The 3+2 (dual degree) undergraduate program in applied physics and engineering offers two degrees: one in applied physics and another in an engineering field of your choice. The program offers students the technical competency of an engineering degree plus the broad knowledge base and flexibility of a physics degree. Our students complete three years of coursework at Shippensburg, followed by two years in an available engineering department of the Pennsylvania State University at University Park or Harrisburg, or in an engineering program at Shippensburg. Beyond the receipt of two degrees, this program will provide you with a broader background in the liberal arts and a great breadth of knowledge of physics, thus increasing your career options.
The success rate of Shippensburg University students in engineering school has been outstanding. In over 20 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, including Mechanical Engineering Student of the Year, 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.
Shippensburg's undergraduate engineering students benefit from a low student to teacher ratio. Our engineering majors collaborate with fellow students and leading researchers. Through our partnership with Pennsylvania State University, students can also take advantage of the larger university's advanced research capabilities to pursue their own interests.
Career choices for our graduates are as varied as the fields of engineering, including:
- Materials Science
Most students completing our program go directly into the job market. The two degrees will give you even greater flexibility. Many companies want to move engineers into management and seek well-rounded candidates. Some of our students choose to continue their education in engineering or physics graduate programs.
The average engineer salary in PA is $62,000 with an actual range of $41,000 to $98,000.
Both engineering and physics are highly mathematical disciplines. If you plan to have a career in engineering, we recommend that you take 4 years of mathematics in high school: one year each of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus. If possible, you 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, 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, 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.
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).