Loyola University Chicago

Department of Physics

Dual-Degree Engineering Program

It is often said that in today's fast-paced world the one thing that is permanent is change itself. Change in modern times is driven by an exponential growth in human knowledge, as well as by rapidly expanding technologies such as computers and the Internet. This has resulted in the so-called "information explosion." In this increasingly changing environment, success requires adaptability both in daily matters and in career planning. It is no longer desirable for a young person, at the start of a career, to be narrowly restricted in his or her goals, interests, and training for employment.

In coming to grips with the challenges of change and increased competition in the job marketplace, many of today's college students are choosing to broaden their educational foundations by pursuing multi-faceted objectives such as minors along with majors, double majors, dual undergraduate degrees, as well as combinations of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Such curricula provide increased competitiveness at the job entry level, as well as enhanced opportunities during one's later career. If you are a student who recognizes the value of broadening your educational experience to include one of the fundamental sciences, as well as liberal arts and engineering, Loyola University Chicago's Dual-Degree Physics/Engineering Program may be just right for you.

In affiliation with various accredited engineering schools, Loyola University Chicago offers a Dual-Degree Program in Physics and Engineering, which enables a student to receive within five years, a B.S. degree in Physics from Loyola and a B.S. degree in Engineering from one of the affiliated schools. Students typically attend Loyola for three years of study in the physical sciences and liberal arts, and then complete the program with two more years at the engineering school. A sizeable number of the science, humanities and engineering courses taken by the student count for both degrees, which results in considerable savings of time and money in the completion of two degrees.

This program achieves three crucial educational objectives. First, as a physics major, the student will be widely trained in a fundamental science that has broad application in emerging technologies. For example a physics major who takes courses in electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics and optics, is more readily able to adapt to future developments in quantum electronics, lasers and fiber optics. In addition, because of the proficiency acquired through the extensive use of mathematics and computers, and the emphasis placed upon problem solving, physics majors are unusually well-qualified to enter the engineering profession.

Second, Loyola's Dual-Degree students are beneficiaries of the outstanding Jesuit tradition in education, which emphasizes breadth and depth of training in the liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences. The rich variety of courses in Loyola's core curriculum enhances a graduate's ability to comprehend the social, cultural and political aspects of one's responsibilities in an increasingly global environment. Writing, speaking and other communication skills are also sharpened at Loyola via its Writing-Across-the-Curriculum Program, and in the Department of Physics through student research projects.

Third, in Loyola's Dual-Degree program, the student will study at a nationally renowned school of engineering and become well-versed in a specialized engineering field. Since Loyola's Dual-Degree students have three years of background courses in the sciences and mathematics, they are able to begin course work immediately at the engineering school in their chosen specialization. After completion of the program, the graduate is ready to enter the engineering profession, and will be called upon to use his or her expertise in the planning, design, construction and operation of the myriad devices used in modern society.

From a practical point of view, with degrees in Physics and Engineering, Dual-Degree graduates have many more avenues open for employment than single-degree graduates, especially in areas that require interdisciplinary skills. With their broad training in science, liberal arts and engineering, they are well-positioned to assume leadership roles in their respective fields. Indeed, Dual-Degree graduates receive two very valuable degrees.

Loyola's Dual-Degree 3-2 Program

Here are the reasons why Loyola University Chicago should be your choice to initiate an engineering career:

Why Choose Loyola?

  1. At Loyola, students begin their studies at a school where individualized attention is paramount. In sharp contrast to big engineering schools, students at Loyola are taught in conveniently sized classes with an excellent teacher-to-student ratios. In our physics courses, the average number of students has traditionally been twenty five or fewer, and math courses generally have fewer than thirty students. In addition, all physics lecture courses at Loyola are taught by regular full-time faculty with the Ph.D. degree, as are all physics discussion sessions. At Loyola, we are proud that our students are able to interact directly with professors rather than with graduate teaching assistants.
  2. At Loyola, the counseling of students in the Dual-Degree Program is closely coordinated with a student's progress in the major. Experience has shown that satisfying the requirements for two degrees within a five-year period requires careful and coordinated planning. Unlike similar programs at other institutions, Loyola's Dual-Degree program is administered within the same department as the student's major: Physics. This facilitates course planning, so that students can satisfy the requirements for the major simultaneously with the prerequisites for the engineering institution.
  3. Loyola's physics program is rated by Rugg's Recommendations on the Colleges (13th ed., 1996) as one of the top undergraduate physics departments in the country. Because of our faculty's reputation as first-rate science educators, students in good standing at Loyola have routinely been admitted to the best engineering and graduate physics programs in the country.
  4. Students in Loyola's Dual-Degree program complete their freshman year with a full-year's worth of calculus and calculus-based physics courses. This gives students the flexibility to consider other technical and scientific fields if they decide not to pursue an engineering career. Thus, at Loyola, students can change their field without losing credit or falling behind in a four-year program.
  5. Loyola University is situated in a metropolitan area which is home to two major governmental laboratories (Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi Accelerator Laboratory) and well as numerous engineering firms, high-technology conventions, and first-rate libraries and museums. Our students routinely take advantage of the many scientific learning opportunities available in Chicago. Our Lake Shore Campus is situated only seventeen minutes from downtown Chicago, with free busing provided by the University. Thus, Loyola's program also offers the opportunities for a very rich cultural experience, in addition to the enjoyment of a beautiful urban campus which is a city within a city.