Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
What is the study of Physics?
Physics is the fundamental science. It is the study of matter and energy and the interaction between the two. Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Geology and Engineering apply the principles of physics to specific problems. Almost all areas of modern technology involve applications of physics. An undergraduate major in Physics provides a solid foundation upon which to build later work and study in physics, astronomy and engineering.
Why Should I Consider this Major?
A Bachelor’s degree in Physics provides an excellent foundation in liberal arts, and can open a variety of doors for jobs in high tech industries, government labs, and as preparation for graduate school. Recent Physics graduates have found positions in a variety of fields including software development, optoelectronics, engineering, failure analysis, and education, among many others. Many graduates have found the skills acquired in our program have prepared them for further academic studies in Physics, Astronomy, Engineering, Patent Law, Medical Physics, Medicine, and Education to name a few.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers students a unique experience; we have a program that is at the same time big and small! We average classes of roughly twenty students—a very large number for the discipline, and a number that permits significant breadth—and yet, at the same time, small enough to foster a true community, with students and faculty working closely on projects, original research, and course material. Our program and our faculty are focused on the undergraduate experience, providing many opportunities, from original research with faculty, to teaching lab courses as a Teaching Assistant, to helping mentor peers as a Learning Assistant. At the end, students are prepared for graduate school, or a variety of professional careers.
- Brad Johnson, Faculty
The physics program at WWU is fantastic at fostering a community-based learning environment. I felt like I had the full support of the faculty and my classmates. The different experiences from being a TA to research to courses provided a great variety of things to be involved in. I feel the program has greatly improved my content knowledge, my problem solving skills, and I feel well-practiced at public speaking and written communication.
- Drew Grennell, Student
- Laboratory Technician
- Technical Consultant
- Research and Development Scientist
- Physics Teacher
- Optical Medical Devices Designer
- Satellite Data Analyst
- Science Writer
- Industrial Hygienist