Mechanical, Civil Engineering or Similar Fields

Students interested in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, Acoustical Engineering, and other closely-related fields need a strong foundation in physics and mathematics. In addition to the introductory physics and math courses, engineering-focused students should take

Mechanics-focused physics courses

PHYS 238, Statics [HIGHLY RECOMMENDED]-- Application of the principle that in order for an object (like a bridge) to remain stationary, the net force on that object has to be zero. Includes a bridge-building and analysis project.

PHYS 352, Mechanics of Materials [HIGHLY RECOMMENDED]-- All materials are flexible and will deform when forces are applied to them. This course helps you use that idea to account for deformations in real structures like bridges and buildings, to try to prevent unintentional failures.

PHYS 359, Thermal Physics [RECOMMENDED]-- Many engineering design applications require knowledge about thermodynamics and how systems behavior when heat is transferred from one object to another.

PHYS 361, Classical Mechanics [HIGHLY RECOMMENDED]-- Many designs do not stay stationary, but instead are intended to move at high speed, have rotating or vibrating components, or may indeed orbit a planet. Classical Mechanics helps you apply your knowledge of dynamics to many real-world systems.

Applied Mathematics courses

MATH 240: Linear algebra [HIGHLY RECOMMENDED]-- Many physical systems are linear. Linear algebra gives you tools to deal with multiple linear equations at the same time and fine solutions in efficient ways.

MATH 253: Multivariable Calculus [HIGHLY RECOMMENDED]-- Sometimes called Calculus 3, Multivariable calculus helps us understand how more complex functions can depend on more than one variable.

MATH 321/322/327: Statistics courses [RECOMMENDED]-- Statistics help us understand complicated systems where there are not clear identifiable relationships between variables. Biological and human systems often can be better understood through use of statistics, but statistics also applies to physical and chemical principles as well.

MATH 351: Ordinary Differential Equations [HIGHLY RECOMMENDED]--

MATH 456: Functions of a Complex Variable [RECOMMENDED]-- Knowledge of how to use complex numbers (numbers involving the imaginary number i) is useful for many fields of engineering, but used most commonly by electrical engineers. Students interested in electrical engineering are highly recommended to take this course.

MATH 452: Partial Differential Equations [RECOMMENDED]--

MATH 462: Numerical Analysis [SUGGESTED]--