Engineering Physics Program

This interdisciplinary program provides students with a broad science and mathematics background similar to that of Tulane’s traditional physics major, combined with a strong grounding in engineering design and the application of physics principles to practical engineering problems. The curriculum is characterized by a strong emphasis on modern physics and its application to 21st century technology, including new materials, quantum electronics, nanofabrication, and devices. Areas of research and teaching emphasis in our department include:

  • Materials Engineering
  • Computational Engineering
  • Nano-Devices

Our students will be well equipped to pursue research and development careers in new and emerging technologies that cut across traditional engineering and science disciplines, to pursue graduate studies in science or engineering, or to enter into other professional fields including law, management, and medicine. Graduates will have substantial experience with laboratory methods, data analysis, and computation.

A centerpiece of the curriculum is the design sequence, consisting of a two-semester Introduction to Design sequence, a summer industry or research internship, and a two-semester capstone Team Design Project. As an intrinsic part of the curriculum, students develop strong oral and written communication skills, multidisciplinary teamwork skills, research, experience in public service, and knowledge about the high ethical standards of the engineering profession.

The program builds on cross-cutting areas of research strength in the School of Science and Engineering, including: novel 21st century materials; materials for energy; biomolecular materials; macromolecules; “quantum mechanics to devices”; surfaces, interfaces, and nanostructures; and computation.

Tulane's Engineering Physics program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Mission Statement

The mission of our program is to provide the highest quality education for students in the principles and applications of Engineering Physics. The excellence of the program is assured by our department’s high regard for teaching, research activities, and industrial ties. The program educates students to take leadership roles in industry, academia, and government.

Engineering Physics Educational Objectives

Our Engineering Physics program educates students to become professionals with a blend of in-depth knowledge and skills in mathematics, science, and engineering, enabling them to understand physical systems, research technical questions and pursue opportunities to innovate, design solutions, and solve problems. Our program provides the foundation for graduate study and lifelong learning. Our objective is to prepare graduates who can successfully pursue:

  1. Professional careers at all levels in Engineering Physics or other professional pursuits where an engineering or physics background provides a valuable foundation. Examples of the latter are: focused engineering disciplines, medicine, law, and business administration.
  2. Advanced studies in Engineering, Physical Sciences, or related fields.

Student Outcomes

Students in the Engineering Physics program at Tulane University will attain:

  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics;

  2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors;

  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;

  4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts;

  5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives;

  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions;

  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Engineering Physics is a field that provides broad training in physics and mathematics and basic training in engineering and design. The practitioner of engineering physics is involved in the development of new devices and products using sophisticated physical concepts. The engineering physics curriculum educates students to work in areas where technology is changing rapidly and where the boundaries of several traditional engineering disciplines overlap, such as nanomaterials/devices, lasers, plasmas, robotics, materials, medical imaging, superconductors, and semiconductors. The curriculum develops sufficient depth in both engineering and science to produce graduates who are able to relate basic knowledge to practical problems in engineering. The engineering physicist is a person with the training of both an applied physicist and an engineer, the inclination to attack novel as well as routine problems in engineering, and the flexibility to exploit basic knowledge in any branch of science and technology using analytical and experimental skills.

Minors in Electrical, Materials, and Mechanical Engineering

The flexible Engineering Physics program allows students to complete a minor in Electrical, Materials, or Mechanical Engineering starting in Fall 2024. Each of these minors requires a total of six courses (three required courses and three electives). Of the six courses for the minor, up to three may overlap with courses taken towards the Engineering Physics major, and a minimum of three courses taken for the minor (9 credits) must be non-overlapping with the major. So Engineering Physics majors can generally add one of these minors to their degree by adding just 9 credits to the credits needed for the major.

Completing an engineering minor in Electrical, Materials, or Mechanical Engineering adds depth in a focused engineering area to the broad-based ENGP curriculum, offers additional branding that may help students attract interest in industry after graduation; and prepares students for common graduate engineering programs.

Engineering Physics Certificates (Tracks)

With the introduction of the new minors in Electrical, Materials, and Mechanical Engineering, the Engineering Physics Certificates in these three areas are being phased out and will not be available for students enrolling in Fall 2025 or later. Students already matriculated at Tulane prior to Fall 2025 may choose to complete either a minor or a certificate in one of these areas (but not both). The Computational Physics certificate is unaffected by these changes.

The Engineering Physics program offers optional certificates for students who are interested in specific aspects of the broader program. Completing a certificate offers several advantages: structured/guided use of electives for focusing in a particular area, providing some depth within a broad-based ENGP curriculum; additional branding that may help students attract interest in industry after graduation; and preparation for common graduate engineering programs. Certificates are optional, but if a student does complete one, this is reported on the transcript. Students may choose one of four certificates: computational engineering, electrical engineering, materials engineering, and mechanical engineering, with each having a pre-approved set of coursework that meets the requirements of that certificate. In the future, new certificates may be established with university approval (e.g., quantum engineering, energy engineering, etc.). See Engineering Physics Certificates for more information.

Facts to Consider

Our engineering physics curriculum places emphasis on:

  • Basic Principles of Engineering
  • Problem Solving
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Engineering Design
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Science and Scientific Principles
  • Research
  • Communications
  • Multi-disciplinary Teamwork
  • Continuous Learning
  • Leadership
  • Ethics
  • Preparation for Advanced Degrees in Engineering and Science

The required curriculum for engineering physics is relatively full. Class schedules should be carefully planned. Typical of engineering in the US, some engineering physics majors may take a course overload in some semesters.

Prospective Undergraduate Student Admission Information