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Physics is the study of how the universe works. Physicists ask big questions and their answers often have very human solutions, from treating cancer and predicting weather, to developing video games.

Why Choose Physics?

This badge signifies our physics program is a stem-designated program.

The physics major is grounded in the basic sciences, like biology and chemistry, to applied sciences, like engineering. Majoring in physics allows you to develop strong technical and analytical skills, which are applicable to nearly any profession.

The Curriculum

Physics at Manhattan College is a challenging program that combines theoretical and experimental components. It is designed to lead you to master:

  • mechanics
  • electromagnetism
  • optics
  • thermal physics
  • relativity
  • quantum theory

Classes examine topics including:

  • Properties of radioactivity
  • Elements of thermodynamics
  • Computer programming in the Python language
  • Wave theory of light and matter

Research Experience

As a physics major at Manhattan College, you will have many experiential opportunities to choose from. Research is both required and supported, whether you choose to work in collaboration with a faculty member on campus or pursue an opportunity to take part in research internationally. Faculty-student collaborations often lead to projects that are funded by government agencies like the National Science Foundation. Past students have participated with the ATLAS Experiment and worked alongside Manhattan College physics professor Rostislav Konoplich, Ph.D., at The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Typically students conduct research projects with faculty instead of internships. Past research topics include:

  • Doped semiconductor materials
  • Early universe cosmology
  • Fractal analysis
  • Interferometry
  • Neutron star astrophysics
  • Structural characterization of nanomaterials
  • Theoretical high energy physics

What Will You Learn?

You will learn how to solve complex problems using mathematics, and how to communicate your findings to others. You will never view every day events in the same way. As a physics major, you will:

  • Define problems and apply theoretical approaches to them
  • Develop mathematical and modeling skills
  • Become confident with experiment design, testing and validation
  • Create logical arguments and convey complex information

We offer a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree. You may choose to combine your interests by taking an additional major, minor or concentration in another field of study such as computer science, education or economics.

Physics is also offered as a minor.

See degree requirements

What Will You Do?

The analytical and critical thinking skills of a physicist are always in demand, whether you choose to enter the job market or go to graduate school. A major in physics can lead to a career in many fields ranging from medicine and advertising to engineering and law.

The small class sizes helped my professors tailor the material to my needs, and the interaction I had with my professors helped expand my knowledge of physics and of academia. I'm now pursing my dream of becoming a physicist, and I owe it all to Manhattan College and the opportunities it gave me.

Andrew Baumgartner ’15, Graduate Student, University of Washington