Physics and astronomy attempt to understand and describe how and why the physical universe behaves as it does. Although remarkably simple, physics laws apply to a very wide range of sometimes beautiful and bizarre phenomena, as well as to the past and future of the universe. The steady progress in understanding these laws of nature is one of the great triumphs of the human intellect. We invite you to share that understanding by choosing a physics or astronomy major or minor, or by taking one or more of our courses for non-majors. We offer courses for non-science students; introductory courses for students in the life sciences, physical sciences and engineering; and advanced courses for majors and minors. Classes at all levels are taught by full-time faculty and, beyond the introductory level, class size is very small.
Our faculty offer many opportunities for students to pursue supervised research projects in a wide range of fields (e.g. astronomy, elementary particle physics, condensed matter physics). We strongly encourage our majors and minors to become involved in research in order to develop a close relationship with a professor, contribute to cutting-edge research (in some cases co-authoring articles for publication), and develop skills beyond those that can be learned in a classroom.
Many of our majors go on to graduate training in physics or astronomy at some of the foremost universities in the world. Others go to medical school, pursue degrees in other sciences or engineering, or go on to other careers. One of our graduates has flown in the space shuttle. Physics and astronomy provide rigorous training in critical thinking, problem-solving, modeling, mathematical and experimental techniques, and computing – versatile skills that can be applied in a wide range of careers.A wealth of detailed information about physics careers, salaries and the like is available from the American Institute of Physics. Their job site is an excellent resource for those searching for a job in physics, looking for advice on job hunting, or considering a career in research.