Engineering and physics are challenging courses that demand attention and focus from students. To work as an engineer, you must study engineering, while most physics graduates work as physicists, IT, and finance experts.

Engineering involves crafting innovations using the laws of nature that make life easier. Engineers use concepts from physics to make inventions. On the other hand, in physics, you learn how the world operates and the equations that govern natural phenomena. 

Mastery of engineering usually requires knowledge of physics because most engineering methods employ concepts learned in high school physics.

A physics degree opens opportunities to pursue a broad range of options in engineering, science, and technology.

In this regard, most people consider physics among the most demanding courses. Also, most students studying engineering highlight its challenging concepts since you have to excel in physics and complex math. 

A comparison of which is more challenging between physics and engineering varies among students.

Since engineering is a blend between math and physics, students say it is more complex.

Regardless, some say physics is complicated since it involves more complex math, less practicality, and more analysis of the unknown. 

Why is engineering easier than physics?

These two disciplines are complex as they require substantial comprehension of math and science. The argument for engineering being easier than physics is that the latter is more practical and requires the application of facts.

Engineers use proven methods to make new things: finding practical solutions to practical problems. As such, it does not dive deep into concepts as is the case with physics.

Physics is more abstract and conceptual, usually diving into the unknown. Physicists seek to understand and unravel the mysteries of the universe and usually use complex math to try and figure out the world.

It is usually the curiosity about science and how it applies to the world. To truly grasp how physical and quantum things interact and function requires far more complicated solutions that you wouldn’t come across in engineering.

Why is physics easier than engineering?

Engineering is more practical than physics, necessitating solutions that work in our world. In contrast, physicists can build abstract models and solve problems within that theoretical scenario.

Consequently, since realms of practicality and reality tightly bind engineering, the concepts must work and be functional in the real world. It limits engineers from diving into abstract ideas.

For example, physicists can conceptualize vehicles that travel to the speed of light, such as warp drives; however, engineers don’t have this luxury as their ideas must be practical.

Even when they desire to make the fastest vehicles, they have to account for things such as friction and material strength. This limit to what engineers can do makes discipline more difficult.

In most cases, engineering requires understanding concepts from physics. Students who desire to pursue engineering must be good at high school physics.

Although a physics degree is more complex and detailed than high school physics, some engineering students find it easier than engineering.

Engineering usually blends physics and math, which makes it more challenging. 

Differences between engineering and physics

Engineering focuses on applying knowledge to design and manufacture things that usually make life better and more manageable.

In contrast, physics primarily deals with understanding nature, how natural things interact, and the laws of the universe.

Physics seeks to probe the universe and comprehend why things behave as they do. At the same time, engineers aim to invent machines and create solutions and improvements to how people live without necessarily probing the mechanisms of the universe.

It makes engineering more practical than physics. 


Engineering and physics are scientifically inclined and equip students with technical skills. They both involve solving complex math and scientific problems and finding solutions to everyday problems.

In engineering, you learn to apply physical concepts to invent things, most of which are learned in physics.

For instance, if you want to design buildings, as a civil engineer, you’ll need to understand stresses and forces, which are units learned in physics. 

Both courses involve a lot of math. Engineering and physics build on math concepts in calculus, algebra, trigonometry, and geometry to solve for forces, stresses, and other measurements.

The two disciplines require you to excel in math to master their concepts. 

Take away

Engineering and physics require lots of reasoning, creativity, and dedication. Both disciplines can be challenging, and the debate on which is more difficult to learn between physics and engineering can not be settled.

Engineering and physics are similar as they need students to master complex math. Some students argue that engineering is more difficult to learn because you need to excel in physics to be good at engineering.

However, physics’ more abstract and conceptual nature makes learning more challenging.

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