The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's physics and engineering dual bachelor's degree combines the benefits of a traditional physics degree with those of a formal engineering education. Graduates of the program receive a bachelor's degree in physics from UW-Eau Claire in conjunction with a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Stout or the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
Most students are able to complete both degrees in five years, with many Blugolds spending approximately three years at UW-Eau Claire and approximately two years at their chosen engineering school. The growing program is designed to provide maximum flexibility for students to refine and change their professional focus and goals as they progress through the course sequence.
While at UW-Eau Claire, you'll learn the ins and outs of the engineering design process. Analyze and describe natural phenomena and human-made devices in terms of the basic laws of physics; use measurement technology, computational tools and statistical techniques to collect and interpret data; and develop needed solutions to everyday problems. Courses will explore topics like mechanics, statics, dynamics, thermodynamics, quantum physics, electricity, relativity, optics and electrical circuits. Discussion and comparison of engineering disciplines will give you an inside look at the types of career paths you might be most interested in, while a variety of electives allow you to pursue multiple interests and passions.
Upon completion of the program, you'll have gained the knowledge and skills essential for a career in engineering. This know-how, combined with a strong foundation in math and physics, will put you ahead of graduates from other programs and prepare you well for a successful career in a variety of fields and industries.
Collaborative research opportunities. The physics and astronomy department at UW-Eau Claire offers countless opportunities to learn beyond the classroom, including the chance to conduct groundbreaking research. Alongside dedicated faculty members, your work could lead to publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at regional or national conferences.
Innovative facilities and equipment. While pursuing your degree in physics, you'll have direct access to outstanding academic facilities, such as an optics research lab, the Materials Science and Engineering Center, an electron microscopy lab, an electronics lab, a machine shop and the Hobbs Observatory. There, you can use state-of-the-art technology such as a 24-inch reflecting telescope, an atomic force microscope, a scanning tunneling electron microscope and an X-ray diffractometer.
Access to internships. Thanks to long-standing partnerships and the department's reputation for producing exceptional graduates, many internship opportunities are available to you. Previous students have pursued electrical engineering internships at Intel, Graco and GenCell USA, as well as research assistant internships at NASA. Our outstanding staff in Career Services are experts in finding the right internship for you and can help you fine-tune your resume as well as prepare you for interviews.
Individualized attention and support. As a pre-engineering student, you'll be assigned a faculty advisor who can answer any and all of your questions related to engineering programs, UWEC courses, transferring and other concerns. All advisors have up-to-date information on the admission requirements of our partner engineering schools and can help you plan your schedule accordingly.
Faculty experts. Here at UW-Eau Claire, you’ll find small classes taught by talented professors who know you by name. Our faculty has a wealth of knowledge and experience and will use it to help you find your niche and a career path you love.
Physics and engineering dual degree program details
- Program length: five years
- Offered: in person
- Campus: the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Stout or the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus
- This major requires a minor or certificate.
- Students majoring in this program may choose either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
- Society of Physics Students
- Women & Gender Minorities in STEM
- Materials Research Society
- Sigma Pi Sigma
Employers are particularly impressed with physics and engineering dual degree graduates. This is largely due to the physics degree curriculum at UW-Eau Claire, which provides students with a stronger foundation in math and physics than a stand-alone engineering degree. This enhanced breadth and depth of knowledge will set you apart from graduates of other programs and give you a leg up when applying for jobs.
To further your employability, you also may choose to earn a minor in math or another related discipline.
Where are physics and engineering alumni now?
- Quality engineer and worldwide stop ship coordinator, IBM
- Tooling engineer, Meier Tool & Engineering
- Mechanical engineer, TSI Plastics
- Owner, Electronics Design/Consulting Firm
- National research council research associate, NASA Johnson Space Center
- Test engineer, Medtronic
- Electrical engineer, Intel
Physics and engineering jobs
- Mechanical engineer
- Electrical engineer
- Industrial engineer
- Wind farm engineer
- Electrical/software programmer
- Research scientist
While at UW-Eau Claire, you’ll take courses in physics, chemistry, computer science and math as well as courses related to general education. After successfully completing course requirements and meeting the set criteria, you can choose to transfer to either UW-Madison’s College of Engineering; UW-Milwaukee's College of Engineering and Applied Science; UW-Stout's College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Management; or University of Minnesota-Twin Cities College of Science and Engineering to begin the coursework for an engineering degree.
What classes do physics and engineering dual degree majors take?
Your classes may cover topics like:
- Computational materials science
- Electric and electronic circuits
- Computational physics
- Phase transformation and kinetics
- Theoretical mechanics
- Computer programming
- Transport phenomena
Learn more about the physics, dual-degree engineering emphasis in the UWEC course catalog.
Thinking about bachelor’s degrees in physics and engineering? Here are other programs you may be interested in exploring.