Program Description - Engineering Physics

Physics provides the foundation for most applied science and engineering disciplines. It attracts those who wish to understand nature at its most fundamental level. The engineering physics program at Mines is interdisciplinary in nature, taking basic undergraduate physics subjects further with direct applications to engineering. ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (, accredits the degree to provide graduates the first step towards professional licensure. 

At Mines, the required engineering physics curriculum includes the requisite undergraduate physics courses that form rigorous study at any 4-year university. In addition to these core courses, Mines requirements include pre-engineering and engineering classes that physics majors at other universities would not ordinarily take. These courses include immersions in engineering science, engineering design, systems, a summer field session practicum, and a capstone senior design sequence culminating in a senior thesis.

The unique blend of physics and engineering makes it possible for a Mines engineering physics graduate to work at the interface between science and technology where new discoveries are made and continually being put into practice. While engineering physicists are proficient applying existing technologies, they are also willing to explore novel approaches and capable of developing new technologies. The excitement and fulfillment of working on innovative challenges make a Mines engineering physics degree attractive to many students.

With the flexibility of our degree, our undergraduates find themselves following a variety of career paths. Many find employment in fields as diverse as aerospace engineering, biomedical science, computational modeling of physical systems, device manufacturing and semiconductor processing, geophysics, materials development, nanotechnology, nuclear science and engineering, renewable and conventional energy industries, semiconductor manufacturing and processing, energy, and even entertainment enterprises that place high demands on animation, audio, special effects, and visualization talents. More than half of our seniors pursue graduate studies in physics or a closely related field of engineering. Some take their undergraduate training into post-graduate professional studies in business, law, management, medicine, or quantum engineering. 

Mines physics faculty and staff maintain modern, state-of-the-art laboratories for general physics, modern physics, electronics, and advanced investigations. There are research laboratories for the study of condensed matter, materials science, nuclear physics, optics, and quantum physics & computing. The department maintains well-equipped, professionally staffed, electronic labs and machine shops to help students and faculty accomplish their curriculum, project, and research goals. The department also nurtures strong ties with national laboratories and local engineering design firms that provide students with authentic collaboration opportunities.


Lincoln D. Carr

Charles G. Durfee III

Uwe Greife

Mark T. Lusk

Frederic Sarazin, Department Head

Jeff A. Squier

Lawrence R. Wiencke

Associate Professors

Eliot Kapit

Timothy R. Ohno

Eric S. Toberer, Director of the Materials Science Program

Assistant Professors

Daniel Adams

Serena M. Eley

Zhexuan Gong

Kyle G. Leach

Susanta K. Sarkar

Meenakshi Singh

Jeramy D. Zimmerman

Teaching Professors

Kristine E. Callan

Alex T. Flournoy

Patrick B. Kohl

H. Vincent Kuo, Assistant Department Head

Todd G. Ruskell

Charles A. Stone

Teaching Assistant Professor

Emily M. Smith

Research Associate Professor

Wendy Adams Spencer

Research Assistant Professors

P. David Flammer

Laith Haddad

Lakshmi Krishna

Lokender Kumar

Nitin Kumar

K. Xerxes Steirer

Professors Emeriti

F. Edward Cecil

Reuben T. Collins

Thomas E. Furtak

Frank V. Kowalski

John Scales

P. Craig Taylor

John Trefny, President Emeritus

Don L. Williamson

Associate Professors Emeriti

David M. Wood