Feature Stories 2022: Jack McDonald '22: Choosing physics

Jack McDonald
Jack McDonald, who is studying at UMass Dartmouth's College of Engineering, earns his physics degree in May.
Feature Stories 2022: Jack McDonald '22: Choosing physics
Jack McDonald '22: Choosing physics

The option to study physics, pursue sports, & commute to campus makes UMassD Jack's ideal choice.

Jack, tell us why you chose to attend UMass Dartmouth?

"I chose to attend UMass Dartmouth because it was close to my home, it offered me a chance to study physics, and I was able to play college golf. I was a starter on the varsity golf team, which was terminated during COVID. But I'm glad I had the opportunity to compete with and meet other players. Our team traveled across New England to play in tournaments against other colleges in our division."

What drew you to study physics?

"To be completely honest, I wanted to see if I could do it. I had always been fascinated by physics, but math was never my strong suit. When I was younger, I watched Cosmos by Carl Sagan, and that piqued my interest. I thought if I can make it as a physics major with no math or science background, then what is stopping me from doing anything else in my life?"

What was your favorite class?

"The class that had the biggest impact on me was definitely modern physics. This is the class you take after completing intro mechanics, intro electricity and magnetism, and intro classical physics. This is really the first time you are introduced to topics like special relativity and quantum mechanics. This is the class where the material starts becoming much more difficult."

How has UMass Dartmouth prepared you for life after graduation?

"I think the biggest impact for me was just getting into a routine. I have always struggled to keep a structured day-to-day schedule, but the physics major demands you adopt one. Being able to effectively manage my time has become the biggest reason for my success, and I know that will carry over into life after college."

What’s your favorite thing about UMass Dartmouth?

"The people I have met. My fellow physics majors have become good friends these past four years, and I am grateful to have met them here. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for all the help they have given me throughout my college journey."