atoms, among other experiments. The program encourages the formation of student research collaborations with faculty in the pursuit of senior thesis projects. Recent projects include research in pulsed laser deposition of high-temperature superconductors, electron diffraction studies of protein structure, and lattice distortion theory of colossal magnetoresistance materials.

Additional information about the bachelor’s degree in engineering physics may be obtained from the physics department, Duane Physics E-1B32, by phone at 303-492-6953, or online at

Students who plan to become registered professional engineers should check the requirements for registration in their state before choosing their engineering electives.

In order to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics, students must complete the curriculum in the undergraduate major programs available through the Department of Physics. (Some variations may be possible; see an engineering physics advisor.) In addition, students must meet the general undergraduate degree requirements of the College of Engineering and Applied Science. 

Curriculum for BS in Engineering Physics

Below is a typical schedule only. For a complete description of the engineering physics course requirements, go to

Required Courses and Semester Credit Hours

Freshman Year
Fall Semester

  • APPM 1350 Calculus 1 for Engineers—4
  • MCEN 1025 or AREN 1027 CAD/Engineering Drawing (Note 1)—3
  • PHYS 1110 General Physics 1—4
  • Humanities or social science electives (Note 2)—6

Spring Semester

  • APPM 1360 Calculus 2 for Engineers —4
  • CSCI 1300 Computer Science 1: Programming (Note 1) —4
  • PHYS 1120 General Physics 2—4
  • PHYS 1140 Experimental Physics—1
  • Humanities or social science elective  (Note 2)—3

Sophomore Year
Fall Semester

  • APPM 2350 Calculus 3 for Engineers —4
  • CHEM 1221 General Chemistry Lab for Engineers (Note 5)—2
  • CHEN 1211 General Chemistry for Engineers (Note 5)—3
  • PHYS 2150 Experimental Physics—1
  • PHYS 2170 Foundations of Modern Physics—3
  • Elective (Note 3) —3

Spring Semester

  • APPM 2360 Introduction to Differential Equations with Linear Algebra—4
  • PHYS 2210 Classical Mechanics and Math Methods 1—3
  • Elective (Note 3) —3
  • Humanities or social science elective (Note 2)—3

Junior Year
Fall Semester

  • CHEM 4521 Physical Chemistry (Note 5)—3
  • PHYS 3210 Classical Mechanics and Math Methods 2—3
  • PHYS 3310 Principles of Electricity and Magnetism 1—3
  • PHYS 3330 Junior Laboratory—2
  • Upper-division mathematics elective —3
  • Elective (Note 3)—3

Spring Semester

  • CHEM 4541 Physical Chemistry Lab (Note 5)—2
  • PHYS 3220 Quantum Mechanics—3
  • PHYS 3320 Principles of Electricity and Magnetism 2—3
  • Physics elective (Note 4)—6
  • Elective (Note 3)—3

Senior Year
Fall Semester

  • PHYS 4230 Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics—3
  • PHYS 4410 Atomic and Nuclear Physics —3
  • Electives (Note 3)—8
  • WRTG 3030 Writing on Science and Society—3

Spring Semester

  • Engineering electives (Note 3)—10-12
  • Physics electives (Note 4)—3-5
  • Humanities or social science elective  (Note 2)—3
    Minimum total hours for the degree—128
Curriculum Notes
1. Engineering physics computer science/drafting requirement (6–8 hours) is as follows: CSCI 1300-4 or GEEN 1300-3, plus AREN 1027-3 or MCEN 1025-3 or second computer science course (of at least 3 credit hours) other than CSCI 1300 or GEEN 1300.
2. A total of 18 credit hours of humanities or social science courses is required. See for specific requirements.
3. Engineering electives: 17–19 engineering elective hours above and beyond the required courses for engineering physics plan 4, including one upper-division laboratory course. Total hours required in engineering electives plus the required computer sciences and drafting hours: 25.
4. Nine hours of physics electives are required. For details, see
5. The 10-hour chemistry requirement may also be met with CHEM 1113/1114 and 1133/1134.


Minor Program

The Department of Physics offers a minor in physics. A detailed plan can be found at