This is an archived version of the University Catalog and is no longer being maintained. References to people, offices, policies, and web links may be outdated. View the current catalog or email for updated information. Students who have catalog rights to this version of the catalog should check with an advisor for graduation requirements.

Skip to Side Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Accessibility Settings


"Look deep into nature, then you will understand everything better."
-Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

The Department of Physics offers the Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics with the choice of two options. The department also offers a minor in physics.

The Option in Professional Physics has two advising patterns. The Advanced Study pattern is the traditional B.S. program designed to prepare students for graduate study or for professional careers in government or industry. The Applied Physics pattern is designed to prepare students for careers in technical fields, such as optics, electronics or materials science.

The Option in General Physics is designed to prepare students for teaching secondary school physics, with additional subject matter breadth across all sciences. This option fulfills all requirements for the Single Subject Teaching Credential in Science with a Concentration in Physics and a supplementary authorization in a second science. This option is also for students who are interested in physics-related interdisciplinary fields such as biophysics, geophysics, atmospheric sciences, physical oceanography, health physics, or environmental science.

The physics minor greatly strengthens the preparation of students majoring in mathematics, engineering, computer science, chemistry, geosciences, biology, and other fields of science or technology. It is particularly important for students who intend to pursue graduate studies in physical chemistry, geophysics, biophysics, or medical physics.

Students in such fields as mathematics, chemistry, engineering, or computer science may wish to consider physics as a second major. These fields are very compatible with physics, and some coursework will satisfy the requirements for both majors.


Special facilities available include laboratories for modern optics, X-ray diffraction and fluorescence, gamma ray spectroscopy, superconductivity, and nuclear physics.

Career Outlook

While graduate work is necessary for entry into some physics-related careers, physicists with the baccalaureate enjoy excellent employment opportunities in a wide variety of areas including optics and telecommunications, space, defense, energy, and environmental science.

Physicists are also employed in research and development projects involving electronic systems and devices, optics, computers, nuclear reactors, microwaves, and vacuum systems. Others find employment in such diverse fields as criminal investigation or public health.

There is a huge demand for high school science teachers. The Option in General Physics is the ideal preparation for such a career.

In addition to consulting faculty, students with career-related questions are encouraged to visit the Offices of Advising and Orientation, and Counseling and Career Planning. These offices provide assistance with exploration of life goals, academic and career planning, and information on occupations related to majors as well as job market and placement trends.

Catalog Cycle:11