A Physics Major With an Engineering Focus

Students interested in enriching their physics education by incorporating engineering coursework can do so through coursework in engineering at Swarthmore College or the University of Pennsylvania. Bryn Mawr students also have the opportunity to transition to an engineering program through a combined degree program. Visit the combined degree page for more details about the application process and frequently asked questions. See below for a short description of the programs available through the physics major.

Master's Programs

University of Pennsylvania Accelerated Master's (4+1) Program

Qualified students can earn a master’s degree in engineering following completion of four years at Bryn Mawr and one year at UPenn. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in all courses and of 3.0 in science and math courses is required to apply. Contact Dr. Mark Matlin for more information regarding the program and learn more here.

University of Rochester 4+2 Master's in Optics

Earn a master’s degree in optics following completion of four years at Bryn Mawr and two years at The University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics. Contact Dr. Mike Noel for more information.

Dual Degree Programs

Caltech 3+2 AB/BS Program
Columbia 3+2 AB/BS Program

Students interested in earning a BS degree in engineering in addition to an AB degree can apply for either the Caltech (information here) or Columbia 3+2 program (information here). A student in either program would complete three years of coursework at Bryn Mawr College, fulfilling all their major requirements as well as all College graduation requirements, and then attend Caltech or Columbia for the subsequent two years, receiving both an AB and a BSE at the end of five years total. Both programs require an application.  A suitable three-year plan meeting the minimum requirements for the major and participating in one of the 3+2 programs is shown below.  Contact Dr. Mark Matlin for more information.

Three-Year Plan meeting the minimum requirements for the major and participating in a 3+2 program

1st Year 
PHYS 121, 122 
MATH 101, 102

2nd Year 
PHYS 201, 214, 205 (half-credit), 207 (half-credit), 206 (half-credit)
MATH 201, 203

3rd Year 
PHYS 331 or 305, 398, and three other 300-level physics courses (it might be possible to substitute one course from the 3+2 program for one of these courses)

Note: PHYS 205/207 could be taken in the third year, but that would limit which 300-level theory courses could be taken in the fall of the third year.


physics lab

Contact Us

Department of Physics

Park Science Building
Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899
Phone: 610-526-5358