Students work on a project involving lasers.

Physics Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science

Explore science at its fundamental level. Physics at the University of St. Thomas develops your analytical, experimental, computational and communication skills as you unravel the secrets of the universe.

Why Study Physics at St. Thomas?

Our degree program teaches you to apply problem-solving skills to topics ranging from orbital mechanics to astrophysics and relativity. We offer a supportive, collaborative and challenging environment that emphasizes faculty-student interaction with ample research opportunities. Our alumni have chosen a variety of career paths as engineers, programmers, research scientists and teachers. They have also gone on to pursue graduate degrees in medicine, law, physics, astronomy and economics.

Challenge Your Intuition

  • What you study
  • Four-Year Plan
  • Degrees Awarded
  • Internships
  • The Bachelor of Science degree offers a strong emphasis on technical preparation and includes a large core of physics, math, electronics and computer courses. It is ideal for students who plan to pursue graduate work. The Bachelor of Arts degree requires fewer courses and offers flexibility, allowing room for additional courses in biology, chemistry, engineering, computer science, math or education. The BS and BA degrees lead to different careers, but they are built on the same foundational courses.

    A physics minor complements many programs at the university, such as engineering, mathematics and chemistry.

    Below you will find sample degree plans for the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees. We design our four-year plans for students with different mathematical backgrounds. Your own individual path will depend on your math placement.

    • Bachelor of Science in Physics
    • Bachelor of Arts in Physics
    • Minor in Physics
    Many students have summer internships and summer research positions through the National Science Foundation’s programs. Past internships include 3M, Carestream Health, Honeywell, Medtronic, Xollai and Devicix. Our students have won highly competitive research positions at the University of Chicago, the NASA Goddard Space Center, the University of Notre Dame and the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona.

    What you study

    The Bachelor of Science degree offers a strong emphasis on technical preparation and includes a large core of physics, math, electronics and computer courses. It is ideal for students who plan to pursue graduate work. The Bachelor of Arts degree requires fewer courses and offers flexibility, allowing room for additional courses in biology, chemistry, engineering, computer science, math or education. The BS and BA degrees lead to different careers, but they are built on the same foundational courses.

    A physics minor complements many programs at the university, such as engineering, mathematics and chemistry.

    Four-Year Plan

    Below you will find sample degree plans for the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees. We design our four-year plans for students with different mathematical backgrounds. Your own individual path will depend on your math placement.

    Degrees Awarded

    • Bachelor of Science in Physics
    • Bachelor of Arts in Physics
    • Minor in Physics

    Internships

    Many students have summer internships and summer research positions through the National Science Foundation’s programs. Past internships include 3M, Carestream Health, Honeywell, Medtronic, Xollai and Devicix. Our students have won highly competitive research positions at the University of Chicago, the NASA Goddard Space Center, the University of Notre Dame and the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona.
    Greg Ogin '04 (Physics, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics) poses for a photo.

    Career Paths

    A physics major prepares you for a number of career paths after graduating from St. Thomas.
    • Engineer
    • Data Scientist
    • Medical Doctor
    • Forensic Scientist
    • Research Physicist
    • Investment Strategist

    Scholarships

    There are multiple scholarships available to students majoring in physics at St. Thomas.

    Dr. James Leigh Endowed Scholarship in Physics

    This newly established scholarship provides support for students majoring in physics. We recommend contacting a member of our program to discuss this opportunity in greater detail.

    NASA’s Minnesota Space Grant Consortium

    This program offers scholarships and grants to undergraduate students at affiliate schools who major in an area of interest to NASA. You can find more information about application requirements on the Space Grant Consortium website.

    Barry Goldwater Scholarship

    This national opportunity is the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship available in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. Six St. Thomas physics majors have won this highly competitive scholarship since 2006. More information is on the Barry Goldwater Scholarship website.

    A Variety of Hands-On Experiences

    Whether you are learning how to use optical tweezers or exploring chaos and nonlinear dynamics, you’ll leverage your curiosity and stretch your mind in our program.
    Physics video image.

    It's for the Curious

    Physics students at St. Thomas explore science at its fundamental level, and develop a strong skill set that will benefit them in a variety of career paths after graduation.