Students in a Physics lab


From sub-atomic particles to the origin and structure of the universe, physics uses the language of mathematics to discover, describe, and apply the fundamental laws of nature.


The Physics Program enhances students’ capacity for analysis, synthesis, and inductive and deductive reasoning. Physics students learn to plan and conduct scientific experiments and to communicate the concepts of physics in oral, written, and mathematical form. A majority of physics majors participate in collaborative research with a faculty member. Our physics degree has also been particularly popular among students interested in engineering. Our students have gone on to study mechanical engineering, operations research, and systems engineering

Your Major Took You Where?

Physics majors have gone on to a variety of graduate programs and careers.


  • Alchemy Renewable Energy
  • General Electric
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Northern Kentucky Water District
  • Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute
  • Teledyne Scientific & Imaging
  • V3 Companies

Postgraduate Study

  • Columbia University (M.S., Operations Systems)
  • Duke University (M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering)
  • University of California - Berkeley (Ph.D., Industrial Engineering)
  • University of Michigan (Ph.D., Climate and Space Science and Engineering)
  • University of Rochester (Ph.D., Physics & Astronomy)
  • Vanderbilt University (M.S., Mechanical Engineering)




Introductory courses include classroom demos, lab exercises, and out-of-class discussions between students and faculty. The first two years will include intro physics plus courses in calculus and differential equations. The upper-level courses include advanced mechanics, electronics, magnetism and electricity, optics, quantum mechanics, thermal physics, and modern physics (a two-term course that includes relativity, quantum theory, nuclear physics, and solid-state physics).

Major Requirements

Minor Requirements

Experiential Learning

Students engage in hands-on learning experiences and reflection to develop skills and increase knowledge retention.

Students participate in collaborative research projects with faculty or in summer projects at other institutions. Our active physics club has visited labs, spaceflight centers, observatories and hosted visitors such as Nobel Prize winning physicist, Eric Cornell, and the Mars Rovers Project chief scientist, Steven Squyres.


We're committed to helping students find quality internship experiences in the career area of their choice.

Students have interned with a variety of companies and organizations including Toyota, RoboTerra in Shanghai, EnableJapan, technology groups.


Our extraordinary liberal arts and sciences education prepares students for meaningful lives and careers.

Our physics program is designed to prepare students for jobs in fields such as teaching, industrial research, medicine, and engineering and for graduate study in physics or a related science.

Physics Faculty

lady with short brown hair wearing blue top in front of student center

Emily Crabb

  • Assistant Professor of Physics
  • Dual-Degree Engineering Program Advisor
Man with dark hair wearing blue button up in front of dark background

Bruce Rodenborn

  • Associate Professor of Physics • Chair of Physics and Chemical Physics Programs

Take the Next Step