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What is Engineering Physics?

Engineering Physics is a fully accredited engineering program under the jurisdiction of the Faculty of Applied Science and administered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Inquiries regarding the Engineering Physics program should be made through the Engineering Physics program office, room 333A, Hennings Building. Academic Advising is available through the program office, or by appointment with the program director, Dr. Andre Marziali, email: andre@phas.ubc.ca.

MOST, a microsatellite that measures light variations in space

Many of the products in modern technology are based on physics concepts that arose from laboratory experiments or theoretical speculations, without regard to practical use. For example, Newton’s law of gravitation was not designed to help place satellites into orbit, yet it is indispensable for orbit calculation, and Einstein’s radiation theory was not invented to build giant pulse lasers, yet it is basic for laser design. It used to take a long time before a new discovery in physics worked its way into advanced technology. This time is diminishing as the world becomes more technologically competitive. Engineering physicists play a critical role in the process of taking new ideas from concept to practical use. For this purpose students in Engineering Physics receive a solid education in physics, mathematics and engineering.

Professional careers in science and engineering require continuous upgrading of skills and acquisition of new knowledge. The Engineering Physics degree offers a perfect combination of fundamentals and applied knowledge to prepare graduates for technological changes.

About half of the graduates choose to begin work after their first degree, and the other half use the Engineering Physics degree as a foundation for higher degrees in an extremely wide range of disciplines. Among the most common paths are:

  • Becoming a licensed Professional Engineer (PEng)
  • Working in research & development
  • Entrepeneurship / starting a company
  • Graduate studies in Applied Sciences, Math, or Physics
  • Professional schooling in areas such as law, architecture, business, and medicine

Typical positions recently filled by graduates include some of the most interesting jobs in many of the local high technology companies involved with alternative energies, communications, industrial graphics, electronic devices, computer development and software engineering, robotics, aerospace, medical devices, to name just a few.

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