Physics, B.S.

Shippensburg University's Physics, B.S. program is designed to be flexible, encouraging you to explore complementary interests. It will easily accommodate a minor or major in another field.

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What Will I Learn?

Physics looks into the “how” and “why” of everything in the universe. While you need to begin with the basics of how things work in everyday life, where you end up will depend on your interests and goals. Most of all, physics focuses on creative problem-solving and analytic thought, skills that are highly applicable to many fields.

Core courses set the groundwork for studying all areas of physical science, based on a deeper understanding of classical and modern physics. You will learn several forms of analysis in classical mechanics, electrodynamics and quantum physics that are meant to teach you the interconnected nature of all scientific disciplines and their interrelationships based on a common language of mathematics.

Bradley Smith standing along bank of Colorado River

Meet Bradley Smith

"Many of the skills and techniques I have learned will help me develop and learn new skills and techniques and can lead me to do things I could only dream of before I started."

How Bradley Found Success at Ship

What are the requirements for this degree?

On top of general education requirements, physics majors must successfully complete core requirements:

  • Courses in physics
  • Courses in allied fields
  • Additional physics electives

To prepare for study in physics, we recommend taking four years of math in high school. If possible, taking a high school calculus or physics course can be beneficial.

The Undergraduate Catalog provides details about program requirements.

Many of our students also major or minor in mathematics or chemistry, but you can also consider fields such as computer science, business, technical writing or a modern language.

What Types of Careers Could I Get With This Degree?

Physics students are superb problem solvers, with skills adaptable to many diverse areas. But if physics is your passion, you may be employed by industry in technical areas of microelectronics or micromachining (or, increasingly, nanotechnology). You may work in computer applications or data processing for industry, government or university settings. You may be part of a research and development team in an industrial or government laboratory.

What Kinds of Experiences Could I Have on Campus?

You are invited to participate in the Physics Club, an undergraduate society of physics students sharing activities and outings related to physics. This can include joining the national Society of Physics Students and perhaps nomination to Sigma Pi Sigma, the national Physics Honor Society, attending regional and national meetings of physics professional societies or visiting nearby national laboratories. There are opportunities for research in the department or collaboratively with faculty from other science departments. You can attend informal seminars and seminar courses on varying topics of interest, from string theory to a fractal view of reality and discuss your views.