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The University of Maine    
  Oct 17, 2017
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Engineering Physics

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Minimum number of credits required to graduate: 123

Minimum Cumulative GPA required to graduate: 2.0

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward major:

Other GPA requirements to graduate:

Required Course(s) for fulfilling Capstone Experience:

Contact Information:  John R. Thompson, Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy, (207) 581-1030,

The Engineering Physics Program, offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is designed for students who are interested in not only a particular engineering field, but also the physics and mathematics that provide a foundation for that field. Thus, the mission of the Engineering Physics Program is to offer an accredited Bachelor of Science degree that combines a meaningful sequence of engineering courses within a particular engineering field with a traditional high quality undergraduate physics education. The goals of the program are to prepare graduates to directly enter the modern workplace or go on to graduate study, either in their chosen engineering field or in physics.

Graduates of the University of Maine Engineering Physic Program are able to:

  • Use the versatility afforded by the engineering physics degree to collaborate with a dynamic, diverse, and technically sophisticated workforce by successfully employing engineering/scientific skills, developed at UMaine, in a wide range of fields.
  • Continuously improve and expand their technical and professional skills through informal self-study, coursework, pursuit of licensure, or the attainment of advanced degrees in science, engineering, business, or other professional fields
  • Advance the profession and themselves through ethical behavior, communication, teamwork and leadership.
  • Recognize the importance of civic engagement and support the significant roles that engineering and science play in the betterment of society. 

Therefore, preparation also includes an introduction to the humanities, social sciences, communications, and a sensitivity to issues of ethics and professional practice.

Furthermore, the program encourages majors to participate in student professional organizations, including the Society of Physics Students, the Society of Women Engineers, and the various student societies within the student’s chosen engineering field. In addition, majors frequently qualify for membership in the honor societies Sigma Pi Sigma and Tau Beta Pi, among others.

For further information visit our website.

Program Description
The basic curriculum of required courses, combined with electives in science, engineering, the humanities, and social sciences, culminates in a two-semester engineering design capstone experience. Of the 123 credits, 45 are electives, permitting each major, in consultation with both her/his physics advisor and engineering advisor, to put together a significant core of engineering courses in their engineering field of choice, and to satisfy the University General Education Requirements through electives supportive of their professional goals.

The program consists of a minimum of 24 credits of engineering courses, most of which lie in the student’s area of engineering specialization, along with a technical elective for a total of 24-30 credits. (A technical elective can be an Astronomy, Physics, Engineering, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science or other approved science course, generally at the 300-level or higher.) The engineering sequence is chosen from the engineering major offerings (Chemical and Bioengineering, Civil and Environmental, Electrical and Computer, Mechanical) of the College of Engineering. Engineers teach all engineering courses taken by engineering physics majors.

The program requires a laboratory course in physics in each of eight semesters. These laboratory experiences emphasize the ability to conduct experiments, analysis and interpretation of data, working with modern instrumentation and meeting deadlines. When possible, students work in teams alongside majors outside the College of Engineering. Most experiments require written laboratory reports. The junior year laboratory sequence is also a writing intensive experience. An English instructor meets regularly with majors to develop their technical writing skills, through assignments, guided revision and assessment.

Five courses in mathematics (in addition to a computer programming course) are required, with the upper level selections involving topics pertinent to engineering. A minor in mathematics can be earned with one additional mathematics course beyond these five and our required PHY 476. Approximately 50% of graduating Engineering Physics majors earn a minor in mathematics.

The Engineering Physics program requires satisfactory completion of at least 122 credits at an accumulative grade point average of not less than 2.0. The program in Engineering Physics is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 - telephone: (207) 347-7700. 

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers graduate programs leading to the following degrees: Master of Engineering in Engineering Physics, Master of Science in Physics, and Doctor of Philosophy in Physics. Further information about these programs is contained in the Graduate School online Catalog.

Cooperative “Work Experience” Program Option
Engineering Physics majors who have completed both their sophomore year and 16 credits in physics courses can participate in the cooperative education program. This program integrates a practical work opportunity at an industrial facility (obtained through a specific period of employment) with on-campus classroom and laboratory experiences. Academic credit is received through enrollment in PHY 495 Engineering Physics Practice.

