Majoring in Physics
Our program is flexible, so you tailor your studies to fit your interests. You can concentrate in general physics, astrophysics or physics for education, or pursue a five-year, dual-degree program in physics and engineering. Whatever your choice, you work closely with professors and peers on challenging coursework. The low faculty-to-student ratio and the tight-knit, friendly atmosphere in the department ensure you get to know your professors and peers both in and out of class.
Long- and short-term research projects are integral to your studies. We offer many opportunities for semester-long independent study projects and multi-year projects, including honors theses. Most students also conduct research with professors. You could co-author or even first author an article in a major journal. Students have traveled as far as Paris, Moscow and Zermatt to do research or present their work, and have attended meetings of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Geophysical Union, the American Astronomical Society and the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research.
Our research facilities include a 1 MV ion accelerator (one of four at undergraduate institutions in the U.S.), the state's largest recirculating flume used to replicate flow in natural rivers, a photonics lab where work is being done on the interface of light and electronics, and a 20-inch telescope.
You are encouraged to pursue summer internships or research positions either on campus or at other facilities, such as the NASA centers, National Science Foundation-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates sites at major universities and national or industrial laboratories. This type of work frequently results in student presentations at national professional meetings or in published papers that are co-authored with research advisers.
What can you do with a majorcertificate in Physics?
Here are some of the positions our graduates have gone on to hold:
Q: Why Connecticut College?
A: I was drawn by the small classes in the sciences and music. And Tempel Green and the Arboretum provided a beauty that was and still is unmatched by other NESCAC schools.
Q: What is it like to study science at Connecticut College?
A: In one word: personal. There is an abundance of one-on-one time with each professor for each science class. My average physics class is six people. Lectures feel a lot more like discussions in small classes. Small liberal arts colleges provide the means for undergraduate research, which can be invaluable when applying to graduate school.
Q: What types of research have you done?
A: I worked in Professor Diagne's photonics lab in the spring semester of my freshman year and had the fortune to do metamaterial plasmonics research with a colleague of his at UMass Lowell the following summer. Last year I did laser speckle research for the Sackler Undergraduate Research Program at Yale.
- Solar System Astronomy
- The Origin and Fate of Our Universe: An Astrophysical Perspective
- Modern Physics
- Introduction to Physical Geology
- Classical Mechanics
- Electromagnetic Theory
- Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
- River Environments: Science, Engineering and Management
- Modern Science and Technology – Gateway to a New Millennium
- Electronics for Scientists
- Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics