Physics-Engineering Major

Student built laser system

A Student-Built Laser System

It has been said that “Physics is the foundation for engineering”.  The Physics-Engineering major at Simpson College therefore provides an especially solid foundation for engineering. With this major you will learn the theoretical underpinnings for all engineering disciplines as well as the design and application of that theory to solve the worlds problems.

In addition to laying a solid engineering foundation, starting your engineering career at Simpson College has the advantages of  small class size and personal attention, a broad liberal arts base, and more opportunities to explore other campus involvement and athletics.

Note: This major is only available to students who transfer to an engineering school after three years as part of the Dual-Degree Program in Engineering. A maximum of 32 credits may be transferred back to Simpson College from the engineering school. (For more information see Dual-Degree Program in Engineering.)

Students pursuing the Physics-Engineering Major must complete 14 courses as follows:


  • Phys 191 General Physics I
  • Phys 192 General Physics II
  • Phys 230 Modern Physics
  • Phys 271 Experimental Physics I (.5 course)
  • Phys/Engr 250 Statics OR Phys/Engr 330 Digital Systems

Choose one course from the following:

  • Phys 310 Thermal Physics
  • Phys 320 Classical Mechanics
  • Phys 340 Electromagnetic Fields
  • Phys 360 Quantum Mechanics

Engineering Electives 300- level or above (2.5 courses) transferred from engineering school

Required Supporting Courses:

  • Chem 101 General Chemistry I
  • Chem 102 General Chemistry II*
  • CmSc 150 Fund. Of Computing I
  • Math 151 Calculus I
  • Math 152 Calculus II
  • Math 251 Calculus III
  • Math 345 Differential Equations

*Chemistry 102 may be waived if it is not required by the particular engineering school or program the student wishes to enter.

In addition to the above required courses, students are urged to consider taking Math 255 Linear Algebra. Students should also be careful to meet any other specific course requirements of their chosen engineering program.

Physics-Engineering Capstone

The capstone of the physics-engineering major is the successful completion (and transfer back to Simpson College) of 10 hours of engineering courses, 300-level or above, from an accredited engineering school.