The Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geophysics provides students with a strong curriculum, encourages close working relationships between students, faculty and staff, and enhances the study of physics, astronomy and geophysics with a state-of-the-art research facility, providing ample research opportunities.
The department is housed in the F. W. Olin Science Center, where faculty and students collaborate in classrooms or at some of the many research labs, which include a flume lab for geophysical hydrology research; a photonics laboratory; an observatory with a 20-inch telescope; and a 1-million volt positive ion accelerator—one of only four in use at undergraduate institutions in the nation.
Faculty members are physicists, astronomers and geologists who will support students as they explore a course of study that provides flexibility and the opportunity to tailor a program to their own interests. Students might major in physics with a general concentration, a concentration in astrophysics, or pursue a concentration in physics and engineering through unique opportunities offered with partner institutions.
Many of our graduates pursue careers in engineering, finding work in the aerospace industry or working for such companies as Bose. Still others continue their studies in graduate school. Some recent grads are conducting graduate work in astrophysics, and others are Ph.D. candidates at Princeton University and the University of Alaska. Some students go on to combine a Ph.D. with a medical degree or to attend veterinary school. Whatever you choose, a physics degree provides a foundation for a diverse range of career opportunities.