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Undergraduate Majors

Ohio University's nine undergraduate colleges offer more than 250 programs of study. Students may select from a wide variety of majors, minors and certificates. While most undergraduate programs at the Athens campus are designed to be completed in four years, a limited number of two-year degree programs are available as well.

Engineering Physics Major (B.S. in Engineering Physics) [offered through Honors Tutorial College]

Major Code BS1925

Honors Tutorial College  
35 Park Place
Athens, OH 45701
Phone: 740.593.2723
Fax: 740.593.9521

David Tees, director of studies/contact person

Program Overview

The HTC engineering physics program is for students interested in physics with an orientation toward applications, or for those who are interested in engineering, but would like a deep understanding of fundamentals. Often such students work on problems that do not lie in a traditional branch of engineering. The requirements for the engineering physics program are the same as those from the physics major in HTC, but students also take a series of courses in one or more engineering disciplines. It should be noted that such a degree will generally NOT satisfy the accreditation criteria of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). On the other hand, there is more flexibility in designing a curriculum to meet individual interests. For students that do courses mostly in one engineering discipline, it is possible to declare a major in that engineering discipline and stay for a fifth year to do the senior design project in the engineering discipline and complete the requirements for bachelor's degree in that major. This two-degree program, however, requires students to fulfill the general education requirements for the Russ College of Engineering. The program of courses for students wishing to pursue this option is overseen by the HTC engineering physics director of studies and by an advisor in the engineering discipline.


Engineering physics students are strongly encouraged to gain experience as research assistants, either in the Physics and Astronomy Department's laboratories or through temporary internships at other universities, research centers or national labs. Research work usually begins in the third or fourth year, though opportunities can sometimes arise earlier, and often become the basis of the student's senior thesis. Research opportunities are available in the Department in the following areas:

  • Condensed Matter and Surface Science : creating, studying, and simulating the properties of existing or new substances, such as thin magnetic films, semiconductors and glasses.
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics: investigating how the basic building blocks of matter interact with each other, and how they combine to form the elements we know.
  • Biophysics: using experimental techniques and computer modeling to understand processes in living systems, including cell adhesion and interacting neurons.

Opportunities may also be found with faculty in the Russ College of Engineering. In addition, advanced students interested in teaching can sometimes be given paid appointments as teaching assistants.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

Students are selected by the Honors Tutorial College and the Physics and Astronomy Tutorial Board on the basis of superior ability and sustained motivation. The faculty look for good scores on standardized tests (30 composite score on the ACT or a combined score of 1300 on the SAT), but are also interested in a strong high school record (grade point average and class standing). The personalized aspects of the tutorial system occasionally make it possible to accept students who have performed less well on standardized measures of ability but who demonstrate exceptional aptitude in other ways. The priority deadline for application for admission is December 1st, and admission interviews are held in January.

Change of Program Policy

First-year students at Ohio University may apply to transfer into the tutorial programs offered by the Physics and Astronomy Department and the Honors Tutorial College. These students must meet the same entrance requirements as entering HTC freshmen. The priority deadline for application for admission is December 1st.

Students in the HTC physics or HTC astrophysics programs who wish to change to HTC engineering physics should contact the director of studies for the HTC engineering physics program.

External Transfer Admission

First-year students at another institution may also apply to transfer into the tutorial programs offered by the Physics and Astronomy Department and the Honors Tutorial College. These students must meet the same entrance requirement as entering HTC freshmen. The priority deadline for application for admission is December 1st.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

Recipients of the B.S. degree in engineering physics possess high-level problem-solving skills that can lead to opportunities for employment in research institutions, government or industry. This degree also prepares students for graduate study in physics, applied physics or an engineering discipline.