Master of Engineering in Instrumentation and Applied Physics

Join the inaugural Fall 2023 class!

Illinois Physics will begin offering a residential two-semester Professional Master of Engineering in Engineering (M. Eng.) with concentration in Instrumentation and Applied Physics in Fall 2023. Applications open September 15, 2022.

The M. Eng. degree will comprise 32 credit hours and emphasize real-world project work, in which small collaborations of students will bring a project from conception through design, implementation, execution, analysis, and documentation. 

The project focus and the broad set of skills acquired in the Illinois Physics M. Eng program will make our students attractive to a wide range of potential employers.

Some projects will be suggested by industry partners as extensions to their own R & D efforts. But if you choose to develop an idea of your own, we'll help you investigate its feasibility and facilitate your efforts to develop it.

Student brochure

Why should I get a master of engineering degree in physics?

We will be emphasizing breadth of knowledge and experience so that our graduates will be prepared to step into leadership roles as initiators and managers of projects.

Our students will become comfortable participating in all aspects of the realization of a project.

The year-long projects will develop student skills in a wide variety of technical areas, including circuit design and fabrication, mechanical engineering and rapid prototyping, embedded systems design, project planning, data analysis, and proper reporting and documenting of the project's progress and outcome.

There's a great Physics Today article from April 2019 that describes how physics master's degrees can open doors to terrific careers for students.

Read more about project work

Read more about the projects you will encounter in this program

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We recognize we can succeed in our core missions—research, education, and outreach—only if each member of our Illinois Physics community is free to contribute, without fear of bias or prejudice. We embrace diversity in our faculty, staff, and student body as a strength and we support the principles of academic freedom, equity, and inclusion as expressed in the University of Illinois' policy against discrimination and harassment.

Please see the Physics Department’s statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for more information.


Future Industry Partners and Affiliates

Illinois Physics has been approved to offer a two-semester professional master’s program that will focus on instrumentation and applied physics. The inaugural class of students will begin their studies during the Fall 2023 term.

Program brochure

  • Our program will be strongly project-based, with two semesters of laboratory work and field engineering closely supervised by university faculty. Students will work in collaborations of two to four people, spending the entire two-term course on the conception, design, construction, implementation, analysis, and documentation of a single project.

    Additional classroom work will introduce students to machine learning algorithms, graduate-level physics concepts, and basic principles of business and commerce.

    We will offer broad training in hard and soft skills. The Illinois Physics tradition is to
    • train our students to communicate clearly;
    • teach our students to collaborate effectively;
    • encourage intellectual fearlessness;
    • introduce students to a wide range of laboratory tools spanning electrical and mechanical engineering, materials science, mathematics, coding, embedded systems design, 3D printing, CAD/CAM;
    • teach students to conceive, propose, plan, perform, analyze, and report valid measurements;
    • teach students to be skeptical of naive interpretations of data.

  • The university’s mission includes workforce development. The National Research Council has urged U.S. universities to substantially increase the annual number of master’s-level scientists entering the workforce. Please help us understand your needs:

    • What skills would you want potential interns and prospective employees to have learned from our program?
    • Are there projects of direct interest to your enterprise that you would like our students to undertake, even if they haven’t (yet) established a relationship with you?
    • At the time of the spring UIUC Engineering Job Fair, would you send a recruiter to meet with our students?
    • Would you consider joining our advisory board?
    • Would you consider sponsoring some of your bachelor’s level staff to enroll in our program?
    • Would you consider using sponsorship in our program as an incentive in your own recruiting?

We'd love to hear from you!