Employment Opportunities
Engineering Physics graduates work in industry, universities, government agencies, and private practice. Roughly half go directly to an engineering/physics employment opportunity immediately after graduation. Others continue their education in graduate programs in engineering, physics, law (e.g. patent law), business and medicine. Employment in industries producing electronics products, optical products, and the nuclear/radiation medicine field is popular. Because the Engineering Physics major is familiar with both the practice of engineering and the scientific approach to problem solving, our students are often sought out for multidisciplinary employment opportunities. Recent multidisciplinary employment examples include navigation instrumentation (Lincoln Laboratories), nuclear radiation monitoring (The State of Maine), and optical and acoustical effects (The Walt Disney Corporation).

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has several large scholarship endowments. The Department awards between 25 and 35 scholarships each year to its undergraduate majors. The College of Engineering also offers scholarships and awards supported by endowments within the College and from Maine industries.

Required Courses in Suggested Sequence for the B.S. in Engineering Physics

The recommended sequence of the four-year curriculum is shown below. Copies of the curriculum, with detailed explanations of the recommendations, can be obtained in the Office of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.  There are possible alterations to this schedule and substitutions may be made for some courses on approval of the Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Students desiring to transfer from another engineering program in their first or second year, into Engineering Physics, may do so without loss of credit or delays in graduation. The considerable flexibility in the Engineering Physics program will allow a student to design an individual curriculum with the assistance of her/his advisor.

First Year - First Semester

First Year - Second Semester

Second Year - First Semester

Second Year - Second Semester

Third Year - First Semester

Third Year - Second Semester

Fourth Year - First Semester

Fourth Year - Second Semester

Special Requirements:

1 Other course substitutions require the permission of the student’s academic advisor and approval of the Chair.

2 The Engineering Sequence consists of at least eight three-credit engineering courses, of which a maximum of seven courses are from the engineering concentration: Chemical and Biological, Civil and Environmental, Electrical and Computer, or Mechanical, and one course from an engineering area other than your engineering concentration.  Engineering Technology courses cannot be used for the Engineering sequence, nor the technical electives.  Engineering sequence courses can not be used for either the computer programming elective or the technical elective. All students must take either ECE 209, Fundamentals of Electric Circuits, or ECE 210 (Electrical Networks I). Students concentrating in electrical or computer engineering will need to take ECE 210, a pre-requisite for upper level ECE courses.

3 Human Values/Social Context and Ethics, part of the university’s general education requirements, can be satisfied by careful selection of at least six three-credit courses.

4 Choose from MAT 262, STS 332, STS 434, MAT 452, MAT 454, MAT 459, MAT 471, PHY 574 or approved similar mathematics courses. PHY 574 may be counted as either a mathematics elective or a physics elective, but not both.

5 The two physics electives can be any physics or astronomy course at the 400 level or higher. Students may elect to take PHY 462, Physical Thermodynamics, instead of MEE 230, Thermodynamics I; however, PHY 462 can not be used as one of the eight required Engineering sequence courses.

6 A technical elective can be an Astronomy, Physics, Engineering, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science or other approved science course, at the 300-level or higher.

7 PHY 476 can be used as one of the courses needed to obtain a minor in mathematics, provided it is the only non-MAT course used for the minor.

Physics Electives

For more detail, please see

Fall Semester

Biological Engineering Option in Engineering Physics - Required Courses in Suggested Sequence first two years

First Year - First Semester

Second Year - First Semester

Second Year - Second Semester

Chemical Engineering Option in Engineering Physics - Required Courses in Suggested Sequence first two years

First Year - First Semester

Second Year - First Semester

Civil and Environmental Engineering Options in Engineering Physics - Required Courses in Suggested Sequence first two years

First Year- First Semester

Second Year - First Semester

Second Year Second Semester

Computer Engineering Options in Engineering Physics - Required Courses in Suggested Sequence first two years

First Year - First Semester

Second Year - First Semester

Electrical Engineering Options in Engineering Physics - Required Courses in Suggested Sequence first two years

First Year -First Semester

Second Year -First Semester

Mechanical Engineering Option in Engineering Physics - Required Courses in Suggested Sequence first two years

First Year - First Semester

Second Year - First Semester

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