If you’re interested in an engineering career, but would prefer to attend a smaller university than one of the major engineering schools, then UC’s applied physics major may provide a tailor-fit solution for you. The typical applied physics major attends Cumberlands for three years, taking physics, mathematics, chemistry, computer programming and general education courses; then transfers to the University of Kentucky and completes an approved set of engineering courses and general education courses. This typically requires two to three semesters at UK. Upon completion of this work, the student is awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in applied physics from University of the Cumberlands. A student may choose to complete the remaining engineering requirements at UK in order to obtain an engineering degree. If you’re counting, that’s two degrees in about five years.
What Can I Do With This Degree?
In many ways, engineering is applied science, and physics is the foremost of the sciences in most fields of engineering. The language of physics is mathematics. At UC, we provide a strong background in both mathematics and physics so that students who transfer to an engineering school are well-prepared. Students who have transferred to engineering schools consistently report that they are better prepared for the challenges of engineering than their peers. One never knows when the additional background in mathematics and the sciences gained through the applied physics major may be useful. One recent graduate worked for Lexmark as an engineering intern; however, she found that her physics background helped her to understand the operation of a laser printer at a deeper level.
Students who complete their education at engineering schools have many options. Civil engineers are employed by industry and the government to build structures for society’s use, including everything from skyscrapers to pipelines, from sanitation systems to dams, and from highways to aerospace transportation. Electrical engineers design, build, and operate electronic devices, computers, communication systems, and electric power systems. Materials engineers study the extraction, processing, refining, combination, manufacture, or use of metals, ceramics, and polymers. The mechanical engineer builds devices that convert energy to work or work to energy, specializing in dozens of areas from air pollution control to rubber and plastics to underwater technology. Mining engineers are involved throughout the mining process in planning and installing not only the mine itself, but roads, drainage, ventilation, pollution controls, safety systems, and land restoration.
If you would like more information about careers in engineering, we recommend the following Internet sites:
American Society for Engineering Education – eGFI Program (http://www.egfi-k12.org/)
Junior Engineering Technical Society – Explore Engineering (http://www.jets.org/explore/)
Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook – Engineers (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm)