University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering
Tyler Federspill works with incoming first-year undergraduates to register for their classes during SOAR.

College of Engineering student peer advisor Tyler Federspill works with incoming first-year undergraduates to register for their classes during an student orientation, advising, and registration (SOAR) session. At SOAR, new students and their parents and guests meet with staff and advisors, register for classes, stay in a residence hall, take a campus tour and learn about campus resources. Photo: Jeff Miller.


Engineering mechanics and astronautics


A degree in engineering mechanics prepares you to work in advanced technology. Our graduates are candidates for jobs in industry, government labs, and academia where the problems they solve are "unusual and non-routine." This is a major where you can learn basic analytical, numerical, and experimental methods which are applicable over broad areas of engineering and science.


With a curriculum that emphasizes the basic sciences (mathematics, computer science, physics, and chemistry) and the engineering sciences (dynamics, mechanics of materials, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, materials science, and electrical engineering), you will have the versatility necessary to handle the variety and complexity of modern technological problems as well as the ability to adapt to the rapidly changing needs and interests of industry, government, and society.


The astronautics option gives you an opportunity to earn an aerospace- related BS degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With the fundamental underpinnings provided by the engineering mechanics, the astronautics option adds a degree experience commensurate with majors such as astronautical engineering or aerospace engineering.


For information about graduate studies in engineering mechanics, please see the engineering mechanics graduate program.


Nuclear engineering


Nuclear engineering is the application of nuclear and radiation processes in technology. Important example applications are the generation of electricity using nuclear reactors and the diagnosis and treatment of illness using radiation and radioisotopes.


Nuclear engineering offers an important opportunity to help meet the energy needs of our society and to contribute to the improvement of health through medical applications. The nuclear engineering curriculum is very rich in engineering physics, and graduates are prepared to work in technical activities outside the nuclear engineering field.


Nuclear energy, both from fission and fusion, offers a promising approach to meeting the nation's energy needs, an approach that may preserve jobs, raise the standard of living of Americans, and alleviate the alarming depletion of natural resources, including natural gas, petroleum, and coal. Even more important, nuclear energy offers the only practical, environmentally benign approach to generating electricity on a large scale because it releases no harmful SO2, NOX, CO2, or particulate matter into the atmosphere. Nuclear energy has played, and continues to play, an important role in space exploration. Nuclear engineering has enabled the use of isotopic power supplies in deep space probes like the Cassini mission, and may eventually be used to design fission or fusion-based systems for more demanding missions. Nuclear engineering research falls into three broad areas: design of magnetic fusion power reactors; analysis of fusion targets for inertial confinement fusion; and design of chambers that contain small thermonuclear explosions.


Engineering physics


The engineering physics undergraduate major focuses on skills for emerging technological areas. Graduating with an engineering physics degree qualifies you for positions both in high-tech startup companies and established engineering firms; you will be exceptionally well prepared for advanced graduate degrees.


Students choose one of these technological focus areas:


  • Nanoengineering
  • Plasma Science and Engineering
  • Scientific Computing


Distinguishing features of the Engineering Physics BS degree


  • Strong emphasis on math and physics, and engineering fundamentals
  • Choice of a technical focus area beginning in the junior year
  • Emphasis on a research project, which culminates in a senior thesis


Entrance requirements


  • 3.5 GPA and junior standing (minimum 54 credits)
  • At least one semester completed in pre-engineering program
  • Four semesters of course work remaining


For further information about the engineering physics degree at UW-Madison, consult the Curriculum Guide for the Engineering Physics Undergraduate Degree or contact the EP Department at:


The engineering physics degree at UW-Madison is an undergraduate degree.