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"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 encompasses two patterns, Advanced Study and Applied Physics.  The Advanced Study is designed to prepare students for graduate study or for professional careers in government or industry. The Applied Physics is intended to prepare students for careers in technical fields such as optics, electronics, data science, or materials science.

The Option in General Physics also includes two patterns, Insturctional Physics and Interdisciplinary Physics.  The Instructional Physics pattern 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. The Interdisciplinary Physics pattern is designed for students who are interested in physics-related interdisciplinary fields (such as biophysics, geophysics, atmospheric sciences, physical oceanography, health physics, or environmental science) or are double majoring in both physics and engineering, mathematics, chemistry, computer science, music, or history.

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.


Special facilities available include laboratories for lasers, modern optics, x-ray diffraction and fluorescence, gamma ray spectroscopy, electronics, nuclear physics, and a high performance computing lab for simulation analysis and visualization.

Career Outlook

Physicists enjoy excellent employment opportunities in a wide variety of areas including optics and telecommunications, space, defense, energy, and environmental science.  Physics bachelors consistently rank among the highest starting salaries for all fields of study nation-wide.  The physics major is also excellent preparation for graduate study in physics, engineering, computer science, and other physical sciences.  

Physicists are also employed in research and development projects involving electronic systems and devices, optics, computers, data analysis, nuclear reactors, microwave technology, and vacuum systems. Others find employment in such diverse fields as criminal investigation, public health, and water resources management.

There is a huge and growing demand for high school science teachers. The Instrucional Physics pattern in the General Physics Option 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 Academic Advising Programs, the Career Center, and the Counseling and Wellness Center. 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:16