Bachelor of Science in Physics

What is Physics?

Physics is a natural science investigating observable phenomena at a fundamental level. While we might identify disciplines like astrophysics, biophysics, optical, computational, or condensed matter physics, the value of an education in physics lies in its versatility. Physicists not only find careers in government laboratories, universities, and private industries, but work in a broad range of sectors—from economics, business, and law; to biology and medicine; to technology and engineering—wherever quantitative-modeling and problem-solving skills are needed.

What Can I Do with a BS in Physics?

About 60 percent of our physics graduates attend graduate or professional school, specializing in physics, engineering, business, law, education, or medicine. After further education, other careers include those in computational science or the physical sciences such as meteorology or oceanography.

Those students not continuing their formal education can find employment in a variety of scientific, technical, and other fields. High school teaching, military service, or technical sales are some of these options. A physics degree can also provide entry into other fields such as marketing or business operations with technical companies.

Teaching is an especially attractive area of employment for physics graduates today. According to the Association for School, College, and University Staffing, teacher shortages exist in both physics and mathematics, a situation not expected to change significantly over the next few years.lasers

What Courses Would I Take?

Through our degree programs, all physics majors will become proficient in mathematics (at least through calculus) and in programming computers. In addition, our majors develop skills in electronics and advanced laboratory techniques.

The Bachelor of Science is an intensive degree concentrating on physics and mathematics. It provides the greatest depth of study in physics, requiring significant work at an advanced level. Students who intend to go on to graduate school usually choose the B.S., which provides a solid background in physics and is good preparation for further studies in this science.


Note: Mathematics and foreign language placement is usually done during Summer Orientation. Some students may start with Calculus II and/or need only one or two foreign language courses. Also, MTH 347 is not a requirement for the BS Physics, but the Mathematics thematic sequence can be satisfied by completing MTH 347, along with MTH 222 & 252, both requirements for this degree.