Program in Engineering Physics 

Michael Santos, Chair
440 W. Brooks St
Norman, OK 73019-2061
Phone: (405) 325-3961
FAX: (405) 325-7557

Faculty Roster 

Professors Abbott, Gutierrez, Santos, Shaffer, Skubic, Strauss; Associate Professors Abraham, Bumm; Assistant Professors Marino, Schwettmann, Sellers, Stupak; and participating faculty from the College of Engineering units. 

Degrees Offered 

General Information 

Established in 1924, the Program in Engineering Physics was one of the first programs of its kind offered in the United States. The undergraduate curriculum is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET. Throughout its history, Engineering Physics has served as the starting point for new programs in applied physics at OU. For example, geophysics, nuclear engineering, and meteorology were first offered at OU in 1935, 1955, and 1957, respectively, as options in Engineering Physics. Current research emphases in Engineering Physics include nanotechnology and applications for atomic physics. 

An engineering physicist applies the knowledge of engineering and physics to develop new engineering methods and principles; and designs, develops and supervises the construction of new equipment. The engineering physicist completes the link between the pure scientist and the engineer by being able to understand the theory of science and to relate it to the practical problems of engineering. 

The program makes use of the extensive teaching and research facilities of both the College of Engineering and the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy (which is part of the College of Arts and Sciences). The student to faculty ratio in Engineering Physics is excellent, with 50 majors in 2012 academic year. About one third of the graduating seniors immediately attend graduate school in physics or engineering. The recent graduates who immediately enter the work force are employed predominantly in the microelectronics or aerospace industries.  

Programs for Academic Excellence 

The program in Engineering Physics prepares students for careers in areas of technology where the disciplines of physics and engineering intersect. The program provides an interdisciplinary environment where pure and applied sciences merge. The curriculum is designed to develop sufficient depth in both engineering skills and physics knowledge to produce engineers who are able to relate fundamental physical principles to practical problems in engineering.

An essential facet of an Engineering Physics education is research experience. This provides students with the opportunity to use modern engineering tools to address open issues in science and technology. Many students participate in research even before starting their senior Capstone project. All students are encouraged to apply for a position in a National Science Foundation-Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) program as soon as they are qualified. Many students take part in the Department’s NSF-REU program for one summer during their academic career. These research experiences provide the opportunity for particularly strong interaction between a student and a faculty member. 

The program is also actively involved with the Honors College in an effort to offer exceptional students the opportunity to do advanced study.  

Special Facilities and Programs 

The Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy possesses an excellent scientific library of about 34,000 volumes and more than 175 journal subscriptions. Ancillary library holdings include the world-famous History of Science Collection. A well-equipped and staffed in-house machine shop is provided for use by graduate students. 

Excellent computing facilities include UNIX Physics computer network and the Natural Sciences Computer Laboratory which is housed in the department. 

The Department has well-equipped laboratories for research in atomic and molecular physics, laser cooling and trapping, artificially structured materials, nanometer-scale materials characterization, low-temperature condensed matter, and instrumentation in high-energy physics. Some of the research is performed as part of the NSF-sponsored Center for Semiconductor Physics in Nanostructures. Research groups also make use of facilities at national laboratories such as Fermilab, the LHC, Los Alamos, and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. 

The combined curriculum from the College of Engineering and the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy provides the finest quality program for both undergraduate and graduate students. The interdisciplinary structure allows students access to a wide range of research topics. 

Scholarships and Financial Aid 

The Department offers a number of J. Clarence Karcher Scholarships each year to students majoring in physics, astronomy, or engineering physics. In addition, one or more Roy B. Adams Engineering Physics Scholarships and a Michael L. Ruby Engineering Physics Scholarship are awarded each year. These scholarships help students to be in the mainstream of his/her professional interest and at the same time receive financial assistance throughout the undergraduate years. See Scholarship Opportunities for more scholarship information.

Teaching and research assistantships are offered on a competitive basis to graduate students. Departmental applications for graduate study and financial assistance may be requested from the Graduate Programs-Physics, Nielsen Hall, Norman, OK 73019-2061.  

Undergraduate Study 

The engineering physics program offers an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree which combines the course offerings and research activities of the Gallogly College of Engineering and the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy. The degree is recommended by the Gallogly College of Engineering faculty. The curriculum includes the basic core of science, mathematics, social sciences and engineering sciences that are common to all engineering degree curricula, a block of prescribed upper-division physics courses, and a planned sequence of advanced courses in engineering, physics and allied areas that fulfills the design/synthesis requirement of an engineering program.  

Program Educational Objectives


This program requires a minimum of 126 credit hours with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 (combined and at OU, in the major, curriculum and overall). For detailed semester by semester curriculum requirements, please consult the OU Engineering degree requirements.

All Gallogly College of Engineering students are required to make a minimum grade of C in each course presented for the degree. Also, students must make a C in each prerequisite course before progressing to the next course(s). 

Graduate Study 

Areas of Specialization 

(Partial list only) growth and characterization of electronic and optical materials; device fabrication and simulation; atomic, molecular and optical physics; laser cooling and trapping; microelectronic applications in particle physics. 

Prerequisites for Full Graduate Standing

In addition to meeting the general requirements of the Graduate College, the student should have a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics or an equivalent degree with a minimum preparation of 30 hours of physics and 15 hours of engineering.  

Master of Science 

This degree is offered as either a nonthesis program or as a thesis program. The nonthesis program requires satisfactory completion of 32 hours of graduate study consisting of a minimum of 12 hours of physics and 12 hours of engineering courses. Students must take and pass the physics qualifying examination. The thesis program requires completion of 30 hours of graduate credit consisting of 9-12 hours of physics and 9-12 hours of Engineering courses and 2-4 hours Masters Thesis Research. If the thesis supervisor is from engineering, a minimum of 12 hours of physics and nine hours of engineering is required; if the thesis supervisor is from physics, a minimum of nine hours of physics and 12 hours of engineering is required. 

All programs of study must be approved by the engineering physics chair or a duly appointed representative. All students of either program must include at least one three-credit-hour mathematics course numbered 4000 or higher. Graduate credit will not be allowed for any course equivalent to one required in the undergraduate engineering physics program. 

Doctor of Philosophy 

Students electing to study for a doctoral degree are referred to the general requirements of the Graduate College and the College of Engineering. Each student is assigned an advisory committee who will determine the specific requirements within the guidelines set by these colleges.