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What can a physics degree do for you?

From the stars to newly discovered particles, explore the universe and all its mysteries with a degree in physics.

Physicists do more than play video games and wear superhero T-shirts—and they help solve everyday problems and lead the exploration of other worlds. And here they can couple a liberal arts background with a degree in engineering from Columbia University.

Physics courses in classical areas such as mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and electronics with select classes in quantum areas give students the foundational knowledge to continue their education, step into a career or teach the next generation of Einsteins.

Interest in physics is at an all-time high since that time an apple fell on Newton's head, and we discovered gravity. 

And for good reason. Scientists interested in the same things that you are work every day to understand everything in our world and outside of it. The seen and unseen. Black holes. Time. String theory. New particles. Transforming the things that matter to us.

Physics indulges curiosity in how the world works, how the universe works and how we all work. It's invaluable as a scientific discipline and as a path to diverse careers. A degree in physics can lead to careers in space travel or more terrestrial jobs like medicine, crime-scene analysis or even a new way to look at the arts. We even have an agreement with Columbia University for a 3-2 engineering program.

How do physics graduates from Susquehanna have an advantage?

  • You can present at national and international conferences.
  • Pursue research opportunities with NASA, CERN, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Lunar and Planetary Lab in Arizona and the Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid.
  • See physics in action with hands-on classes or the opportunity to build things like a pumpkin launcher.

At Susquehanna, your aspirations and career path don't need to be bound by Earth's atmosphere. A degree in physics is an excellent way to get anywhere you can dream.

Requirements for the Major in Physics. Susquehanna offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs in physics. The department strongly recommends the Bachelor of Science program for students interested in graduate school or industrial employment. Majors can pursue an interdisciplinary interest, such as biophysics, by carefully choosing electives. The Bachelor of Arts is a good choice for students preparing to teach secondary school.

Semester Hours View Full Course Catalog >>

The Bachelor of Science degree requires the following courses completed with grades of C- or better:

32         semester hours in physics, including PHYS-204-205 and PHYS-301-302

20        semester hours in mathematics (all courses from MATH-111 Calculus I up to and including MATH-353 Differential Equations)

12         4 semester hours from CHEM-101, CHEM-103, or CHEM-111, and 8 additional hours in approved biology, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences, mathematics, or computer science courses

The Bachelor of Arts degree requires the following courses completed with grades of C- or better:

32         semester hours in physics, including PHYS-204-205 and PHYS-301-302

16         semester hours in mathematics courses consisting of MATH-111 Calculus I, MATH-112 Calculus II, MATH-201 Linear Algebra and MATH-211 Multivariable Calculus

12         4 semester hours from CHEM-101, CHEM-103, or CHEM-111, and 8 additional hours in approved biology, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences, mathematics, or computer science courses

Minor in Physics. Students consult with their major adviser and a physics faculty member to design minor programs. The minor requires with grades of C- or better 18 semester hours in physics, including Introductory Physics I (PHYS-202, -203, or 204) and Introductory Physics II (PHYS-205 or -206). Suggested additional courses for computer science majors are PHYS-101 and PHYS-303. Suggestions for mathematics majors are PHYS-301/302 and PHYS-401.

Double-counting restriction: students majoring in chemical physics may not double-count courses towards a chemistry or physics minor.

Teaching Certification. Coursework required by the state of Pennsylvania for admission to the teacher certification program includes successful completion of ENGL-100 Writing and Thinking or equivalent course, at least 3 semester hours in British or American literature, at least 6 semester hours of mathematics coursework (or other courses which satisfy the Central Curriculum Analytic Thought requirement), and at least one 40-hour externship.

Education course requirements for secondary education are EDUC-101 Introduction to Education and Society, EDUC-102 Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education, EDUC-250 Educational Psychology, EDUC-260 Introduction to Special Education, EDUC-270 Instruction of Exceptional Students, EDUC-330 Technology in Education, EDUC-350 English Language Learners: Theory and Instruction, EDUC-380 Instructional Design, EDUC-424 Methods of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in Teaching Science, EDUC-479 Principles of Learning and Teaching in Secondary Education, EDUC-483 Differentiated Instruction and Classroom Management in Secondary Education, and the EDUC-500 Student Teaching package (EDUC-501, EDUC-502, EDUC-503, and EDUC-600).

In addition, secondary education physics students complete all of the usual requirements for the physics major.

Samya Bano Zain, Ph.D.

Department: Physics
Associate Professor of Physics

Carl Edward Faust, Ph.D.

Department: Physics
Assistant Professor of Physics

Massooma Pirbhai, Ph.D.

Department: Physics
Assistant Professor of Physics

Bob Everly

Department: Physics
Adjunct Faculty in Physics

Wayne Latchford

Department: Physics
Adjunct Faculty in Physics

Nick Stepanik

Department: Physics
Adjunct Faculty in Physics

Audrey K Eroh

Department: Provost
Academic Assistant

Recent graduates are employed at:

AT&T's Holmdel Laboratory
The FBI Forensic Laboratory
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Susquehanna Valley Cancer Treatment Center
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Government
Numerous high schools as teachers

Recent graduates have continued studies at:

Princeton University
MIT-Woods Hole
University of California at Berkeley
Drexel University
Lehigh University
The Pennsylvania State University
University of Connecticut
University of Michigan

Our Physics Degree

Liberal Arts Meets Engineering

We have the best of both worlds available to you.

Pursue a liberal arts and science education from Susquehanna and an engineering education from Columbia University through a new combined degree program.

You'll earn a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree from Susquehanna and a Bachelor of Science degree from Columbia University through The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) in just five years. After attending Susquehanna for approximately three years, completing the equivalent of three academic years, you'll then attend SEAS for at least two years to complete the requirements for your intended major. 

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Department of Physics

514 University Ave.
Selinsgrove, Pa. 17870

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Samya Bano Zain, department head

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