Westminster offers both a four-year Engineering Physics major (the 4-2 program) and an Engineering pre-professional program (the 3-2 program). Students who are undecided between these two options can wait until the end of junior year to choose. For information about the 4-2 program, click here. For information on the 3-2 program, read on.
In the 3-2 program, students spend three years at Westminster and two years at an institution of their choice with an accredited engineering program. In the end, students earn two bachelor’s degrees in five years: a B.S. in physics or chemistry from Westminster and a B.Eng. from the accredited institution. At Westminster, students can choose from several specialized courses in materials science and engineering, core courses in physics or chemistry, and supporting courses in computer science and mathematics. Specific tracks exist for students interested in mechanical or electrical engineering.
These courses are then transferred to the accredited institution, where students take additional engineering-specific courses. The advantage of first completing the core and supporting courses at Westminster are its small class sizes, ready access to faculty, and close collaboration with faculty not typically available to undergraduates at larger universities. Westminster does not offer specific articulation agreements with engineering institutions, but Westminster students have always gained acceptance and are often the top performers in their classes. In recent years, Westminster students have successfully completed engineering degrees at Case Western Reserve University, the University of Pittsburgh, Youngstown State University, and West Virginia University.
The 3-2 program at Westminster is especially rigorous. From the first day of their first year and throughout the curriculum, students are taught to solve problems using programming and visualization software and to apply fundamental principles rather than secondary formulas. Students are required to conduct research with faculty in areas such as materials science, dynamics, and electronics. Students make use of our scanning tunneling microscope, GPU computer cluster, electronics lab, advanced physics lab, general physics lab, machine shop, and other resources. Weekly departmental lunch talks help build community, give students the chance to develop presentation skills needed for scientific careers, and keep everyone up-to-date on the latest physics and engineering research. Nearly all of our graduates are employed in engineering or physics-related fields or are conducting graduate study.