Physics

professor teaching a class


Bachelor of Science
Major
School of Arts and Sciences
Four-Year Degree

Overview

At Westminster, studying physics means investigating the mechanics behind the workings of the world. You will study the principles of matter and motion through time and space in experimental class settings. Westminster’s holistic approach to knowledge will give you the critical thinking, communication, laboratory, and technology skills you need to be successful in the field of natural science.

Who It's For

Students in the Physics program have a passion for problem-solving and learning. Program curriculum meets the needs of students who want to pursue a professional career or graduate work in physics, engineering, material science, biophysics, and a variety of other professions. If you have a desire to understand how things work, this program is the right fit for you.

Key Benefits

  • Cutting-edge equipment at the Meldrum Science Center for laboratory activities
  • Small class sizes that allow you to collaborate in research opportunities with peers and professors
  • Classes characterized by promoting critical thinking and learning through observation, prediction, and refinement—the same way original physics principles were discovered
  • A community of learners who want to be challenged

"With the hands-on approach and the extremely well qualified instructors each student is able to excel. One of the best things about the program, and the school overall, is the small class sizes. This has allowed me to get plenty of one-on-one instruction from the professors, and not just a T.A."

About the Program

Studying physics means learning about the laws that govern our existence. Students explore the structure of the universe, from large cosmological phenomena to small particle behavior. Physics teaches you how to deconstruct problems and solve them at different levels of complexity.

What You'll Learn

  • Gain an understanding of the importance of collaborating with peers in laboratory and research settings.
  • Acquire practical technology skills cultivated through hands-on investigation that will help you apply theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios.
  • Develop a solid understanding of physics, including statistical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, quantum physics, thermodynamics, optics, and relativity.
  • Master how to communicate physics methodologies through verbal and written form.
  • Develop your personal awareness regarding bias in science.

Plan of Study

Students who want to major in physics start by taking introductory courses that explain the foundational ideas of the field. While simultaneously improving your reasoning and math skills, you will learn about multiple concentrations within the realm of physics and chose electives to customize your degree.


Sample Courses

Introduction to Modern Physics

In this course, you will study the elementary concepts behind modern physics, including special relativity, quantum theory, nuclear and laser physics, and more. Through this course, you will discover all the future possibilities waiting for you.

Scientific Computing

This course will teach you programming techniques that are essential in a range of scientific disciplines. You will learn the principles of equation solving and simulation modeling, which will prepare you for a successful career in the sciences.

Want to learn more about the Physics program?

A dedicated admissions counselor will reach out to you with personalized information to help with your search for the right program.

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Career Opportunities

Whether you want to attend graduate school, medical school, be a leader on the workforce, or just understand more about the world that surrounds you, Westminster’s Physics program will help you turn your passions in actions. Through courses, you will get all the tools you need to be successful in any career path you choose. Physics majors are needed in all kinds of professions due to their problem-solving skills.

Potential Careers

  • Astrophysics
  • Biophysics
  • Chemical physics
  • Data analysis
  • Economy
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Geophysics and meteorology
  • Material science
  • Medical physics
  • Research
  • Quantum computing

Other Physics Programs

The Physics program also offers a Physical Science composite major for students seeking an endorsement for secondary education, and an Academic and Teaching minor in Physics.

Learn More About the Physics Program

Check Out the Physics Department

Tuition and Aid

There's No Better Investment Than You

Westminster College knows you want an education where you matter—a place that will serve as a launchpad for a successful career and a meaningful life. Westminster will work with you individually through every step of the financial aid process. From scholarships to grants and loans, Westminster helps you make it happen.

With the highest percentage of students who complete one or more internships in the state, Westminster students hit the ground running with real-world experience. Plus, 90% of students were either employed or attending graduate school within 5 months of graduating. With a Westminster degree, you don't have to choose between a successful career and a fulfilling life.

Average Cost After Financial Aid

$14,042 ($7,021 per semester)

Cost Breakdown (2018–2019)

  • Tuition: $34,000
  • Room: $5,526
  • Board: $3,164

Financial Aid

Average Total Financial Aid

$27,834 (merit scholarship, work-study, grants and loan funds)

Scholarships

You’ll be automatically considered for scholarship and grant opportunities.

In addition to general merit scholarships, there are other scholarship programs to support you throughout your time at Westminster.

View Additional Financial Aid Opportunities

S-Cubed

Computer science, math, and physics students can apply to S-Cubed for a four-year scholarship sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Participants also benefit from early exploration of topics in their field, mentoring from industry professionals, and collaboration with a strong cohort of peers.

Learn More About S-Cubed

Aspirations Scholarship

Westminster College provides a scholarship for the winner or runner-up of the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC).

Learn More About Aspirations

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