Physics Department

Physics is a part of everything: from the stars populating the universe, to the environment, to your smartphone. In the Nebraska Wesleyan physics degree program, you will study rigid body dynamics, electromagnetic theory, wave dynamics, and quantum mechanics, plus other exciting areas.

In addition, physics majors will become highly proficient at problem solving and creative thinking, as well as advanced mathematics.

The goals of the physics degree program are to help students understand and apply physical principles, and communicate those principles and applications. We provide underlying theory, laboratory and technical training, and opportunities to develop one’s scientific writing and oral presentation skills.

Majors and Minors

An approved supporting program of 25 hours from the Natural Sciences division is required, possibly including one or more minors or a second major.

Physics (B.A.): The Bachelor of Arts physics degree is designed for those students who want a solid physics education with a broad liberal arts background.

Physics (B.S.): The Bachelor of Science degree is designed for those students pursuing employment or further education in physics or engineering.

Physics Education: See the Education Department brochure on interdisciplinary majors in physical sciences and physics, natural sciences education, and applicable endorsements.

Engineering Dual Degree Program: Physics majors can participate in the Dual-Degree Program, which enables students to devote three years to study of sciences and liberal arts at Nebraska Wesleyan, before transferring to a participating engineering school for two years of engineering studies. This program leads to a Bachelor of Science degree from Nebraska Wesleyan and the appropriate engineering bachelor's degree from Columbia University, Washington University, the University of Nebraska or other accredited engineering school.

See all degree requirements.

Careers in Physics

Some physics graduates become K-12 teachers. Other graduates will seek positions such as research assistants, high-level technicians, or computer specialists, as well as work in technical publishing or sales. Many industries employ physics majors: aerospace, scientific supply, remote sensing, communications, biotechnology, chemical, pharmaceutical, magnetic imaging, and automotive, etc. Graduates often will pursue graduate education in physics or other technical field.

More than a third of physics graduates continue with graduate studies. A graduate degree in physics can be the starting point for careers in many exciting fields such as astronomy/astrophysics, biophysics, chemical physics, condensed matter, engineering physics, geophysics, medical/health physics, optical physics, particle/high-energy physics, or nuclear physics.

Learn more about career and employment opportunities in physics studies at the NWU Career Center. Also be sure to visit the “What can I do with this degree?” page.

The Career Assistance Network can connect you to receptive alumni who are already established in your field and eager to help fellow Prairie Wolves.