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The Department of Physics and Astronomy seeks to prepare students for the future as professionals and citizens. In addition, the Department seeks to advance the frontiers of knowledge in physics and astronomy, and to serve the community through education, outreach and research. Our mission is to provide students with the scientific knowledge and skills needed to begin their careers or to enter graduate school, especially laboratory skills, critical thinking including analytical and problem solving skills, and communication skills.

We offer three undergraduate majors: the B.A. in Physics, the B.S. in Physics, and the B.S. in Applied Physics.

All programs actively engage students in doing science. Physics majors begin by exploring the foundations of physics, the roles of hypotheses, measurement and analysis, and the development of scientific theory through small classes and laboratories. Intermediate level courses in modern physics, mechanics, optics, and electricity and magnetism further prepare students for senior-level courses in quantum mechanics and thermodynamics. Intermediate-level laboratory courses, a wide variety of elective courses, and faculty-guided research internships build upon prior course and laboratory work to provide exciting preparation for careers or graduate study.

The B.A. program is intended for students seeking careers in physics education or careers not requiring graduate study in physics, and provides extensive opportunities to take courses in the liberal arts and to pursue other minors.

The B.S. in Physics will provide students seeking careers requiring graduate study in physics or engineering with an in-depth study of physics appropriate to their needs.

The B.S in Applied Physics combines the B.S. in Physics with a focused concentration in any one of biochemistry, computer science, or engineering.