Note: St. Mary’s College of Maryland does not offer an engineering degree or engineering courses. However, the Physics Department does offer several ways to prepare for an engineering career.
A physics major with a handful of additional courses qualifies a graduate for many engineering jobs with the US government. One third of St. Mary’s physics majors enter successful careers in engineering.
According to the Office of Personnel Management, a physics graduate seeking a government engineering position should also have taken five of the following seven courses:
- statics, dynamics
- strength of materials (stress-strain relationships)
- fluid mechanics, hydraulics
- electrical fields and circuits
- nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties
- any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.
Some of these courses are already part of the SMCM physics major. Others are electives offered at SMCM. The remainder would have to be taken at another institution, e.g. over the summer.
Plan of Study
A physics major – particularly with an applied physics concentration – provides preparation for graduate programs in engineering. Appropriate choice of electives at St. Mary’s, plus perhaps a small number of additional courses at another institution, will provide the best preparation. This is the most popular route to an engineering career for our graduates.
Questions and Contact
The department has a suggested program of study leading to degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Physics; if you’re interested in this option, contact the department chair, Dr. Josh Grossman.