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Bachelor's Degree in Physics

Bachelor of Science

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Physics Degree Program Overview

Purdue University Northwest’s physics major offers an engaging learning environment and a rigorous program of study, augmented by a diverse research agenda.

With this degree, you’re prepared for graduate studies in not only physics but astronomy, engineering, education, data science and medicine as well.

Department of Chemistry and Physics

As a discipline, physics explores some of the most fundamental questions in our world and about our universe. The fundamentals of physics have applications across many fields.

Studying physics develops robust quantitative and critical thinking skills that are highly desired by employers and offer tremendous career flexibility.

With a small student-to-faculty ratio, our physics program offers you support and mentoring that suits your specific talents and goals.

Physics Major Curriculum

In the physics degree program, you’ll take a balance of general education courses, College of Engineering Sciences core courses and courses in modern physics, intermediate mechanics and electromagnetism, statistical physics and quantum physics.

We offer a range of elective courses, such as nuclear and computational physics. You’ll also develop your experimental skills through several laboratory courses and a senior research project.

Build a foundation through introductory mechanics and freshman seminar, along with calculus, introductory chemistry and general education courses.

Physics Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • PHYS 15200 – Mechanics
  • MA 16400 – Integrated Calculus Analysis Geometry II

Complete an introductory course in electromagnetism as well as classes in modern physics, advanced calculus and differential equations. You’ll also take general education and elective courses.

Physics Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • PHYS 25100 – Heat, Electricity And Optics
  • PHYS 34300 – Modern Physics Laboratory

Begin a two-year rotation of upper-level physics core courses, plus linear algebra, programming and physics electives.

Physics Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • PHYS 31100 – Quantum Physics I
  • CS 12400 – Programming II: C++

Finish your two-year rotation and conduct a year-long research project, which you’ll present in the spring.

Physics Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • PHYS 31000 – Intermediate Mechanics
  • PHYS 38000 – Advanced Physics Laboratory

Physics Degree Program Highlights

Physics at PNW offers unique opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research alongside our faculty in particle physics, nuclear physics and astrophysics.

Our students have worked with their faculty mentors at the Large Hadron Collider and the Energy Center. They’ve also studied asteroids with the NIRO observatory and helped run supercomputer simulations of neutron star mergers.

PNW Lion Statue with a brick wall in the background Two students pose in commencement regalia in front of the Nils Building

Physics Degree Program Outcomes

You’ll graduate with a strong understanding of physical principles and theories, experimental analysis techniques and theoretical/computational modeling skills.

This experience prepares you for graduate study in physics and affiliated fields (astrophysics, biophysics, etc.) or employment in fields ranging from data science to finance to engineering and beyond.

Physics Degree Program Employers

Recent graduates of our program are employed at:

  • Old Dominion University
  • Ball State University
  • EXL
  • Dwyer Instruments Inc.
  • AM Stabilizers Corporation

Physics Degree Program Beyond the Classroom

The Chemistry and Physics Club is a student-led group engaged in community outreach and activities of interest to anyone interested in chemistry and physics.

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Physics Degree Program Career Paths

Physics majors go on to careers in academia, finance, patent law, engineering, manufacturing, IT, health sciences and consulting, among others.

William Feithen

The majority of classes in physics deal with very complex, mathematically and conceptually heavy topics and the smaller class sizes allow students the opportunity to communicate with the professors.

I am very happy to have been a graduate of PNW. I have many experiences, formed lasting friendships, and took the combined advice from of my professors and mentors and used it as a guide for my career, and will continue to do so in the future.

What stands out to me the most when I think back on my time in the physics department at PNW is the infectious enthusiasm my professors displayed for the material.

Richard Gorby

Physics, 2018, Lowell

From black holes and the growth of our universe to quantum mechanics, the physics program will encourage you to look at the world in awe.

Kyle Herron

Physics, 2021 (expected), Highland

The Physics program has allowed me to learn about everything from quantum physics to astronomy. I was even able to do research at Fermilab over the summer with one of my professors. Overall, this program has been an amazing experience.

Annabelle Makowski

Physics, BS, 2021 (expected), Highland

Meet the Faculty

Robert Kramer

Robert A. Kramer, Ph.D., CEM, CDSM, CEA

Professor of Physics

Robert Kramer teaches physics and engineering courses and conducts research in energy utilization, sources, optimization, reliability and electric transmission. He is also the director of the Energy Center.

Neeti Parashar in front of CERN

Neeti Parashar, Ph.D.

Professor of Physics; Director, Center for High Energy Physics

Neeti Parashar founded and is leading the Center for High Energy Physics program at PNW. She is also the principal investigator on National Science Foundation funding and the faculty mentor for the PNW QuarkNet Center on education and outreach.

Adam Rengstorf is pictured.

Adam W. Rengstorf, Ph.D.

Interim Chair, Department of Chemistry and Physics

Adam Rengstorf teaches all levels of physics lecture and lab courses, general-education astronomy courses, and upper-level astrophysics courses. He also oversees all observing campaigns and undergraduate research projects at PNW’s NIRo observatory.

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Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Physics at PNW

Purdue University Northwest’s physics degree program prepares you for a career in a variety of technical and computational fields or continued work toward an advanced degree.

To see how a Bachelor’s Degree in physics from PNW opens doors, from universities to corporations, take the next step today!

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