The physics option offers instruction in the fundamentals of modern physics and provides a foundation for graduate study, which is generally necessary for a career in basic research. The physics program also forms an excellent basis for future work in a variety of applied fields.
An intensive version of the sophomore physics course (waves, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics) is offered for those planning further study in physics and the required junior-level courses give a thorough treatment of fundamental principles. Elective courses taken during the junior and senior years allow students to explore their particular interest. Some electives offer broad surveys, while others concentrate on particular fields of current research. A choice of laboratory course is offered at several levels. Students interested in concentrating their studies in one specific area of physics should refer to the undergraduate physics website for course schedule recommendations.
Students are encouraged to become active participants in research on campus, both during the summer and during the school year. Academic credit for physics work done outside of the classroom can be awarded in a variety of ways.