Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Physics is an incredibly vast field, exploring questions as large as the formation of our universe down to the smallest piece of nanotechnology. Careers in the field are wide-ranging, too, with opportunities in education and research to engineering and biotechnology.
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater offers a robust program that gives students a solid foundation in physics, as well as a chance to solve real-world problems with interactive experiments and project-based classes.
CAN WE BRAG A LITTLE?
Our faculty and students use the Earth’s greatest technologies to advance their research and make discoveries.
Dual degree option: Physics and Engineering
Start at Whitewater and graduate with two bachelor’s degrees. Scroll down to explore more!
Why major in Physics at UW-Whitewater?
A universe of opportunity
You might be drawn to physics if you’re curious about the world around you and wonder often how things work. As a physics major at UW-Whitewater, you’ll explore foundational theory and discover through hands-on experiences. We offer several emphasis areas to help you define your career pathway: engineering, education or graduate school.
Dual degree option: Engineering emphasis
Our program allows students to participate in a dual-degree program with UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee or UW-Platteville to receive two bachelor’s degrees: a B.S. in Physics from UW-Whitewater and a B.S. in Engineering from a partner institution. We offer two- and three-year plans that can lead to degrees in five engineering areas: civil, electrical, industrial, materials and mechanical.
Other highlights of UW-Whitewater’s Physics Department include:
- An on-campus observatory used for astronomy courses
- Scholarships and research grants available, including programs for women and minorities in science
- Student awards, including the First Year Physics Award
- Variety of guest speakers from engineers and physicists
- Research labs filled with equipment and technology
What our Physics students do
Hands-on learning experiences
As you pursue your degree in physics at UW-Whitewater, you will find real-world learning opportunities, such as:
We encourage our physics students to pursue internships to gain hands-on experience in a professional setting. Nearby internship sites have included Abbott Labs, Harley Davidson, Johnson Controls and Forte Automation Systems.
As a physics major, you can hone and develop your writing, critical thinking and analytical skills through our nationally respected Undergraduate Research Program.
Explore the principles of physics as you visit fascinating places around the world. Our physics students recently joined with our geography and geology students on a faculty-led international experience to Iceland.
Campus and community involvement
In our department and across campus, you’ll find student organizations that are of interest to physics majors such as:
- Society of Physics Students
- Student Math Association
- Diversity in STEM Education
What our graduates do
Physics Jobs: What can you do with a Physics degree?
Physics students from the UW-Whitewater have achieved success in many fields. Many of our graduates work in industry in both technical and management positions. Teaching is an excellent career choice, with a stable demand for physics teachers. Military service, including the Navy's nuclear program, is another possible career option. A physics degree is also excellent preparation for further study in many areas.
UW-Whitewater students start and advance their careers in physics at places like:
- Briggs and Stratton
- Caterpillar Global Mining
- GE Healthcare
- Honeywell/Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle
- Human Genome Project, UW-Madison
- Intel Corporation
- Johnson Controls
- Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
- National Science Foundation
- NASA Johnson Space Center
- Naval Oceanographic Office
- Point Beach Nuclear Plant
- Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory at Harvard University
- Tennessee Valley Authority
- University of Southern Indiana
- U.S. Naval Academy
- WE Energies
Physics alumnus heads NASA observatory
Pat Slane is director of the Chandra X-ray Center, which controls science and flight operations for NASA’s flagship X-ray telescope, housed at the Smithsonian's Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He’s an active alum who visits campus and mentors current students.
Graduate and professional school
Many physics majors go on to master’s degree or Ph.D. programs in physics as well as in related areas such as astronomy, engineering, computer science, and medicine at institutions such as:
- North Carolina State University (physics)
- The Pennsylvania State University (Ph.D. in materials science and engineering)
- University of Central Florida (electrical engineering)
- University of Virginia (high energy physics)
- UW-Madison (nuclear engineering)
- UW-Madison (materials science)
Our Physics faculty
Our department has a diverse and engaged faculty, with a range of teaching and research interests, including:
- Structure of the Milky Way Galaxy
- Physics of interstellar and intergalactic gas
UW-Whitewater offers the following undergraduate Physics degree options:
- Bachelor of Arts — Physics, Engineering and Industry emphasis | 4-year plan
- Bachelor of Science — Physics, Engineering and Industry emphasis | 4-year plan
- Bachelor of Arts — Physics, Graduate School emphasis | 4-year plan
- Bachelor of Science — Physics, Graduate School emphasis | 4-year plan
In addition to UW-Whitewater’s general education requirements, as a physics major, you’ll take a set of core and foundational physics, math and other science courses based on your area of emphasis, which could include:
- Physics for Scientists and Engineers
- Intermediate Laboratory
- Methods of Theoretical Physics
- Modern Physics
- Analog and Digital Electronics
- Technical and Scientific Writing
You’ll also have a vast selection of electives and advanced courses available to you, based on your personal and professional interests, such as:
- Astronomy Workshop
- Physics of Sound and Music
- Quantum Mechanics
An approved minor is also required.
Students pursuing the BSE will also complete the required education courses and teaching placements to fulfill licensing requirements.
To apply, you’ll complete the UW-Whitewater standard application for admission and indicate your interest in a physics major.