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Cornell University    
  Jan 21, 2018
Courses of Study 2017-2018

Engineering Physics, M.Eng.

Offered by the School of Applied and Engineering Physics

Contact: 261 Clark Hall, 255-0638,

The M.Eng. (Engineering Physics) degree may lead directly to employment in engineering design and development or may be a basis for further graduate work. Students have the opportunity to broaden and deepen their preparation in the general field of applied physics, or they may choose the more specific option of preparing for professional engineering work in a particular area such as laser and optical technology, nanostructure science and technology, device physics, materials characterization, or software engineering. Wide latitude is allowed in the choice of the required design project.

Students plan their program in consultation with the program chair. The objective is to provide a combination of a good general background in physics and introductory study in a specific field of applied physics. Candidates may enter with an undergraduate preparation in physics, engineering physics, or engineering. Those who have majored in physics usually seek advanced work with an emphasis on engineering; those who have majored in an engineering discipline generally seek to strengthen their physics base. Candidates coming from industry usually want instruction in both areas. Students granted the degree will have demonstrated competence in an appropriate core of basic physics. If this has not been accomplished before entering the M.Eng. program, undergraduate classes in electricity and magnetism, classical mechanics, and quantum mechanics may be required in addition to the classes taken to satisfy the M. Eng. requirements.

The degree requires 30 credits of graduate-level courses or their equivalent, with at least C– in each course, and distributed as follows:

  1. a design project in applied science or engineering with a written final report (6 to 12 credits)
  2. an integrated program of graduate-level courses, as discussed below (16 credits minimum)
  3. a required special-topics seminar course (2 credits)

The design project, which is proposed by the student and approved by the program chair, is carried out on an individual basis under the guidance of a member of the university faculty. It may be experimental or theoretical in nature; if it is not experimental, a laboratory physics course is required.

With the completion of the independent study project the student demonstrates independent thinking and creativity and contributes to an advance in an area of Engineering Physics. The informal study project is completed with a written formal report and an oral presentation of the results in the AEP 7540 seminar. With guidance from the project advisor, the student must generate a formal project report that covers (1) abstract, (2) background and significance, (3) statement of the specific aim, (4) description of the approach to achieve the aim, (5) results and outcomes, and (6) critical evaluation of the approach, results, and/or outcomes as appropriate.

The individual program of study consists of a compatible sequence of courses focused on a specific area of applied physics or engineering. Its purpose is to provide an appropriate combination of physics and physics-related courses (applied math, statistical mechanics, applied quantum mechanics) and engineering electives (e.g., courses in biophysics, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, materials science, computer science, mechanical engineering, or nuclear engineering). Additional science and engineering electives may be included. Some courses at the senior level (4000) are acceptable for credit toward the degree; other undergraduate courses may be required as prerequisites but may not be credited toward the degree.