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Engineering Physics, Master of Science (Technology)
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Webinar | Engineering Physics
In this webinar, the programme representatives introduce Aalto University, give a programme overview, explain the programme structure and content, discuss career opportunities, and answer questions from the audience.
We live in a world burdened by large-scale problems that have one thing in common: they resist any simple solution. The Master’s Programme in Engineering Physics equips students with a vast array of experience and skills that can be called upon for problem-solving. Students gain a profound understanding of physics and mathematics as well as skills that are highly transferable and applicable, leaving them with an exceptionally varied range of career paths.
Upon graduating from the Master’s Programme in Engineering Physics, graduates will have:
- A state-of-the-art analytical approach to present-day and future challenges. Graduates have a powerful analytical toolbox of database-driven and machine learning techniques, applicable in a wide variety of research and commercial environments.
- Understanding of the future energy industry and markets. Graduates understand changing technologies related to energy and the transition to clean energy.
- Ability to conduct scientific research. Graduates know how to organise, analyse and interpret scientific data to evaluate the significance of the data and to articulate conclusions supportable by the data.
- An inquiring mind to solve problems that don’t have straightforward solutions. Graduates have the ability to explore concepts that at first may seem unachievable. Their natural curiosity for how things work leads them to explore, discover and try out new systems and processes to see what works – and most importantly, what doesn’t.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Aalto University’s tuition fee for master’s programmes taught in English is 15 000 euros per academic year. Tuition fees apply to citizens of countries other than those of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
Aalto University has a scholarship programme to support non-EU/EEA citizens who study in a fee-charging degree programme. The scholarship may cover 100% or 50% of the tuition fee.
More information on tuition fees and scholarships at Aalto University is available at the Scholarships and Tuition Fees webpage.
Structure of studies
Master’s Programme in Engineering Physics comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:
- Long or compact major (65/40 ECTS)
- Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)
- Elective studies (25-30 ECTS)
- Possible minor (20-25 ECTS)
If the student chooses to take a compact major, a minor is mandatory.
Two majors with a different focus are offered in the Master's Programme in Engineering Physics. Students should choose their major in the beginning of the programme. Personal academic advisors and the Learning Services are available for advice and guidance on study-related questions. The majors are as follows:
Materials Physics and Quantum Technology
- Students can focus on either experimental physics or theoretical physics and modeling with emphasis on technology applications or basic research. Students can further specialise in nanomaterials, solid-state applications of quantum technology, or purely theoretical physics related to the most pressing questions in modern solid-state physics and quantum technology.
Advanced Energy Technologies
- This major addresses the most pressing questions faced by society in the near future: how to combat climate change and pollution by finding alternative energy sources. These include e.g. fusion, solar energy, and fuel cells.
In addition to learning advanced physics and mathematics, the courses are carefully planned to enable students to think outside the traditional boundaries of different disciplines of physics and therefore inspire innovative thinking. This is what the Master's Programme in Engineering Physics is famous for – and engineers and scientists who are able to see the big picture are becoming increasingly sought after in the job market, too.
As research is deeply integrated into the curriculum, the topics in this arena include experimental and computational materials physics, nanophysics and nanoscience, quantum technology, and advanced energy technologies.
To give concrete examples of the topics covered in the programme, here are some courses picked from the extensive curriculum:
- Many-body Quantum Mechanics (5 ECTS)
- Magnetism and Spintronics (5 ECTS)
- Fusion Energy Technology (5 ECTS)
- Advances in New Energy Technologies (5 ECTS)
- Machine Learning for Materials Science (3-5 ECTS)
The study programme differs from more classical university physics in its proximity to concrete, practical questions in engineering or research. Learning takes many forms – from theory-driven and science-based research to company excursions. A concrete example of the programme’s emphasis on real-life problems and connection to the practical world is the Company Internship course (10 ECTS), where students gain valuable work experience and create connections to the industry.
