At a glance: Physics
Did you know? Our upper level physics courses are small, ranging from five to 15 students, to allow for close interaction and personal attention.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a strong, in-depth education. Students are prepared to participate in active undergraduate research with physics faculty, and each year a number of physics majors are awarded summer research fellowships at various universities across the country. Upon graduation, physics majors are well prepared for positions in industry and government, for teaching high school, or to pursue further education in graduate or professional schools. Visit the department's web site.
Physics major (B.S.)
A rigorous major in preparation for graduate or professional school.
Applied physics major (B.S.)
For teaching licensure or as a second major for students in engineering, science and math.
For physics (and other) majors interested in astronomy.
For students interested in physics but majoring in another discipline.
Physics teaching licensure
Physics majors interested in teaching (grades 7-12) may complete additional coursework in the Department of Education required to become a licensed teacher. Students interested in teaching in the science areas are eligible to apply for the Choose Ohio First Scholarship, which can be up to an additional $6,500 per year for those that meet the appropriate requirements. Visit the Department of Education.
- Doctoral faculty with credentials in astronomy, plasma physics, surface physics, optics, computer modeling and teacher education
- Laboratory computers for data acquisition and analysis
- Plasma physics laboratory with complex plasma experiment
- Laser optics laboratory for producing holograms
- Machine shop for making laboratory equipment
- 12-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope
- Networked astronomy computer cluster for analyzing Hubble space telescope data
- New astronomical observatory with multiple computer-controlled telescopes
The department of physics and astronomy is located in the Science Annex, which is connected to the Meyer Hall of Science. The facility includes modern research laboratories, classrooms, student laboratories, a machine shop and computer facilities. A new astronomical observatory is located on campus within walking distance from the physics complex of labs and offices.
Astronomy Club, Sigma Pi Sigma Honor Society, Society of Physics Students
Recent career placements
- Ohio State University; Pennsylvania State University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; New Mexico State University; Cleveland State University, University of Toldeo, etc. – graduate studies in physics or medical physics;
- High schools in Ohio – physics teacher;
Battelle, Columbus, Ohio – research physicist;
Honda Marysville, Ohio – research physicist;
Astronautics Coporation, Milwaukee, Wis. – research physicist;
U.S. Air Force
Excellent career opportunities for ONU physics majors start while students are still in college. Our students have been extremely successful in acquiring paid summer research fellowships. Physics students generally complement their degrees with backgrounds in mathematics, chemistry, astronomy or computer science, leading to career opportunities in research, industrial science, astronomy, medical physics, computational physics, biophysics, geophysics or high school teaching. (According to salary.com, physicists are the best-paid scientists by a significant margin.)