Binary Engineering 3 + 2 Model at Duquesne University

Binary Engineering Program

Physics or engineering? Both! Our binary engineering program is an accelerated track to complete two STEM bachelor degrees in an average of five years: a bachelor of arts in physics from Duquesne University and a bachelor of science in an engineering major from one of our partners: the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) or Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). This program is recommended for candidates who intend to pursue an engineering degree and wish to acquire a physics background in addition. Or for candidates who wish to major in physics but are considering a career in engineering. If you love physics but feel called to engineering, this program maybe for you.

The 3+2 model. Years 1, 2 and 3 are spent at Duquesne University for a minimum of 102 credits, completing the physics requirements. At the end of year 3 students formally transfer to the partner university to complete the engineering requirements. While this is styled a 3+2 program, the second phase may be shorter or longer, depending on the engineering major, but two years is typical. Both degrees are received simultaneously at the end of the second phase of the program. Completion of both degrees in around five years is possible because physics and engineering have a great deal of content in common. There is close academic advisement throughout the duration of the program.

The advantage. The transfer requirements are high, ensuring that only candidates in top academic standing are eligible to transfer. This incentivizes students to perform well in the first three years of the program. When candidates transfer to engineering school, they take with them rigorous study habits acquired through physics courses and thrive in upper level engineering coursework.

Tried and true. Our binary engineering program has been graduating outstanding candidates since the 1980's. Articulations agreements are in place and are reviewed on a regular basis. Typically, between 50% and 60% of our physics majors are enrolled in this program. Candidates begin taking courses at engineering school the year before transfer, which builds a smooth transition to the larger program. Transfer is facilitated by liaisons from both schools and admission in the partner university is guaranteed for candidates who meet the transfer requirements.

Added value. Fewer than 1% of college students major in physics nationwide, which makes binary engineering candidates stand out in the job market: physicists contribute a unique perspective of great value in engineering problem solving. Duquesne binary engineering graduates have found placement in many industrial sectors including nuclear power, programming, electrical, automotive, construction and manufacturing.

Zero risk. If you change your mind about the physics degree soon enough - and if you qualify for admission in the partner school -, you may transfer directly from the freshman year at Duquesne into the sophomore year at engineering school, because the freshman year is structured the same in both majors. There is nothing to lose for the opportunity to experience learning of the highest quality in a small-program setting.

Admission. There are multiple ways to gain admission to this program:

  • As an incoming freshman: apply for admission to the physics bachelor of arts program.
  • As an external transfer: apply for transfer to the physics bachelor of arts program.
  • As an internal transfer from outside of the physics major: apply for transfer to the physics bachelor of arts program
  • As a current physics major: just speak with your academic advisor. Physics majors can opt into or out of the program at any time.
Binary Engineering Curriculum Resources