More information on the programme content and curriculum can be found in the Student guide. There may be some changes to the courses for the academic years 2024–2026 — the new curricula will be published in April 2024, when they will also be visible in the Student guide.
The study environment in the programme is strongly international and studies are conducted in multicultural groups. The School of Science offers diverse possibilities for student exchange all over the world. Exchange studies can be included in the degree as, for example, an international minor. Many of the students participate in the summer student programme at CERN – European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland, one of the world's largest and most respected scientific research centers.
Aalto University is international by nature, welcoming thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad every year. These students join the diverse Aalto community not only through their studies, but also through multiple free time events, celebrations and extracurricular activities around the campus. Active tutoring programs and support services work hard to help international students integrate to the Nordic culture and feel at home in Finland.
Further study opportunities
The programme qualifies for doctoral studies (Doctor of Science in an applicable field).
Engineering Physics graduates tend to work at the leading edge of technology and science, in either industry or academia. A significant fraction of graduates go on to pursue a PhD in related subjects, many in the research groups at the Department of Applied Physics.
Engineering Physics is a great foundation for almost any career, and graduates of the programme have traditionally found an exceptionally wide range of careers in the private and public sector, ranging from research to consulting and management positions. Typical career paths outside academia include, but are not limited to:
- Analyst in a wide range of fields, such as information technology and healthcare
- Entrepreneur in consulting, software, or high-tech hardware
- Applications Engineer in software producers and computer design firms
- Cryo Engineer in fields such as aerospace, electronics and telecommunications
- Data Scientist in leading technology companies
- Design Engineer in design consultancy firms, large manufacturing companies, biomedical companies, engineering companies or consumer goods manufacturers
- Green Energy Engineer working in a variety of organisations including NGOs, government, sustainability businesses, energy facilities or within technology and development.
- Quality Engineer working in industries such as automobile, transportation, textile and industrial equipment
- Research and Development Engineer taking leadership of projects in development
- Business consulting or corporate leadership not directly working on product development
Some examples of the companies where our recently graduated alumni work are: Deloitte, Fortum, GE Healthcare, Minsait, Picosun, Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK), Rightware, Stora Enso, TVO, Vaisala, Vilant Systems, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Accenture, McKinsey.
Aalto University has well-established career services to support students’ employment in Finland and abroad. Thanks to the flexible curriculum, many Aalto students work already during their studies and guarantee themselves entry positions before graduation. There is also a very active entrepreneurship community at Aalto, working as a springboard for founding a company.
The studies in the programme are closely related to the research conducted at the Department of Applied Physics. The department is nationally and internationally acclaimed, hosting the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence Quantum Technology Finland (2018–2025) and Life Inspired Hybrid Materials (2022-2029). New large-scale Aalto-level and national initiatives on quantum technology are also foreseen in the near future.
Co-operation with other parties
The Department of Applied Physics has a wide network of national and international co-operation, including many joint projects with and personnel from companies and research institutes. For example, the Department is part of the Helsinki Institute of Physics, which coordinates national efforts at CERN and hosts the Finnish node of the CECAM computational network.
Aalto University is well-known for bridging disciplines of business, arts, technology and science. The lively campus and freedom of choosing elective courses across the University bring students from different fields under one roof. This spontaneous multidisciplinarity environment sparks new ideas, gathers enthusiasts around them and gives birth to friendships, networks, and every so often, startups.
Programme-specific admission requirements
Engineering Physics applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies are evaluated according to the below Evaluation criteria. The evaluation process is described under Applicant evaluation process. In addition to the obligatory application documents, this study option asks the applicants to submit also the documents listed under Requested documents.
The applications to Engineering Physics are evaluated based on the following criteria:
|What is evaluated?||Grades of the previous degree(s) and possible other university studies, pace of studies|
|What we look for in an applicant?||The applicant’s study success will be evaluated based on the grade point average (GPA) and results in key courses. Excellent previous study success is expected.|
|Method of demonstrating competence||Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)|
Relevance of previous studies
|What is evaluated?||Contents and scope of previous studies|
|What we look for in an applicant?||
The main admission requirement to the Master’s Programme in Engineering Physics is a high quality Bachelor’s degree in Engineering / Bachelor of Science in physics, materials science or a related field.
