Applied Sciences and Engineering Minor

Department of Applied Physical Sciences

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1129 Murray Hall, CB# 3050

(919) 843-9334

Richard Superfine, Chair

Rich Goldberg, Director of Undergraduate Studies

The applied sciences and engineering minor is designed to train students with an engineering and entrepreneurial mindset. You will build on the foundation from your math and science courses, and engage in hands-on engineering applications of real-world challenges.

Join the minor to learn about materials sciences, optics, fluid mechanics, sensors, and more.   

  • Model and simulate systems using modern engineering tools and software
  • Design and build systems for real-world applications using engineering tools in the BeAM makerspace and across campus
  • Use fundamental principles in math and sciences to address applications in at least one area of engineering, such as material science, environmental engineering, instrumentation, or optics
  • Communicate to a wide range of audiences in both oral and written form
  • Understand the ethical and professional responsibilities of engineers
  • Work within teams to design solutions and solve problems


In addition to the program requirements listed below, students must:

  • take at least nine hours of their minor "core" requirements at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum of 12 hours of C or better in the minor (some minors require more)

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Prerequisite Courses

MATH 231Calculus of Functions of One Variable I H4
MATH 232Calculus of Functions of One Variable II H4
MATH 233Calculus of Functions of Several Variables H4
Select one:4
General Physics I
General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences
Mechanics H
Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity
Select one:4
General Physics II
General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences
Electromagnetism and Optics H
Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta
CHEM 101
General Descriptive Chemistry I
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I
CHEM 102
General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II H
Select one course:3
Introduction to Programming H
Introduction to Scientific Programming
Total Hours31

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

The minor consists of five courses for a total of 15 credit hours.

Core Requirements
APPL 101Exploring Engineering3
APPL 110Introduction to Design and Making: Developing Your Personal Design Potential3
Select one course from the following list: 3
Developing Your Sixth Sense: Designing Sensors and Electrical Circuits to Make Measurements
Materials Science and Engineering: Living in a Material World
Fluid Relationships: An Intuition Building Approach to Fluid Mechanics
Physical Computing
Engineering Tools for Environmental Problem Solving
Select two engineering topic courses from the list below.6
Total Hours15

 Engineering Topic Classes

Applied Physical Sciences
APPL 405Convergent Engineering: Team-Science Approaches to Discovery and Innovation 3
APPL 412Turning Your Entrepreneurial Ideas Into Reality3
APPL/CHEM 420Introduction to Polymers3
APPL/CHEM 421Synthesis of Polymers3
APPL 430Optical Instrumentation for Scientists and Engineers3
APPL 435Nanophotonics3
APPL 465Sponge Bob Square Pants and Other Soft Materials3
APPL/CHEM 470Fundamentals of Materials Science3
APPL/CHEM/PHYS 472Chemistry and Physics of Electronic Materials Processing3
APPL 495Mentored Research in Applied Physical Sciences3
BIOL 226Mathematical Methods for Quantitative Biology3
BIOL 431/BMME 435/PHYS 405Biological Physics3
BIOL 534/MATH 564Mathematical Modeling in the Life Sciences3
BIOL 537Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology3
BIOL 551Comparative Biomechanics3
BIOL/MATH 553Mathematical and Computational Models in Biology3
BIOL 554Introduction to Computational Neuroscience3
CHEM/APPL 420Introduction to Polymers3
CHEM/APPL 421Synthesis of Polymers3
CHEM 441
Intermediate Analytical Chemistry
and Intermediate Analytical Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 445Electroanalytical Chemistry3
CHEM 448Mass Spectrometry3
CHEM 449Microfabricated Chemical Measurement Systems3
CHEM/APPL 470Fundamentals of Materials Science3
CHEM/APPL/PHYS 472Chemistry and Physics of Electronic Materials Processing3
Computer Science
COMP 433Mobile Computing Systems3
COMP/PHYS 447Quantum Computing3
COMP 523Software Engineering Laboratory4
COMP 541Digital Logic and Computer Design4
COMP 560Artificial Intelligence3
COMP 562Introduction to Machine Learning3
COMP 581Introduction to Robotics H3
Environmental Sciences and Engineering
ENVR 451Elements of Chemical Reactor Engineering3
ENVR 452/GEOL 560/MASC 560/PHYS 660Fluid Dynamics3
ENVR 453Groundwater Hydrology3
ENVR/ENEC 468Temporal GIS and Space/Time Geostatistics for the Environment and Public Health3
ENVR/ENEC 470Environmental Risk Assessment3
ENVR/GEOL/MASC 480Modeling of Marine and Earth Systems1-3
ENVR 671Environmental Physics I3
ENVR 672Environmental Physics II3
Marine Sciences
MASC/ENEC/GEOL 415Environmental Systems Modeling3
MASC 460Fluid Dynamics of the Environment3
MASC/ENVR/GEOL 480Modeling of Marine and Earth Systems1-3
MASC/GEOL 560/ENVR 452/PHYS 660Fluid Dynamics3
MASC 561Time Series and Spatial Data Analysis3
MASC 562Turbulent Boundary Layers3
MATH 347Linear Algebra for Applications3
MATH 528Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I3
MATH 529Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences II3
MATH/BIOL 553Mathematical and Computational Models in Biology3
MATH/BIOL 534Elements of Modern Algebra3
MATH 566Introduction to Numerical Analysis3
Neurosciences (restricted to NSCI minors and majors)
NSCI 421Principles of Brain Circuits3
NSCI 423Neurotechnology in Modern Neuroscience Research3
PHYS 331Numerical Techniques for the Sciences I4
PHYS 332Numerical Techniques for the Sciences II4
PHYS 401Mechanics I3
PHYS 405/BIOL 431/BMME 435Biological Physics3
PHYS/BMME 441Thermal Physics3
PHYS/COMP 447Quantum Computing3
PHYS 461Introduction to Medical Physics3
PHYS/APPL/CHEM 472Chemistry and Physics of Electronic Materials Processing3
PHYS 515Optics3
PHYS 529Introduction to Magnetic Resonance3
PHYS 660/ENVR 452/GEOL 560/MASC 560Fluid Dynamics3

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.