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Physics—BA, BS

From Macro to Micro, Unravel the Universe’s Mysteries

Do you have the “physics gene?” Have you known since a young age that you wanted to discover more about the way our world works, from the smallest particles to the largest galaxies? The Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Physics at Michigan Technological University offer students the opportunity to explore the physical properties behind the behavior of the universe.

Hands-On Learning: Our Hallmark

Our students learn best by doing, which is why we emphasize challenging lab work and rewarding research. Starting with your first semester at Michigan Tech, you will work in the lab to deepen your understanding of physical properties. Through honors-level first-year courses, you will quickly familiarize yourself with our cutting-edge labs and our faculty’s research.

BA Versus BS

Even if you want to study physics, you may not be sure that you want to pursue a career as a scientist. With our newly implemented Bachelor of Arts option, physics majors can now explore two separate career paths.

Take a more traditional approach to studying physics through our BS in Physics, which will set you up for success in graduate school, industry, or laboratory research. Students who opt for this course of study have been recruited by national laboratories (such as Argonne National Lab and MIT’s Lincoln Lab) and have been accepted into graduate-level physics programs at schools such as Michigan State, University of Colorado-Boulder, Penn State, and MIT.

Or pursue a BA in Physics, which opens doors to careers outside of physics research or to grad school after graduation. You will customize your course of study through your choice of approved electives, giving you a secondary lens through which to see your physics education. Approved focus areas range from remote sensing to scientific and technical communication to entrepreneurship. With the strong problem-solving skills you will gain through your physics studies, you can then continue on to law, medical, or business school following graduation from Tech with a solid scientific background.

About the Program

  • Undergraduate students work directly with faculty on research projects. Students pursing the BS degree are paired with a faculty member for two semesters, but students frequently exceed this degree requirement by taking advantage of the department’s many opportunities for continued research.
  • The physics department prides itself on a sense of collegiality. This comes not only from faculty-student mentoring, but also peer-to-peer support. With such a small undergraduate community (typically 25 students per incoming class), students quickly become an integral part of the department’s culture.
  • Students are exposed to many disciplines within physics throughout their undergraduate career, which greatly increases postgraduation success. Our faculty has research expertise in
    • astrophysics;
    • atmospheric physics;
    • computational physics;
    • experimental physics; and
    • computational biophysics.
  • The department also offers or significantly supports minors in
    • astrophysics;
    • nanoscale science and engineering (nanotechnology);
    • physics; and
    • remote sensing.
  • First-year physics students automatically become members of the Michigan Tech chapter of the Society of Physics Students—a national professional organization designed to help students transform themselves into successful members of the professional physics community.

Undergraduate Employment

There are many undergraduate employment opportunities within the department.

  • Work in the Physics Learning Center, where you act as an academic coach to fellow Michigan Tech students.
  • Join the demonstration crew—helping to dream up (and set up) real-world demos of textbook concepts for classrooms.
  • Assist in undergraduate physics labs as a teaching assistant.
  • Work side-by-side with faculty members on their research projects.