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Physics

Studying physics provides you with a thorough education in the fundamental processes of the physical world through study in the classroom and laboratory.

Current research in Oxy’s physics department includes work on particle astrophysics as well as theoretical efforts in cosmology, particle physics and fluid dynamics. In addition to the full spectrum of undergraduate coursework, Oxy’s physics program provides you with opportunities to participate in research projects, both on and off campus. You can participate in Oxy’s annual Summer Research Program, and physics majors have been co-authors with faculty on papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Recent student projects have also taken place at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Los Alamos National Lab.

Students in our major have also won top national awards, including Goldwater scholarships, Fulbright fellowships and NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. Some majors opt to complete the 3-2 Engineering Program, which allows you to earn a bachelor’s degree at 鶹Ƶand an engineering degree at either Caltech or Columbia University over the course of five years.

As a physics major, you will graduate with excellent analytical and problem-solving skills honed by extensive hands-on laboratory experience. 鶹Ƶalso is one of the country’s top producers of students who go on to receive Ph.D.s in the sciences. Our graduates have also gone on to a variety of other careers – including engineering (aerospace, civil, electrical, software), secondary school science teaching, information technology, law and medicine.

Latest Department News & Announcements

Meet Our Faculty

What Our Graduates Are Doing

Ph.D. in physics, U Mass; postdoc at Fermilab

Alissa Monte
2013

Software entrepreneur; co-founder, Lucid Sight, Inc.

Octavio Herrera
1998

PhD program in Astronomy, Rutgers University

Tehreem Hai
2023

Ph.D. in materials science, Caltech; postdoc at Princeton

Sally Tracy
2008

Ph.D. in physics, University of Cambridge UK

Patricia Alireza
1994

Associate Professor of Physics, University of Washington

Jason Detwiler
2000

Assistant Professor of Physics at LMU

Emily Hawkins
2014

Senior Development Engineer at NuVasive Inc.

Greg Essayan
2016

Systems Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Nick Waldram
2016
Contact Physics
Hameetman Science Center 120