Department of Physics

B.S. Physics/Engineering Dual Degree

Introduction and Purpose

Qualified students may pursue a dual-degree major leading to a B.S. Physics degree from the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) and a B.S. Engineering degree from Iowa State University (ISU) or University of Iowa ((UI). This requires three years of attendance at UNI followed by two years of attendance at ISU or UI. Students who are on track to successfully complete the B.S. Physics requirements after three years at UNI are guaranteed admittance into an engineering program at ISU if they have:

  • A grade-point average of at least 2.5 in physics, mathematics and science course work required for the B.S. Physics degree at UNI and
  • An overall grade-point average of at least 2.0 in all courses (major, Liberal Arts Core and electives) that count toward the B.S. degree.

The dual degree combines the skills in analysis and computation acquired in the study of physics with the practical knowledge and experience characteristic of an engineer. The wide range of skills and abilities acquired in this dual-degree program make for a highly flexible worker with the capacity to model, calculate, code, design and build. These are precisely the skills needed to succeed in an industrial workplace where technology changes rapidly..

Main Features of the Program

In the first three years while at UNI, students in the major must complete at least 90 semester credit hours of course work. Students are expected to complete the Liberal Arts Core requirements. Credit, but no grades, for UNI courses passed with a grade of C or better will be transferred to ISU or UI as credit for equivalent courses there, even though they may not be required by the engineering curriculum selected by the student. Engineering courses completed toward a B.S. Engineering degree at ISU or UI can be transferred to UNI to satisfy any remaining required or elective credits of the physics major. Such transfers must be approved by the Head of the UNI Department of Physics. The internship or research requirement for the B.S. Physics degree may be satisfied by comparable practical experience at ISU that has been approved by the Physics Department Head.

UNI Courses for Dual Degree Program in Physics/Engineering
  1. Liberal Arts Core Requirements: 38 hrs (MATH 1420 & PHYSICS 1701 satisfy 7 hrs)
  2. B.S. Physics Required Courses: 51 hrs; natural science electives: 8 hrs. (Electives to be chosen with assistance from Physics advisor.)
  3. Internship/Research: Can be taken at UNI or during 2 years at ISU or UI
Other Electives (to be taken at ISU or UI)

The required engineering courses completed toward a BS degree in engineering at ISU or UI will be transferred to UNI to satisfy the balance of 8 hours of electives required for the UNI B.S. Physics degree. Depending on the engineering major and/or an individual student’s schedule, credit for some upper level Physics courses could also be obtained via transfer credit from engineering courses taken at ISU or UI. It is important to consult with a Physics advisor concerning transfer credits.

Required Physics and Math Courses at ISU

Engineering Programs at ISU

Math and Physics Courses Required

Equivalent Courses at UNI

Mechanical

Calculus I

Calculus II

Introduction to Classical Physics I

Calculus III

Introduction to Classical Physics II

Elementary Differential Equations and Laplace Transformations

Calculus I (MATH 1420)

Calculus II (MATH 1421)

Physics I for Science and Engineering (PHYS 1701)

Calculus III (MATH 2422)

Physics II for Science and Engineering (PHYS 1702)

Differential Equations (MATH 3425), and Math Methods (PHYS 2700)

Electrical

Calculus I

Calculus II

Introduction to Classical Physics I

Introduction to Classical Physics II

Calculus III

Elementary Differential Equations and Laplace Transformations

Matrices and Linear Algebra

Calculus I (MATH 1420)

Calculus II (MATH 1421)

Physics I for Science and Engineering (PHYS 1701)

Physics II for Science and Engineering (PHYS 1702)

Calculus III (MATH 2422)

Differential Equations (MATH 3425), and Math Methods (PHYS 2700)

 

Computer

Calculus I

Calculus II

Introduction to Classical Physics I

Introduction to Classical Physics II

Elementary Differential Equations and Laplace Transformations

Probability and Statistics for Computer Science

Calculus I (MATH 1420)

Calculus II (MATH 1421)

Physics I for Science and Engineering (PHYS 1701)

Physics II for Science and Engineering (PHYS 1702)

Differential Equations (MATH 3425), and Math Methods (PHYS 2700)

Civil-General

Calculus I

Calculus II

Introduction to Classical Physics I

Calculus III

Elementary Differential Equations

Calculus I (MATH 1420)

Calculus II (MATH 1421)

Physics I for Science and Engineering (PHYS 1701)

Calculus III (MATH 2422)

Differential Equations (MATH 3425)

Civil-Environmental

Calculus I

Calculus II

Introduction to Classical Physics I

 Elementary Differential Equations

Calculus I (MATH 1420)

Calculus II (MATH 1421)

Physics I for Science and Engineering (PHYS 1701)

Differential Equations (MATH 3425)

Construction

Calculus I

Calculus II

Calculus III (for Mechanical emphasis only)

Introduction to Classical Physics I

Introduction to Statistics for Engineers

Introduction to Classical Physics II

Elementary Differential Equations (for Building or Heavy/Highway emphasis)

Elementary Differential Equations and Laplace Transformations (for Electrical or Mechanical emphasis)

Calculus I (MATH 1420)

Calculus II (MATH 1421)

Calculus III (MATH 2422)

Physics I for Science and Engineering (PHYS 1701)

 

Physics II for Science and Engineering (PHYS 1702)

Differential Equations (MATH 3425)

 

Differential Equations (MATH 3425), and Math Methods (PHYS 2700)

 

Plan of Study

The following plan of study is a suggested guide to best prepare students to complete a Physics degree from UNI as well as an engineering degree from ISU or UI in a total of five years. Students will be able to transfer for study in a wide range of engineering disciplines such as civil, electrical, mechanical, and industrial engineering. Course descriptions can be found in the UNI Course Catalog.

 

Semester I

Semester II
Calculus I 4 Non-Western Cultures 3
First Year Projects in Physics 1 Dimensions of Well Being 2
Physics I for Sci. & Eng. 4 Oral Communication 3
College Reading & Writing 3 Calculus II 4
Humanities I, II, or III 3 Physics II for Science & Eng. 4
  15   16
Semester III Semester IV
Calculus III 4 Modern Physics 4
Physics III Theory & Simulation 3 Modern Physics Lab 2
Introduction to Electronics 4 Social Science - Grp. B 3
Humanities I, II, III 3 General Chemistry I 4
Social Science - Grp. A 3 Linear Algebra 3
  17   16
Semester V Semester VI
Classical Mechanics 4    
Thermodynamics 4 Fine Arts 3
Physics Seminar 1 Life Science 3
Differential Equations 3 Computational Physics 3
Capstone Experience 2 Social Science 3
Literature, Phil., or Religion 3 General Chemistry II 4
  17   16
       
Semester VII Semester VIII
ISU or UI requirements xx ISU or UI requirements xx
       
       
Semester IX   Semester X
ISU or UI requirements xx ISU or UI requirements xx

 

Italicized text indicates electives for UNI BS Physics.

Hours from ISU or IU are transferred to complete the UNI Physics BS.

Course requirements at ISU and UI will depend on the engineering field chosen.

Courses such as Classical Mechanics and Thermodynamics can be taken at ISU or UI if necessary. In some cases, a required engineering course could be substituted.