Double Major


Why Physics?
  • Physics is very beautiful subject.
  • Physics gives me the foundation to understand advanced subjects including quantum mechanics, particle physics, cosmology, astrophysics, general relativity.
  • Physics allow me to understand existing technology at deeper levels.
  • Physics allow me to see and participate in the upcoming advanced technologies
  • Physics allow me to distinguish between what is possible, practical, or impossible in science and technology

Why double major?
  • Accommodating excellent students with multiple interests
  • Allowing students to pursue science majors with less concern about job prospects
  • KFUPM creates a special breed of students with training in multiple school of thought. 
  • Some of the double major students had excellent success with exceptional performance in their disciplines

Physics is an extremely rewarding major which provides a strong foundation for many types of careers. The knowledge and skills learned in physics can prepare you for a career in many fields, such as engineering, biophysics and applied mathematics. Physics also gives you the opportunity to delve into and explore fundamental questions about the world and how it works, from the intricate details of subatomic particles to the mysteries of dark matter and the origins of the universe. Furthermore, with an increasing emphasis in industry and technology on interdisciplinary approaches to solve technological problems, physics majors are uniquely situated to provide an important bridge between different fields of study.”

“There are several advantages to studying both physics and engineering as a double major. First, having a deep understanding of both physics and engineering enables you to apply physics principles and theories directly to practical engineering problems. By combining an engineering approach with the deep understanding of how physical laws and forces work, you can develop innovative solutions to complex challenges. Additionally, the combined knowledge and skills you acquire from a double major of physics and engineering provides you with the necessary qualifications to pursue a career in fields such as mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, and electrical engineering. Finally, having a double major in both physics and engineering can make you more attractive to potential employers in a wide range of industries.”

Current Policy

1. To apply:
     a. Minimum GPA of 3.0
     b. Minimum credits of 30 credit hours
2. The process from your side
      a. Write a letter of intent:
         i. Your current status: GPA, earned credits, and current credits.
         ii. Your reasons for going for physics, the other major, and the combination
      b. Submit transcript (pdf of the registrar site)
      c. Contacts (Name, Id, mobile, advisor)
3. Then,
      a. The physics department discusses the joint plan with the other department.
      b. The two department approve the application 
      c. The two deans approve the application 
      d. The registrar get notified

4. KFUPM, in return, 
      a. Allow you to take courses of the joint program
      b. Provides you with an additional year of support

      c. You graduate with two independent bachelor’s degrees



Double Major Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the requirements? 
> Minimum GPA of 3.0
> a signed request letter from you addressed to physics chairman
> A transcript
Why should I consider double-major? 
> To satisfy your inner curiosity for Physics: fundamentals of nature 
> physics knowledge increases your ability to think outside the box; be innovative and simply think differently
> Science and engineering are different schools of thoughts. Knowing both is advantageous. 
> Better Job opprotunities : engineering job with some science aspects or science job with practicality of engineering
> Prestige!
Is a master degree better for me than another Bsc?
A second degree costs you one additional year of average load but MSc costs 2-3 additional years
Double degrees are done in parallel but MSc is done after BSc
MSc requires research component which is very different from traditional courses. Some undergraduate programs also have research component.
You could use these courses (senior project, seminar or summer training) toward gaining research experience as well.     
In general, BSc gives your breadth while MSc gives you depth. Very different undergraduate degrees (say science and engineering) could also give you depth. 
In general, depth is more about "how do you think what you study"  rather than "what you study". It is a style of thinking
How long does the process take?
After submitting your request to double major to the department, the request usually is approved within one academic semester. It is better to apply

When is the best time to apply?
There is no specific time. However, toward the end of the freshman year is a good time.
Best wishes
For further information please contact:
Dr. Jihad H Al-Sadah
Asst. Professor, Physics - KFUPM
KFUPM, Building 6, Room 145
Dhahran 31261, SA
Office    +966 3 860 4893