Pacific Launches New Engineering Physics Major

Professor Andy Dawes and Kevin McGee '18 in Pacific's physics and engineering department laser labPacific University will launch a new engineering physics major in Fall 2023, building on an already strong physics and engineering program that offers students multiple routes to career opportunities.

The new engineering physics major will allow students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics, a liberal arts degree that provides a foundation in engineering and prepares students for advanced specialization or licensure in a wide range of engineering disciplines.

The program is centered in a hands-on, inquiry-based learning model, where students spend a significant amount of time in the lab and complete real-world projects. They will have access to the Boxer Makerspace and its specialized equipment, such as 3D printers, a CNC machine and 3D scanners, and they also will have the opportunity to intern and gain field experience with local partners such as Clean Water Services, Intel and the Oregon Manufacturing and Innovation Center.

At Pacific, the No. 1 private research university in the Pacific Northwest, students also begin conducting research early in their undergraduate careers, working alongside faculty members and publishing their work in professional settings.

The hands-on engineering experience pairs with a liberal arts experience that bolsters students career opportunities with a broad understanding of social sciences and arts, like history and writing.

The engineering physics major covers the foundational principles needed for a wide range of engineering disciplines. Students can go on to advanced study in specialized areas, such as bioengineering or aerospace engineering, and sit for engineering licensing exams.

Students who know early what specialization they may want to pursue also can choose Pacific’s existing dual degree engineering program, in which they spend the first three years of their undergraduate career at Pacific, then move on to specialization at a partner school for two more years. At the end of five years, the student will have earned a bachelor’s in engineering science from Pacific and a bachelor’s in a specific engineering specialty from their partner school.

Also starting this fall, Pacific will offer a new astrophysics minor within the Department of Physics & Engineering, developed in response to the popularity of existing astronomy courses. The minor helps prepares students to study astronomy in graduate school, or simply discover how the universe works, exploring questions such as the life cycle of stars, the nature of black holes, and the future of humanity in space. The 14-credit minor can be paired with any undergraduate major and includes courses in astronomy, cosmology and astrophysics problem solving, as well as a selection of electives ranging from anthropology to art and philosophy to theatre.

Both the engineering physics major and astrophysics minor will be available to continuing and incoming Pacific University students in Fall 2023.

Photo: Pacific University's Physics & Engineering Department has prepared physics majors, like Kevin McGee '18, shown here with Professor Andy Dawes (left), to pursue advanced studies in engineering. The new engineering physics major provides an even more direct path to engineering specialization and careers.

Thursday, June 1, 2023