Our students study the universal laws of the natural world to understand the devices that transform our lives, from pacemakers and artificial limbs to integrated circuits and rocket engines.

Student writing on a whiteboard

At Simmons, physics is not just theoretical

Our students put concepts to the test working alongside our expert faculty on research projects — and are encouraged to jump right in during their first year on campus.

Many of today's most exciting areas of research occur at the intersection of different science and engineering disciplines. Our curriculum, research programs and collaborations reflect this new interdisciplinary environment. You'll learn how to apply physics while gaining solid problem solving skills and computer-related experience that will help you no matter your chosen path.

Our graduates go on to a variety of innovative careers in industry and education. They're also well-prepared for medical school, law, dental or graduate programs in physics, chemistry, biochemistry and engineering. Premed students and other science majors often major or minor in physics as well to enhance and differentiate their backgrounds and widen their research experiences.

Physics majors take the following courses:

PHYS 114 Fundamentals of Physics I 4
PHYS 115 Fundamentals of Physics II 4
PHYS 300 Mechanics 4
PHYS 305 Electricity and Magnetism 4
PHYS 331 Thermodynamics and Kinetics 4
PHYS 332 Quantum Mechanics and Molecular Structure 4
PHYS 350 Independent Study 0
PHYS 390 Physics Seminar 1

Choose 4 credits from the following courses:

PHYS 233 Introduction to Medical Imaging 4
PHYS 245 Introduction to Biophysics 4
PHYS 333 Advanced Topics in Modern Physics 4

Prerequisites and other required courses:

MATH 120 Calculus I 4
MATH 121 Calculus II 4
MATH 220 Multivariable Calculus 4
MATH 225 Differential Equations 4
CHEM 111 Principles of General Chemistry 4
CHEM 113 General & Quantitative Chemistry I 4
CHEM 112 Principles of Organic Chemistry 4
CHEM 224 Organic Chemistry I 4

20 credits chosen as follows:

PHYS 114 Fundamentals of Physics I 4
PHYS 115 Fundamentals of Physics II 4
PHYS 231 Classical Waves 2
PHYS 232 Modern Physics 2

Choose 8 credits from the following (at least one 300-level):

PHYS 233 Introduction to Medical Imaging 4
PHYS 245 Introduction to Biophysics 4
PHYS 300 Mechanics 4
PHYS 305 Electricity and Magnetism 4
PHYS 331 Thermodynamics and Kinetics 4
PHYS 332 Quantum Mechanics and Molecular Structure 4
PHYS 333 Advanced Topics in Modern Physics 4

You'll meet regularly with a faculty advisor to plan a program of study that matches your interests and career goals. If you're interested in future graduate or professional study, such as medical or dental school, make sure you meet with a health professions advisor as soon as possible so you can meet all the application requirements during your undergraduate study.

Many students choose to combine the study of physics with a complementary major or minor. A minor in physics is also available for students pursuing other majors. 

Research and internships are key elements of our program. You'll grow in skill level and confidence as you master applied physics in the classroom, at the bench and out in the field.

Our students:

  • Conduct research, travel to scientific meetings, and publish with faculty
  • Conduct independent research as a senior and write a thesis
  • Are awarded summer fellowships
  • Attend graduate or medical school

Recent REU programs and summer fellowship sites that students attended:

  • University of Washington
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Columbia University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Oregon State
  • California Institute of Technology
  • University of Colorado
  • Cornell University

Our physics majors/minors recently attended or are attending graduate programs or medical school at:

  • Auburn University
  • University of Western Australia
  • NY Medical College
  • Columbia University
  • Northeastern University
  • McGill University
  • Tufts University
  • George Washington University
  • Washington University
  • University of Oregon
  • Boston University
  • Emory University School of Medicine

A sample of student thesis topics:

  • Degradation of [Ir(ppy)2(dtb-bpy)]PF6, Heather Bankowski
  • A Study of Thermal Noise for Enhanced LIGO, Lucienne Merrill (The experimental work was carried out at MIT under the supervision of Dr. Gregg Harry.)
  • A Green Process to Depolymerize PLA, Jennifer Boice
  • Characterization of Poly(lactic acid) in Various Standard Acidic Conditions by Scanning Electron Microscopy, Lauren Morrell
  • Microfluidics: Electrowetting, Regina Yopak
  • Dynamic light scattering analysis of aggregation processes in ß-amyloid fibrils, Kathy Chaurasiya
  • Templating the growth and nucleation of calcium oxalate monohydrate on gold via microcontact printing, Tania M. Cabrera
  • Identification of steroids by post-source decay fragmentation MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, Sheri Benson
  • Synthesis and Aggregation of New Colloidal Particles, Pamela Sahota
  • Synthesis, Characterization and Use of Bipyridyl Ruthenium Complexes in Organic Light-Emitting Diodes, Erica Gunn.
  • Characterization of an FSIR Sensor, Emily Coombs
  • A Validation of Two Forensic Procedures for the Detection of Salivary Amylase, Hannah Knowles

Who Is Hiring Physics Bachelor’s?

A state-by-state listing of the many employers who recently hired physics bachelor’s into science and engineering positions.

Latest Employment Data for Physicists and Astronomers

Reports that provide the latest data on where physicists work and what they do throughout the economy and at different degree levels.

Statistical Research Center

Current data on education and employment in physics, astronomy, and allied fields, including interactive resources, full reports, and individual graphs and tables.

So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a you're ready to apply! Let's get started.

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Our Faculty

Rich Gurney photo

Rich Gurney

  • Professor and Chair of the Chemistry and Physics Department
Photo of Jason White

Jason White

  • Professor and Director of the 3+2 Engineering Program