The applicant should have a strong background in mathematics and undergraduate physics (30 ECTS or equivalent in the latter). Advanced knowledge of condensed matter physics and/or practical experience with experimental and computational physics research techniques are considered an advantage.
The contents of the applicant’s previous degree(s) and other relevant university level studies are evaluated based on the courses available on the official transcript of records. Relevant work experience, professional certificates and/or online courses are judged case-by-case, but they do not, in general, compensate for the university level studies that include also the theoretical foundations of the required subjects.
|Method of demonstrating competence||Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s), brief descriptions of relevant physics courses taken (summary, course level)|
Recognition and quality of institution
|What is evaluated?||Recognition and quality of the applicant's previous institution|
|What we look for in an applicant?||The recognition of the applicant’s home university affects the final interpretation of the academic performance.|
|Method of demonstrating competence||International and national rankings of higher education institutions|
|What is evaluated?||Applicant’s further applicability to the study option, motivation, commitment for studies, and professional written communication skills|
|What we look for in an applicant?||
Applicant’s motivation and commitment for studies is evaluated based on the motivation letter.
Studies in the Master’s programme should provide genuinely new knowledge for the applicant. If the applicant already has a Master’s degree, the motivation letter should clearly indicate why another Master’s degree is necessary. In most cases, non-degree or e.g. open university studies are recommended instead of degree studies to complement the earlier degree or to improve one’s professional skills.
|Method of demonstrating competence||Motivation letter|
Other areas of competence
|What is evaluated?||Work experience and other acquired knowledge/achievements e.g. publications, non-formal education, competitions, patents|
|What we look for in an applicant?||
Especially valued are academic internships, conference attendance, supervision of younger students.
Applicants will benefit of the following:
|Method of demonstrating competence||Curriculum vitae, letters of recommendation, proof of employment, publications|
During the evaluation of eligible applications, applications to Engineering Physics are first evaluated based on the following, critical criteria:
- Academic performance
- Relevance of previous studies
Only the applications who fulfill the requirements for these criteria will be evaluated against the full set of evaluation criteria.
After the evaluation of the remaining criteria below, the best applicants will be selected based on the joint evaluation of all criteria.
- Recognition and quality of institution
- Other areas of competence
The admission process is competitive and only the best applicants are selected yearly. Not all applicants fulfilling the requirements can necessarily be admitted.
In addition to obligatory application documents, applicants to Engineering Physics are requested to provide the following programme-specific documents.
- Motivation letter*
- The motivation letter should be written in English. The maximum length of the motivation letter is about 4000 characters. There are no specific instructions for the content of the motivation letter except for the general advice that you should write a separate motivation letter for each study option you apply to.
- Curriculum Vitae (CV)*
- Degree certificate and the official transcript of records for possible other university-level studies that are not included in the Bachelor's degree transcript
- Letters of recommendation, work certificates, and other certificates of relevant activities
- Brief descriptions of relevant physics courses taken (summary, course level)
*) The lack of these documents will adversely affect the evaluation of your application.
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Get to know us
Do you want to study in the Nordics in Finland? At Aalto University science and art meet technology and business. We believe in the power of curiosity and encourage our students to explore the unknown as well as to learn and do things in a whole new way.
Finland’s excellent reputation in education, combined with a wide range of courses offered in English, makes Finland and Aalto University an attractive study destination for international students.
The Guild of Physics is the association for the Engineering Physics and Mathematics students at the Aalto University, although everyone else is welcome too. The Guild was founded in 1947 and currently has about 550 members.
Learning Services of Aalto University School of Science
For enquiries regarding the programme-specific application documents or studies in the programme, please contact Learning Services of School of Science
For enquiries regarding the application process, obligatory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admission Services