Program Overview


The undergraduate Engineering Physics program provides an opportunity for students with an aptitude for the physical sciences and mathematics to fully develop their capabilities and apply them to engineering problems. The total time from admission to Engineering to graduation with a B.Eng. in Engineering Physics is four years, and five years for the combined B.Eng. Management or the B.Eng. Society degrees. Graduates of the program provide valuable feedback, which helps to maintain the relevance of the undergraduate curriculum to current engineering applications. One of the strengths of the Engineering Physics program is that it is very broadly based and prepares its graduates to pursue a wide range of career paths. All students in the program obtain a background in electrical science, engineering materials, classical and quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, electronics, data acquisition and handling, mathematical physics and numerical analysis. In the final two years of the program, students have the opportunity to focus on one of the three specialized areas of study. Students who are entering Level 2 of a B.Eng. program or Level 3 of a B.Eng. Management or B.Eng. Society program are asked to choose one of three specialized streams or the broader interdisciplinary stream, which combines selected components from the other three.

These streams are:

  • Nuclear Engineering and Energy Systems
  • Nano- and Micro-Devices
  • Photonics Engineering
  • Interdisciplinary

Find a copy of our Undergraduate Brochure here.

The choice of stream determines which of the department’s advanced technical courses are required and it guides the choice of upper year technical electives. The department’s final year laboratory course provides students with an opportunity to select advanced experiments that relate to their chosen stream. For example, they may manufacture integrated circuits, build computer interfaces, conduct two phase flow and heat transfer experiments using sophisticated diagnostic techniques, experiment with fiber optic sensors or conduct experiments with the McMaster Nuclear Reactor. An overview of some of the topics included in the specialized streams is given below:

Nuclear Engineering and Energy Systems

  • energy systems
  • heat transfer and fluid mechanics
  • alternate energy sources
  • nuclear reactor physics and chain reactions
  • nuclear reactor design and analysis
  • radioactivity
  • interactions of radiation with matter

Nano- and Micro-Devices

  • electronics
  • physics of semiconductors
  • microelectronic devices
  • integrated circuits
  • device fabrication techniques
  • microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
  • superconductivity

Photonics Engineering

  • physics and applications of lasers
  • optical instrumentation, optical sensors
  • fiber optic communications systems
  • electromagnetic theory
  • physical optics
  • semiconductor diode lasers
  • biophotonics

The detailed course requirements for each of the streams are outlined in the undergraduate calendar.

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