Physics, Computational Physics Concentration, BS

The Physics, Computational Physics Concentration, BS program prepares you to engage in complex calculations and numerical simulations in the natural sciences. Our focus is physics, but the methods can be applied to many areas. This program prepares you to enter the job market immediately after graduation or to pursue further study in computational physics or related fields.

What Will I Learn?

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. Computational coursework aims to increase your skills on the theoretical side, specializing in numerical calculations and simulations.

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.

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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.

Students in this concentration can complete a Computer Science Minor by taking one additional computer science course.

What Types of Careers Could I Get With This Degree?

The computational physics concentration prepares you to engage in complex calculations and numerical simulations in the natural sciences. Our focus is physics, but the methods are widely applicable. Physics students are superb problem solvers. 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?

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.