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, condensed matter physics, plasma physics, and theoretical efforts in cosmology, particle physics, and complex systems. 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 Oxy and 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. Oxy also 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.