Major in physics
Uncover the mysteries of nature, probe the far reaches of space and the depths of the ocean, and meet our planet's environmental challenges. As a physicist, you can investigate the structure of the atom, design and program computers, solve environmental problems, and develop new manufacturing materials.
Physicists lead some of the world's major technology companies and research institutes, paving the way for technological innovations such as lasers, solar cells, electric cars, medical diagnostics, and computers.
The powerful array of technical skills you'll acquire as a physics major will prepare you for a career in many areas of theoretical and applied science. You'll be ready to assume leadership roles in industry, business, and government or explore the fields of materials science, biophysics, geophysics, oceanography, and medical physics. Ninety-five percent of physics majors are either in graduate school or employed within the first year of graduation.
In addition, the Physics Department offers a bachelor's of science degree in physics with a concentration in astronomy and astrophysics.
We also offer teacher preparation for students who are interested in teaching physics at the high school level. Learn more about teacher preparation
Our curriculum covers all of the core fields of physics: classical and quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism, modern physics and relativity, optics, thermodynamics, and solid state physics.
As a physics major you'll:
- apply critical thinking, computer, and electronic skills to solve problems
- develop the mathematical analysis and technical writing skills potential employers are seeking
- train in advanced laboratory techniques, computer simulation, and numerical modeling
For the BS in physics, you'll complete at least 45 credits in physics courses and a total of 120 credits overall.
Explore your interests in the universe by choosing the astronomy/astrophysics concentration of our bachelor's degree program. You'll learn the observational and analytical methods astronomers use to study the cosmos, as well as the physics behind celestial phenomena.
Additional focus areas are available to suit a range of student interest, including computational physics, climate physics, and applied physics.
- Experience: participate in internship programs to gain valuable experience with regional industries, often while also earning money for college
- Community: join organizations such as the Physics Club, the Society of Women Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers, and Engineers Without Borders
- New initiatives: collaborate, create, and explore at our IDEAStudio and the Center for Scientific Computing and Visualization Research
- Capstone projects: students work on capstone projects, engaging with faculty members on research topics