Orange Alert

Undergraduate Overview

Why Choose Physics?

You are naturally curious about how the universe works.

You love to solve problems with math and/or with your hands.

You want to make a difference in the increasingly data-driven world around you.

You want to work in a community that is supportive and responsive to your needs as a student.

You are excited to work on cutting edge problems at the limit of human knowledge.

Research Opportunities

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Physics majors work in research labs performing new experiments and theory at the cutting edge of physics knowledge! Check our faculty research pages to see what research they are doing.

Most individual faculty pages have information on how to apply to work in their groups. Plus, all students are welcome at departmental colloquium (Thursdays 3:30 – 5p.m.) and seminars (various). See the events page for information on these opportunities weekly.

Teaching Opportunities

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Physics majors have the opportunity to return the favor of education to their peers through our peer coaching program. Students can serve as peer coaches in many different classes and even work in our demo room to build and fix demonstration equipment. Read more information on the peer coaching program. For more information on working in the demo room, email Sam Sampere (ssampere@syr.edu).

Community Building Opportunities

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Taking classes, doing research, and teaching are just two of the many ways you can create and build a community in the physics department as a major. Other opportunities include getting involved in the Society of Physics Students (SPS), our award-winning local chapter of the national society that links all physics majors in the country. Read our Undergraduate FAQs for more information on SPS.

We also have a variety of outreach activities going on in research groups and through the equity, inclusion, and diversity group in the department. Find out more about our outreach efforts in the physics department.

Don’t forget to visit the Physics Clinic! Get help on your homework, help others, or just hang out. The Physics Clinic is your one-stop shop for all things physics. Stop by today!

For more thoughts on why Physics may be the right choice for you, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Undergraduate Programs in Physics

B.A. in Physics

The Bachelor of Arts Degree in physics is an excellent option for any student. This major teaches skills in logic and quantitative reasoning that complement future jobs in law, journalism, medicine, finance, teaching, and computational science. In these fields as well as in science a liberal education incorporating serious study of physics is a strong asset. The B.A. in physics can easily be taken as a second major with other majors in any college. See an example trajectory of courses for the B.A. in physics major.

B.S. in Physics

The Bachelor of Science program is an excellent preparation for many fields and careers; our program is modeled on the recommendations of the American Physical Society for students intending to pursue graduate work in physics, and is outstanding preparation for a wide range of STEM careers. See an example trajectory of courses for the B.S. in Physics major.

Minor in Physics

A minor in physics is an excellent way of satisfying your curiosity about science while you major in another field. It is a particular asset for students competing for admission to professional schools such as law or medicine, or for students contemplating careers that require some technical background, including teaching, technical writing, information science, management in technology-oriented companies, and journalism. See an example trajectory of courses for the Physics minor.