Undergraduate Degree Options
The Department of Physics at Michigan Tech is a dynamic community of scholars dedicated to excellence in education and cutting-edge research. We offer three areas of study:
With our low student-to-faculty ratio (6:1) and our hallmark emphasis on laboratory research, students graduate from the physics department with a solid background in this fundamental science—plus a specialty in education, research, or applications of classroom theory, depending on which area of study they choose.
Physics majors can select a curriculum that prepares them for graduate school and a future in academia and research. Or, they can pursue an option that leads to secondary education certification as a physics teacher. Students majoring in applied physics typically go on to careers in industry and national research labs. Honors courses are available for physics majors, and students have flexibility in crafting individualized programs of study tailored especially to their strengths and interests.
Are you fascinated by the physics of our universe? Do you frequently find yourself staring skyward on starry nights? A minor in astrophysics brings together your interests in the mechanical, electromagnetic, thermodynamic, quantum, and relativistic properties of galaxies, stars, and planets. Students opting to enroll in this minor will be well versed in astronomical and astrophysical principles, and can choose to focus their studies in remote sensing, optics, statics, or atmospheric physics—depending on the selected elective courses.
Take part in the nanoscale revolution. Nanotechnology is a rapidly developing field that seeks to understand, control, and exploit the novel physical properties displayed by matter at the nanoscale, or at dimensions between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers (for example, a DNA strand is 2.5 nanometers in diameter). Nanotechnology applications—such as drug-delivery and water-filtration techniques, nanofilms, and carbon nanotubes—are highly interdisciplinary and include virtually all fields of engineering and the natural sciences. This minor (IMNT) will give you the necessary multidisciplinary background in physics, chemistry, biology, instrumentation, and application-specific areas.
Explore the origins of our universe, deepen your understanding of the workings of microscopic phenomena, and find new connections between your major and the broad physics curriculum. A minor in physics affords students the opportunity to explore many different areas of study; over half of the minor’s total credits are reserved for elective courses. From theoretical mechanics to quantum physics to astrophysics, this flexibility provides students with a chance to explore their interests within the field. In our rapidly evolving global technological landscape, a broader and deeper physics background provides a valuable look into the inner workings of our world.
Discover remote sensing, an interdisciplinary field employing advanced technology to remotely collect data and take measurements. Remote sensing techniques are used in field studies when direct sensing is difficult or impossible, on scales ranging from microscopic to satellite to astronomical. Disciplines that employ remote sensing techniques include atmospheric physics and chemistry, biological and earth sciences, electrical engineering, forestry and ecology, civil and environmental engineering, oceanography, limnology, image and signal analysis, astronomy, and computer science. Michigan Tech's Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI) fosters interdisciplinary, team-based collaboration in remote sensing; research opportunities in the institute are available to undergraduate students.