Bachelor of Science in Physics
Master fundamental principles of the sub-atomic and the universe in our dynamic program that blends theory, experimentation and exploration. Student-centered projects develop the individual as a physicist and/or astronomer. Hands-on experiences solidify the concepts using simple and complex equipment including high-energy lasers, precision spectrometers or optical and radio telescopes.
With our $23 million natural sciences facility, Bracy Hall, physics and astronomy students have the classroom and laboratory essentials required for hands-on learning. Our newly renovated introductory labs are designed with active learning in mind with technology that helps you learn. A dedicated electronics lab, machine shop and advanced lab space, provide students with multiple areas to work on projects with research and industry-grade equipment. For astronomers, there is a roof-top observatory with a variety of state-of-the-art and traditional telescopes.
Physics Major Quick Facts
The physics major requires a total of 58 major-specific credits, as well as 32 credits that will fulfill the general education program. The University’s general education program, the Integrative Core, allows students to explore courses outside of their area of study and gain valuable leadership and communication skills needed for a rewarding career.
- Students research projects can follow their passion, which potentially aligns with faculty research interests in astronomy, astrophysics, atomic, molecular and optical physics, solid-state physics, physics pedagogy, acoustics and STEM coding. The faculty are quite adept at co-learning with students about research topics they are not familiar.
- Students are successful post-graduation, with acceptance to top-tier graduate programs in physics, engineering and astrophysics. Graduates also work as engineers, technicians, chemists and technical writers.
- Students in the physics and astronomy major can join the Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honorary.
- Students can participate in experiential learning as well, including internships and the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
As a physics major at the University of Mount Union, you will study general, classical and modern physics. Our physics degree program will provide you the opportunity to gain knowledge in modern physics, quantum mechanics, electronics, solid state physics, electronics, and astrophysics. In addition, you will be required to take courses in chemistry, calculus and advanced mathematics, which will help see the interdisciplinary nature of science, math, and engineering.
Flexibility exists within the courses that satisfy the major, which allows for the curriculum to conform to individual needs. The curriculum can prepare students for graduate study in physics, engineering, astrophysics, or astronomy, and prepare students for technical jobs in science and industry. Most students earn a simultaneous minor in mathematics through the completion of the required extra-departmental courses. Double majoring is also possible with recent students completing degrees in physics along with mechanical engineering, math, music, business, writing, computer science, and others.
Physics students at the University of Mount Union experience a high degree of hands-on involvement which prepares graduates for careers in graduate education in physics, astronomy, astrophysics, engineering and others, along with careers in data science, industry, engineering and the government.
As a major in physics you will…
- Learn to Write
- Write scientifically, use graphs/tables/images appropriately and how to use various programs to generate professional looking materials.
- Learn to Speak
- Speak about science in front of your peers and professors through oral and poster presentations and leading classroom discussions.
- Learn to Think
- Think critically about the universe and how to apply simple concepts to complex situations.
- Learn to Solve
- Use hands on learning to develop your problem-solving skills in real-world and theoretical applications.
- Learn to Create
- Choose research projects related to your interests and aspirations and build things that are fun to play with and learn from.
- Learn to Learn
- Develop your study and time management skills as many majors found high school easy and never learned to study. The faculty are happy to help with this.
- Learn to Help
- Jobs are available in the department to be a teaching/learning assistant in our general physics, astronomy, how things work and electronics labs. Tutoring jobs also available.
- Learn to Write
Students who choose to major in physics at the University of Mount Union have ample opportunities to get “real-world” experience inside and outside the classroom and laboratory. Most students learn better by “doing” rather than listening to traditional lecture, which is why we encourage students to experience physics rather than just learn to complete a problem. By focusing on experiential learning, students have a more authentic experience while tackling the complexities of the physical world.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth in federal government spending for physics and astronomy research is likely to continue to drive the need for physicists and astronomers, as will additional federal funding for energy and advanced manufacturing research. In addition, the fields of engineering, data science, medicine, information technology, communications technology and semiconductor technology as well as other applied research and development fields, will continue to place a demand on those with a background in physics.
The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is a useful resource for statistics and information about physics and astronomy degrees as their mission is to “advances, promotes and serves the physical sciences for the benefit of humanity.” https://www.aip.org/
At Mount Union, you’ll experience a high degree of hands-on involvement in the program and gain invaluable preparation for a variety of careers in physics. Over the past decade, nearly all of our graduates are pursuing the career of their choice.
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