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Applied Physics, B.A.

Dual Degree Engineering Program

Whitworth's dual degree engineering program will give you the broad foundation of a liberal arts education, as well as technical training to be successful in a variety of engineering disciplines.

You will begin your education with two or three years of coursework at Whitworth and then spend the remainder of the five-year program at one of our top-notch partner engineering schools: Washington University in St. Louis, Columbia University, Washington State University or the University of Southern California. Upon completion, you will earn two degrees: a bachelor of arts in applied physics from Whitworth and a bachelor of science in a specific field of engineering from the partner school.

Also referred to as a 3-2 program because of the timeline, the program combines the student-focused benefits of a Whitworth education with the vast resources of a large research university. Students report that the wide knowledge base and the critical-thinking, teamwork and communication skills they gained at Whitworth have enabled them to thrive in both engineering school and the professional environment.

Why enroll in the dual degree engineering program at Whitworth?

  • Build an excellent technical foundation during the Whitworth portion of the program. Whitworth students report arriving at their partner schools feeling well prepared and ahead of their dual-degree peers.
  • Advance your career-readiness by developing a specialty at the undergraduate level. At partner schools, you may earn a bachelor's degree in a specific area that interests you, such as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering or biomedical engineering.
  • Receive holistic mentoring. Whitworth engineering & physics professors are committed to helping you grow both academically and personally.
  • Join Whitworth's Physics and Engineering Collective to develop department camaraderie and prepare for your career.
  • Gain leadership skills by working in the Whitworth Engineering & Physics Department. Students may apply to work as tutors, teaching assistants and research assistants.
  • Study and build community in the department's new student lounge.
  • Engage in service-learning in the Spokane community. The Physics Outreach course gives you the chance to promote physics and engineering education among local middle school students.
  • Become who you're meant to be.

Our dual degree grads make a difference (and get jobs)

Graduates most often pursue careers in engineering, working for industries, the government or universities. Our recent graduates are working at successful engineering firms around the country.

Because the dual degree program provides a specialized engineering education at the undergraduate level, most students find employment immediately following graduation instead of pursuing more advanced engineering education.

Recent job placements include:

  • Branden Lowe, data scientist/software developer, IBM, New York City area
  • Minh "Mindy" Nguyen, technical staff, The Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, Calif.
  • Nick Brunner, hardware/software engineer, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
  • Kate Jones, mechanical designer, Interface Engineering, Portland, Ore.
  • Joshua Nuez, software development engineer, Amazon, Seattle
  • David Richmond, mechanical engineer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Wash.
  • Chris Beehler, group manager supply, Anheuser-Busch InBev, St. Louis
  • Alden Welsch, software engineer, Insitu Inc., Hood River, Ore.

Our recent dual degree program grads further their studies in top programs at institutions including:

  • University of Washington (structural engineering, mechanical engineering)
  • Columbia University (electrical engineering)
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa (ocean engineering)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering)

Opportunities outside the classroom

  • Take advantage of summer internship opportunities. Although internships are not required, many students gain engineering experience during the summer. Recent students have interned at such places as the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of Nebraska and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories.
  • Use our shop facilities to work on your own projects. We have 3D printers, a laser cutter and more to help transform your designs into reality.
  • Join the Physics and Engineering Collective in a tour of a local engineering company or let off some steam in the annual PEC dodgeball tournament.
  • Help middle school students design experiments and send them to the stratosphere with a weather balloon.

Ask our faculty

Ask Professor Stevens

Professor Richard Stevens is the dual-degree engineering program coordinator and guides students through the transfer process.

What related majors can I explore?