Physics, BS

Degree: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Major: Physics


Program Overview

The mission of the Bachelor of Science in Physics degree program is to develop professional physicists by providing majors a comprehensive undergraduate education in classical mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, thermal physics/statistical mechanics, and laboratory, data analysis and computational skills. Majors learn how to communicate professionally and reason quantitatively and ethically. They are prepared for employment or graduate study in physics and aligned technical disciplines and have a solid foundation for other professional career paths. 

This degree is traditionally pursued by students interested in a career in physics research in government or industry, or in college- and university-level teaching and research. Approximately three-quarters of our graduates continue their studies in physics, engineering or another professional area. Others choose immediate employment in a variety of technical fields in industry and government. CWRU physics majors have been remarkably successful at winning prestigious national and international fellowships and earning admission to top graduate programs and professional schools.

An important component of the program is the senior capstone. B.S. physics students who choose to do their capstone project through the Department of Physics have a year-long research experience with a research mentor and project chosen by the student.

Majors have the option to pursue one of two modifications of the standard BS in physics degree program; a mathematical physics or a biophysics concentration.

The mission of the Bachelor of Science in Physics with a Mathematical Physics Concentration is to develop professional physicists whose interests are focused on theoretical physics. This undergraduate program provides an enhanced, graduate-level education in electromagnetism and quantum mechanics as well as experience in mathematical methods used in theoretical physics. This program is based on the B.S. in Physics, with mathematical methods courses replacing two upper-level physics laboratory courses and some undergraduate lecture courses replaced by graduate-level courses on the same topics. This program is distinct from the B.S. in Mathematics and Physics, which is a parallel education in both mathematics and physics administered jointly by both departments.

The biophysics oncentration offers an ideal preparation for biological research in physics graduate schools and industry, and is also appropriate for careers in biology, biophysics, and biomedical engineering, as well as medical school. Select courses in the regular B.S. degree program are replaced by a "biogroup" of five courses (generally chosen from available biology, biophysics, biochemistry, and biomedical engineering courses), and a technical elective.  The biogroup and technical elective courses are chosen by the student in consultation with the biophysics academic advisor.

Undergraduate Policies

For undergraduate policies and procedures, please review the Office of Undergraduate Studies section of the General Bulletin.

Accelerated Master's Programs

Undergraduate students may participate in accelerated programs toward graduate or professional degrees. For more information and details of the policies and procedures related to accelerated studies, please visit the Office of Undergraduate Studies section of the General Bulletin.