Physics

Physics is the study of how nature works, from the unimaginably small world of sub‑atomic particles to the marvelously huge world of galaxies and black holes. It is a basic science that has an important impact on the problems facing modern society. Physicists help attack these problems directly through research and indirectly through teaching, both at the secondary and the university levels.

Western Michigan University's Department of Physics prides itself on the high quality of its teaching and faculty-student relationships. It is large enough to offer strong, well-rounded programs, yet small enough to promote good communication and interaction between faculty and students. Its diverse research program complements its teaching commitment, and ambitious undergraduate students have many opportunities to participate in research.

If you would like to study physics at the undergraduate level, WMU has four majors and three minors from which you can choose:

  • Physics major
  • Physics major with electrical engineering option
  • Secondary education physics major
  • Geophysics major
  • Physics minor
  • Secondary education physics minor
  • Astronomy minor

Beyond the classroom

As a physics student at WMU, you will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience and build your professional network through registered student organizations like the WMU Physics Club. The WMU Physics Club promotes communication and scholarship among physics students by providing opportunities to learn about current research, explore career opportunities in physics, and exchange scientific ideas.

You might also consider spending some time in WMU's Physics Student Commons. Located in Rood Hall, the student commons is a great place for physics students to study, relax, and enjoy quiet discussion and socialization.

After you graduate

Recent WMU graduates with a degree in physics are working in the areas of:

  • K-12 teaching
  • Energy production and storage
  • Science museums
  • Space exploration
  • Environmental protection
  • Communications technology
  • Computer modeling
  • Remote sensing and measurement
  • Medical diagnostics
  • Lasers and optoelectronics

Additionally, many students with bachelor’s degree attend graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. leading to careers in research and college or university teaching.

Where is this program offered?

  • Kalamazoo