The graduate program in engineering physics was the first Ph.D. granting program in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. It is a research-oriented program in which students apply the principles of physics to the solution of technical problems. The student prepares for research in a chosen field by selecting appropriate courses in mathematics, engineering, physics, and other sciences. Other than the requirement of a minimum of 2 courses in graduate physics courses, 2 courses in graduate engineering courses, and 1 course in graduate mathematics, the master’s student has a wide range of courses from which to select. The Master’s of Science degree requires a total of 8 courses and a Master’s Thesis and the Master’s of Engineering (ME) Degree requires 10 courses with one course in engineering design. The ME degree is also offered remotely as part of the distance learning program (www.cgep.virginia.edu).
The Ph.D. student must satisfy these same course requirements, with an additional 2 courses in physics, 2 in engineering and 1 in mathematics. If the student by-passes the Master’s degree, then the total course requirement for the Ph.D. is 4 courses in physics, 4 in engineering and 2 in mathematics. Thus, the Engineering Physics Program is extremely flexible, offering students the opportunity to formulate a program of study that closely supports their research activity.
Faculty research advisors for engineering physics students reside in a variety of departments within the University, depending on the student’s research area. Engineering physics research has been directed by faculty members from the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry and the School of Medicine.
Current research areas include nano-technology; photonics; materials properties; planetary science; atomic collisions; surface science; electronic devices; medical physics; computational fluid mechanics; space plasma physics; and nonlinear dynamical systems and chaos. Students oriented towards experimental research may work in a number of facilities, such as the Laboratory for Nano-technology Institute; Laser Interactions Institute; Atomic and Surface Physics Laboratory, the Semiconductor Device Laboratory, the Medical Imaging Laboratory, the Aerospace Research Laboratory, and the Jefferson National Laboratory.
Financial assistance to qualified engineering physics graduate students is available in several forms. Numerous graduate research assistantships are available in sponsored research programs. Furthermore, a number of graduate engineering fellowships and teaching assistantships are sponsored by the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Students should also apply for National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy, and U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) fellowships.Visit the online site at www.virginia.edu/ep for more information.