If you think your future is in engineering, ask yourself this: what kind of engineer do you want to be? We don’t mean mechanical, or chemical, or anything like that—you’ll figure that out in time.

We mean: do you want to be an engineer who follows the rules that have already been established? Or, do you want to understand the whys, the hows, the fundamental truths, so that you can ask questions and uncover new solutions?

The latter is what Siena’s pre-engineering track is based upon, because we believe the best engineers are thoughtful and inquisitive.

We believe the best engineers...start in applied physics.

Still with us? 

Here are 10 things you should know about Siena’s applied physics program, which is designed to be the ideal pre-engineering track for people like you.

  1. Our applied physics students learn to bridge the rigors of physics with the emerging technologies that engineering provides to the world. It’s immediately rewarding when you solve a difficult engineering problem by combining physical insight with practical techniques—which is good for you, and your future employers.
  2. You can choose to specialize between our mechanical engineering or electrical engineering track.
  3. You’ll be hands-on, early and often. Other schools may make you wait for this, but we’ll get you going on research or experimentation as soon as you’re ready. 
  4. On that note, we want you to explore what interests you. Previous Saints have analyzed snowboards, tracked NBA player fatigue and flying squirrels, and studied cosmetics.’
  5. Applied physics sounds narrow, but it is so the opposite. We bring faculty and students from applied physics, computer science, data science, math and more together to work on cross-disciplinary projects. Because that’s the real world now.
  6. You’ll probably travel. So pack a passport—or a really good wind jacket. Our students have climbed wind turbines, interned at GE, flown to San Francisco for conferences and beyond.
  7. We offer a 4/1 engineering option through an agreement with Capital Region Campus of Clarkson University. Through this, you’ll earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in just five years by starting grad classes during your senior year at Siena. 
  8. There’s also a 3/2 engineering option. In this program, you’d spend three years at Siena and then transfer to an affiliated engineering school (RPI, Clarkson, Binghamton University, Manhattan College or Western New England College) for two more years. At the end, you’ll have your B.S. from Siena and a B.E. from your second school. 
  9. Our professors like to have fun. Listen, it’s hard work—being an applied physics student. But when you incorporate a sense of play, when the department feels like a family that supports one another, it makes it so much better. That’s what Siena’s department is like. 
  10. Where do our physics grads go? They work at places like GlobalFoundries, NASA, NYSERDA, Regeneron and Walt Disney World, and they go to grad school at institutions like Dartmouth, Duke, MIT, Penn State, Stanford, and Vanderbilt. 

Okay, wait, one more, #11, and this one means a lot to us. Siena was recognized by the American Institute of Physics for our success in recruiting and retaining women physics majors. The playing field has always been and will always be level here, and that’s just another example of how our department treats people with respect. 

If you’ve made it this far, you are definitely considering applied physics at Siena for your pre-engineering track. So your next steps?