Department Vision

"Major in physics if you are truly interested in understanding how things work and if you are interested in creating technology innovations."
- Jeffery Spaleta, 1998, Worchester Polytechnic Institute alumnus

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting."
- Ernest Rutherford

The whole universe is a fair topic for study in physics. No facet is too small or too large to be considered. Physics is the assembly and application of the rational rules by which nature operates. Every action is played out according to its rules. Physics is the foundation for all other sciences. Physics pervades our lives. The heating, lighting, plumbing, kitchen, computer, communication and entertainment facilities found in our home, the engines, the drive trains and electronics in our vehicles are all possible because of the systematic application of the laws of physics.

Humanity has always struggled to improve its understanding of the environment and to cope with environmental changes and problems. Physics has always been at the forefront of finding solutions to these concerns. The more technical our world becomes, the more critical our concerns with our environment becomes. When the environmental and engineering problems of today are solved, and when improvements to the technology of our day are made, it will be physicists who will have found many, if not most, of those solutions.

Degree Options:

The B.S. degree in Physics without a specific emphasis is suggested for those interested in graduate study in physics, or for those seeking a broad overview of the field. Alternatively, students can emphasize another discipline, such as biology, computer science, engineering, or mathematics. Such interdisciplinary training is ideal for students wishing to go into industry or business, or to prepare for graduate degrees in engineering, for attendance to medical school, law school, or even as a preparatory course on the way to a MBA. There two tracks toward a bachelors degree. They are:

  1. The BS in Physics
    This degree is for the student planning on attending graduate school. Mastery of a broad slate of theoretical and experimental disciplines is expected.
  2. The BS in Physics with an applied emphasis
    Field of emphasis can include:
    • Computer Science
    • Applied Physics
    • Geophysics
    • Biophysics
    • Secondary Education
    • Engineering
    • Mathematical Physics
    • Environmental Physics

A custom applied physics degree may be constructed with an advisor for a discipline not listed here.