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Physics professor Apollo Mian

Physics - Engineering

It’s a common misconception: in order to study Engineering you have to go to a huge school and accept that you’ll just be one face among the many. Well, not at McDaniel. Here you can begin your journey to becoming an engineer in a small-college setting with a well-rounded intellectual foundation.

Degree Types
Major , Specialization
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Special Benefits
Guaranteed Acceptance
engineering student

The McDaniel Engineering Initiative is a robust two-pronged approach designed to help you achieve your dreams of becoming an engineer.

First, we offer a specialization in Engineering within the Physics major. This specialization includes core courses typical of many undergraduate Engineering degrees. Students will receive a BA in Physics—Specialization in Engineering.

Second, as a Physics major, you can choose from one of two Dual Degree tracks for Engineering studies at McDaniel and Washington University’s James McKelvey School of Engineering. Spend three or four years at McDaniel before moving on to WashU, where you can pursue a variety of engineering fields, including Aerospace, Biomedical, Chemical, Computer, Cybersecurity, Electrical, Energy, Environmental or Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, or Systems Science and Engineering.

Why pursue a Dual Degree?

Educated at both a liberal arts college and a research university, Dual Degree students are trained as agile learners. They graduate prepared to be adept problem-solvers in a complex world where engineers are in desperately short supply.​

  • Financial assistance is available to every student admitted to Dual Degree.​
  • You gain the latest technical knowledge in your engineering degree program.​
  • You benefit from the career centers and alumni networks of two institutions.​

Learn more about the Dual Degree Program with Washington University in St. Louis.

“McDaniel is now among a select group of schools, and only the second in Maryland, to be affiliated with WashU. Our program is an attractive alternative to traditional engineering curricula and we like to think of our graduates as ‘liberally educated engineers’ with strong communication and problem-solving skills, a broad background in the humanities and social sciences, and a high-quality technical education.”  

Ron Laue, assistant dean of the James McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis

Distinctive Courses

ENR 2202 - Engineering Mechanics

In this course students will be introduced to the principles of statics and dynamics from the point-of-view of engineering. In particular, students will learn why materials and structures behave in particular ways and how to solve a variety of problems relevant to many fields of engineering. Topics covered will include: forces and torques, centroids and moments of inertia, conditions for equilibrium in rigid bodies and systems, friction, energy and momentum, virtual work, free and forced vibrations, and three-dimensional motion of rigid bodies.

ENR 4401 - Senior Engineering Laboratory

This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of continuum mechanics with applications in a variety of fields. Topics covered include: Static equilibrium and elastic stability, two and three-dimensional theories of stressed elastic solids, states of stress (shear, bending, torsion), vibrations, force resultants, analysis of determinate planar structures, displacements and deformations, and failure of materials under various loading conditions.

PHY 3200 - Advanced Physics Laboratory

This course will introduce students to advanced skills and analysis techniques essential to gaining a real understanding of how physics is done in the laboratory. Specific laboratories will be based on topics from Mechanics, Modern Physics, and E&M, and may also introduce new and exciting areas from the world of physics. Additionally, this course will also establish for students writing and presentation skills critical to communicating in the field of physics. The writing and presentation component of this course will be tightly coupled to the laboratory component.

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Photo of alum Dimitri Lezcano sitting in a laboratory.

Dimitri Lezcano ’19

Wanting to know how things work motives Dimitri Lezcano ’19 to investigate everyday technology, from circuit design to machine learning. As a Physics and Mathematics major on the Hill, he found that studying the full breadth of the liberal arts had prepared him for his master's and Ph.D. programs in robotics and Mechanical Engineering.

Photo of professor Farzad Ahmadi standing by a stone pillar on campus with 1867 inscribed on it.

Faculty Spotlight Farzad Ahmadi, Ph.D.

Farzad Ahmadi believes everyone is an engineer when they think critically to solve challenging problems. His interests include civil and mechanical engineering, which he uses to find answers to important questions, like how can we build something new that would be useful for humans, especially those with disabilities? While earning a Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics at Virginia Tech, he researched a novel way of preventing ice formation on surfaces by using more ice, and he discovered the jumping droplet phenomena, which can spread disease among plants.

Student wearing goggles in a dark lab using lasers.

A Compelling Partnership McDaniel launches Engineering track and partnership with Washington University in St. Louis Guaranteed Acceptance

In partnership with Washington University in St. Louis, McDaniel students have the option to enroll at the James McKelvey School of Engineering at WashU for a second degree, either a bachelor’s or master’s, in Biomedical, Chemical, Computer, Electrical or Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, or Systems Science and Engineering.