The Physics Major is a challenging 4-year program which provides a rigorous training in the basic aspects of physics. This is achieved through combined classwork, laboratory courses, independent research projects, and extracurricular activities including participation in the Society of Physics Students.
Our department has recently undergone a dramatic expansion, including the hiring of several new faculty members and development of world-class research programs, which has propelled us into the forefront of research into complex materials. This research effort is meant to complement our Jesuit tradition of excellence in undergraduate education, and students are strongly encouraged to become involved in faculty research -- there is no better way to learn physics than by doing physics!
We are a relatively small and closely-knit department, with a ratio of undergraduate majors to faculty of about 4:1. Thus students can expect ready access to faculty members for help with their coursework, advising, or just an informal chat. Indeed, our recently renovated and expanded building, Higgins Hall, was designed by us to promote this interaction with the inclusion of study spaces and lounge areas outside the faculty offices.
Recent graduates from our program have followed a variety of career paths, including graduate school in physics or engineering, and other professional programs such as law or medical school. Students who chose to go directly into the workforce find positions in industrial research and technology, computational science, finance, and other technical positions.
Learn more about the Undergraduate Program.
Visit the University's Undergraduate Admissions site for important information regarding the admissions process as well as financial aid available to incoming students. The Admissions Office is located in Devlin Hall on the main Chestnut Hill campus.
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Learning Outcomes for Physics Majors
The Department of Physics curriculum is designed to help our students achieve the following learning outcomes upon graduation:
- demonstrate a broad understanding of classical and quantum physical principles;
- understand and articulate current prominent research questions in physics;
- structure and implement independent inquiry on substantive questions in physics;
- communicate research results in a scientifically appropriate manner;
- demonstrate a level of knowledge and research skills level sufficient to compete successfully for admission to graduate programs.
The department will assess our majors’ learning outcomes, and modify the curriculum as appropriate, on a yearly basis in order to help students better achieve these goals.
Learning Outcomes for Students Taking Physics Core Courses
Students completing a Natural Science Core course in the Physics Department will have:
- expanded their understanding of the principles, body of knowledge, and investigative strategies that comprise physics and its technological applications;
- developed a scientific literacy that will promote curiosity, respect for the scientific method, and general awareness of the limitations of scientific conclusions;
- recognized the role of scientific discovery, past, present, and future, in interrelated concerns such as human health, societal well-being, and planetary sustainability; and
- appreciated the role of physics in defining their relationship with the natural world and their position within the cosmos.