*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Physicists and Astronomers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/physicists-and-astronomers.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
First, you're going to have to take a set number of credits at minimum each quarter or semester. If you have chosen a major in Engineering Physics without any concentrations, you'll likely be able to complete your courses and earn your degree sooner.
Even better, one university will allow you to earn academic credit for several forms of applied education and real-world experience including job-related courses and military training.
This university requires its Engineering Physics majors to earn at least 120 semester hours for a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics. For those students who want to earn a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics, they will need to take at least 120 semester hours to graduate. If you take at least 12 credit hours per semester, you'll earn your degree in five years; if you take 15 credit hours per semester, you'll graduate in closer to four years.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
Engineering Physics is a wide-ranging field with many different specialties. If you have a specific career you are hoping to enter, make sure the school either offers a major in that field or a variety of classes pertaining to your field of interest. You may be able to find employment information for graduating students, which can show you how many students were able to enter the Engineering Physics you're looking at upon graduation.
This is a very important question to ask yourself. Your major should play a big part in the schools you are considering. Not every college may offer the major of your choice, so doing your homework is the first step of the selection process.
Before you declare a major in Engineering Physics, you should have an idea of what kind of timeframe you're looking at. If you are trying to achieve an associate degree, you will only need to finish about 60 credit hours over 2 years. However, if you are going for you bachelor's (B.S. or B.A.) degree in Engineering Physics, you will need to complete 120 credit hours over four years. And, if you want to attain a master's degree as well, you will have to finish your bachelors first and then spend around 2 years completing 60 more credit hours. Some of the coursework you will find in a typical Engineering Physics degrees are:
Only 41% of students actually manage to finish their Engineering Physics degree on time. There are a variety of factors that could potentially play a part in unexpectedly extending your college career, such as:
Work. Working over 25 hours per week can get in the way of academics.
Credit Hours. Most colleges will define a full course load as 12 credit hours per semester. If you do the math, you will see that you actually need to take 15 credit hours per semester in order to graduate on time.
Transferring. Many students end up transferring during their college career. Many times, there are hiccups with transferring credits. This can put you behind, or even cause you to end up losing your credits altogether.
Be aware of these common mistakes, so that you don't make them yourself.
The college or university itself should be accredited. Look for a regionally accredited school based on that school's location. The six regional accreditation agencies are The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, The North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, The Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, and The Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Online-only schools should have accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, the Distance Education and Training Council, or the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges but they should also hold regional accreditation.
Accreditation is an important part of the selection process. It adds value to a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics degree by offering wider acceptance than degrees from non-accredited schools receive. Accreditation ensures employers and other reviewers of your educational background that you have a quality education in Engineering Physics. It informs potential employers that the graduate has the expected level of education and knowledge to perform work in today's high-paced, technology-driven environments.
The Department of Education designates regional and national accreditation agencies. It is also through this department that educational loans and grants are provided to college students. The federal policy is to limit student loans to schools and colleges with acceptable accreditation. Which means that, if your school isn't accredited, you will likely not be eligible to receive any financial aid. For many students, accreditation is key to getting funds to pay for the substantial costs of a degree in Engineering Physics.
Depending on your school and if you are paying in-state or out-of-state tuition, an Engineering Physics bachelor's degree can cost as little as $30,000 or as much as $300,000. The key difference in the price will depend on whether you attend a public, in-state school or a private school. Note that if you attend a public school in another state that you will probably pay twice (or more) of the base tuition. Private schools can be more or less expensive depending on the prestige of the school for Engineering Physics or if they are charging additional fees for out-of-state students to attend the college.
If you are going to spend a lot of time and energy to attain an Engineering Physics degree, you will certainly want some job placement assistance as you near graduation. Discuss this with your admissions counselor when you are considering the right program. In fact, you might want to broaden that discussion by asking about how your school handles internships and if co-op programs are available. Experiential learning can help you not only gain the skills needed to land a job, but you can also cultivate a professional network that will help you build the career you deserve.