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.
What is the applied physics/engineering 3+2 program at SU?
The 3+2 program at Shippensburg University offers the student two degrees: one in applied physics and another, from a partner university, in the engineering field of the student's choice. 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. The student completes three years of course work at Shippensburg, followed by two years at the engineering school of either Pennsylvania State University or the University of Maryland. Admission into the engineering major is guaranteed for students with the requisite grade point average.
The applied physics/engineering program is run by the Department of Physics at Shippensburg University which means, while at Shippensburg, your academic advisor is a physics department faculty member and the required courses are offered by the physics department.
What is a dual degree program?
At the successful completion of the five-year program the student is awarded a Bachelor of Science degree and a Bachelor of Engineering degree. The first, from Shippensburg University, is given in applied physics and the second is awarded from the cooperative university in the engineering discipline studied.
What kind of career choices can I expect?
The written articulation agreement between the universities guarantees the successful student admission into the engineering discipline of his or her choice with junior standing. The career choices, therefore, are as varied as the fields of engineering. Nuclear, mechanical, aerospace, computer, electrical, civil, and chemical engineering are popular choices. 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.
What is the applied physics curriculum?
The applied physics major is required to complete 31 credit hours of physics, 22 semester hours in mathematics, and 8 semester hours of chemistry. In addition to Shippensburg University'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 credit hours of physics.
How should you prepare for an applied physics/engineering major?
Both engineering and physics are highly mathematical disciplines. Typically, students who plan on a career in engineering take four years of mathematics in high school: one year each of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus. If possible, courses in physics and calculus are beneficial. Communications skills, both oral and written, are essential for a successful career.
Why enroll in the applied physics/engineering 3+2 program?
Beyond the receipt of two degrees, this program provides the student with a broader background in the liberal arts and a great breadth of knowledge of physics, thus enlarging the student's career options.
Science classes are small at Shippensburg University, usually having 12 to 16 students per laboratory section. Lectures and labs are taught by seasoned professors--not by graduate students.
The success rate of Shippensburg University students in their engineering schools has been outstanding. In over 20 years, not a single student has failed out of engineering school, with many of the students reporting that their averages actually go up. In the past several years, Shippensburg University students have received various honors. One was named Mechanical Engineering Student of the Year, another was the top student in the U.S. Navy's national Civil Engineering Test, still others have been accepted into prestigious graduate schools such as Stanford University.
Finally, Shippensburg University is the only university in Pennsylvania with an articulation agreement with the engineering school of the University of Maryland.