A master's degree program in engineering physics can prepare graduates for challenging careers in industry or research or be a springboard to study at the doctoral level. Read more for information about the master's in engineering physics and some common careers for those who have earned this degree.
Master's in Engineering Physics Program Requirements
A master's degree program in engineering physics combines foundational learning in academic physics with technical applications. Students are able to apply the concepts of physics to common engineering problems. Requirements for application to this program typically include a bachelor's degree in a science or engineering related field, transcripts, letters or recommendation, and a statement of intent. GRE or GMAT scores are also typically required.
Graduation requirements will typically include the completion of coursework and a thesis or design project. The master's program can typically be completed in one to two years. Within the program, specializations may be offered. Some common specializations include applied optics, solid state physics, and nanotechnology.
Some courses that candidates might expect to take during a master's program in engineering physics include:
Quantum Mechanics: Students will develop an intuitive understanding of quantum mechanics. Topics may include waves, potentials, and the harmonic oscillator model. Schrodinger's equation and the theory of angular momentum may also be considered.
Digital Electronics: This course will consider the components that are the building blocks for complex technological devices such as computers. Emphasis is placed on the design of a variety of types of circuits. Students will receive hands-on practice in the development of these components.
Nanoscience and Technology: Students enrolled in this course will consider theoretical and practical applications of nanoscience. They may consider fabrication, tools, and Buckyballs. Direct experience with the instruments will be provided.
Statistical Mechanics: The statistical mechanics course will increase student understanding of detailed balance and harmonic oscillator. Theories related to gasses, including Bose, Fermi, and interacting classical gas will be considered. In addition, common calculations including the Langevin equation and Monte Carlo calculations will be studied.
Entrepreneurship in Technology and Science: In this course, students will consider strategies for effective entrepreneurship in the realm of technology. Students will consider a range of practical materials. As a final project, they will develop a business plan.
Career Options for Master's in Engineering Physics Graduates
In general, those who hold a master's degree in engineering physics will have a wide range of potential career opportunities in industry and research. Read more to learn about some career pathways chosen by these graduates.
SCADA is an acronym for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition used in energy, water, transportation, and similar industries. A SCADA engineer will develop the dispatch and control systems used to maintain the communications and control systems. They may test and update hardware and operating systems used within the company. They are also part of the team that develops project plans for facility upgrades.
Nanoengineering is a discipline that manipulates process that are occurring on the scale of 1-100 nanometers, in which a nanometer is defined as one billionth of a meter. Nanoengineering technicians will work with materials at the atomic level. They may develop new materials and processes in consultation with multidisciplinary teams.
Project managers work with interdisciplinary teams to complete projects in a timely fashion and within the constraints of a budget. They are responsible for all aspects of the defined project and lead the other members of the team. Certification in project management is available through the Project Management Institute.
Research and Development Engineer
Research and development engineers direct knowledge from research to the development of new products or services. They may also conduct research to make improvements in existing products. They must test a range of theories and hypotheses in order to arrive at practical solutions. Research and development engineers must be skilled in the use of various hardware and software products.
Robotics engineers work to develop robots and automated processes for industry and research purposes. They may use algorithms to teach machines to perform human-like behavior. Robotics engineers may practice in medical, e-commerce, military planning, and other business sectors.
The master's degree in engineering physics requires a challenging schedule of coursework and research. However, after completing the program, there are a wide range of career possibilities open to degree holders.