The 3+2 program offers the student the technical competency of an engineering degree plus the broad knowledge base and flexibility of a physics degree.
Applied Physics/Engineering 3+2 program at Ship
The 3+2 (dual degree) program at Shippensburg University offers two degrees: one in applied physics and another, from a partner university, in the engineering field of the student’s choice. The Department of Physics’ 3+2 program offers students the technical competency of an engineering degree plus the broad knowledge base and flexibility of a physics degree. Students complete three years of coursework at Shippensburg, followed by two years at the engineering school of either Pennsylvania State University or the University of Maryland. Shippensburg University is the only university in Pennsylvania with an articulation agreement with the engineering school of the University of Maryland. Admission into the engineering major is guaranteed for students with the requisite GPA.
Beyond the receipt of two degrees, this program provides our students with a broader background in the liberal arts and a great breadth of knowledge of physics, thus increasing a student’s career options.
The success rate of Ship students in their engineering schools has been outstanding. In over twenty years, not a single student has failed out of engineering school. Many students report that their averages actually go up. In the past several years, our students have received various honors. One was named Mechanical Engineering Student of the Year, another was the top student in the US Navy’s national Civil Engineering Test, and still others have been accepted into prestigious graduate schools such as Stanford University.
Admission and Degree Requirements
Both engineering and physics are highly mathematical disciplines. Typically, students who plan a career in engineering take 4 years of mathematics in high school: one year each of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus. If possible, students should also take courses in physics and calculus. Communication skills, both oral and written, are essential for a successful career.
The applied physics major requires a total of 98 credits within the physics curriculum, including:
- 32 credits of physics
- 18 credits in mathematics
- 8 credits of chemistry
- 4 credits in computer science
In addition to Shippensburg’s general education program requirements, the engineering schools require an additional writing course. Students who plan to pursue a degree in chemical engineering will substitute the modern organic chemistry sequence for 8 credits of physics.
Careers in Applied Physics/Engineering
The written articulation agreement guarantees the successful student admission into the engineering discipline of his or her choice with junior standing at a partner university. The career choices, therefore, are as varied as the fields of engineering. Popular choices include:
Additionally, the University of Maryland has the only fire prevention engineering program in the country.
Most students completing our program go directly into the job market. The two degrees give the student even greater flexibility as many companies want to move engineers into management and seek well-rounded candidates, such as those holding dual degrees. Some of our students choose to continue their education in engineering or physics graduate programs.
Many Shippensburg Applied Physics/Engineering students belong to the Society of Physics Students, a group promoting the development and interests of students in the sciences. Our students also participate in Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS).