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In our technically-oriented society, many professional fields need individuals with strong science backgrounds. More than ever before, women and men who study physics find themselves entering a wider range of career fields with an excellent foundation for success.

B.S. Physics Major

Prepares students for graduate study or employment in physics and related fields, including applied and engineering physics, biophysics, medical physics, medical school, teacher licensure in physics, or careers in business or law. Students are encouraged to speak with a Department advisor early in order to select the most appropriate advanced coursework for their career goals.

Physics Minor

This minor provides a foundation in classical and modern physics together with enhanced skills in electronics or computational physics. It is not available to majors in physics. Courses may not be taken on a credit/no-credit basis.

Learning Outcomes

At graduation, we expect that our majors can

Communicate clearly

Demonstrate critical thinking by using appropriate mathematical techniques and physics concepts to obtain quantitative solutions to problems

Demonstrate critical thinking by conducting scientific investigations (experimental, numerical or theoretical)

Acquire a body of knowledge that includes classical physics, relativity, statistical mechanics/thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics

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.

Physics Honors

The physics faculty recognizes high achievement by students through awarding departmental honors. Students receiving this distinction will have an excellent record of course work and significant experience. Please note that departmental honors are separate from university honors, and students do not have to be in the University Honors Program to be eligible for departmental honors.

Students must have senior standing before registering for honors credit, and the application is usually done late in the junior year. Students may apply during the senior year, but must do so at least one semester before graduation. The minimum grade point average for all courses taken for the bachelor's degree will be 3.20. Evidence that the student is able to carry out a scientific investigation requires completion of a research project that exhibits originality and has significant physics content. While working in the project, the student must have senior standing and register for at least four credit hours of PHY 480, Departmental Honors.

For full details contact our Chief Departmental Advisor, Dr. Steve Alexander.



Studying physics develops analytical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. Our students complete advanced-level courses in physics, mathematics, and other sciences, and complete work based on original research. Graduate and undergraduate students work closely together, under faculty supervision, to achieve their research goals.

The Physics Department offers many other 400/500-level courses by demand. If there is interest, contact the department as soon as possible. Scheduling of the course must take place prior to the opening of student registration. 

NOTE: Some upper-level courses may be offered in the alternate semester of the academic year. Check with your advisor to plan your schedule.

Department of Physics

217 Kreger Hall
500 E. Spring St.
Oxford, OH 45056