Engineering Options

The Elmhurst College Department of Physics offers several options for students who wish to study engineering.

All of these options are designed to provide both a broader educational experience and a stronger basic science background than a traditional engineering curriculum provides.

Contact Program Coordinator Venkatesh Gopal for further details on any of the programs listed below.

Parallel Dual-Degree Program

A unique parallel dual-degree program offered in cooperation with Illinois Institute of Technology allows the student to simultaneously take basic science and Integrated Curriculum courses at Elmhurst and engineering courses at IIT. Engineering courses are taken at the IIT campus in Chicago.

Available Curricula

Upon completion of the program, which normally takes five years, the student receives a bachelor’s degree in physics from Elmhurst and a B.S. degree in engineering from IIT. A student enrolled in this program can participate in student activities and use all available facilities at both institutions. A resident student may remain on campus at Elmhurst during the entire program.

Tuition and Fees are billed and collected by Elmhurst College each semester based on the enrollment at both schools.  It is intended that the pattern of the initial Elmhurst College financial aid award will be continued throughout the student’s participation in the joint program as a full-time student in good academic standing. Additional costs may be incurred due to lab fees or other enrollment-related expenses per semester.

“3-2” Dual-Degree Program

Another option is a “3-2” dual-degree program in which the student spends the first three years at Elmhurst taking basic science and integrated curriculum courses, followed by two years of engineering courses at a cooperating university. This also leads to both a B.S. in physics and a B.S. in engineering.

The College currently has formal arrangements of this kind with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but students may be able to transfer to other engineering schools as well. In any case, initial course selection is the same as for the regular physics major, with subsequent courses depending on the area of engineering the student plans to enter.

Sequential Degree Alternative

An alternative chosen by many students interested in electrical, mechanical, or nuclear engineering or materials science, is to complete a physics degree at Elmhurst and then go to graduate school for one or two additional years to obtain a master’s degree in an engineering specialty.

There are two advantages to this approach:

  • The student receives two sequential degrees rather than two degrees at the same level
  • A strong student can usually obtain an assistantship or fellowship to cover tuition and expenses during the period of graduate study

Venkatesh Gopal, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physics and Chair
Department of Physics

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