Undergraduate Major

Physics (BS)

Learn innovative techniques for studying the physical laws that govern space, time, matter, and energy when you major in physics. With an on-campus observatory and student research opportunities, these topics have never been more accessible.

Students with physics equipment

Program Overview

Explore the fundamental principles that govern life in the universe when you major in physics at Widener. From elementary particles to the large-scale structure of the observable universe, you'll gain the critical and creative skills necessary to explore and innovate in a wide range of careers.

You'll receive broad exposure to experimental, mathematical, and computational analysis techniques in small classes and labs. Faculty cherish the chance to get to know you and your personal goals and will encourage you every step of the way.

Along with state-of-the-art labs, you'll have unparalleled access to the 16” Meade Cassegrain telescope at Widener’s observatory. You'll conduct research that could take you to the Lowell Observatory and Anderson Mesa dark-sky viewing station in Flagstaff, Arizona.

When you graduate, you won't just be starting a career—you'll continue the work you've been doing all along.

Program Options

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Physics/Electrical Engineering BS/BSEE

A special curriculum allows students to major in electrical engineering and in physics. Details of the curriculum can be obtained from the chairman of electrical engineering or the associate dean of science.

Physics/Mechanical Engineering BS/BSME

A special curriculum allows students to major in mechanical engineering and in physics. Details of the curriculum can be obtained from the chairman of mechanical engineering or the associate dean of science.

Astronomy Minor

The astronomy minor is designed to provide a broad sampling of astronomy and astronomy-related courses for nonscience majors.

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Astrophysics Minor

The astrophysics minor requirements are designed to provide an introduction to the field of astrophysics.

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Physics Minor

A physics minor is an appropriate option for students majoring in disciplines such as engineering, mathematics, computer science, and chemistry.

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Students majoring in physics can obtain secondary certification in physics by completing the secondary education track. Students must also follow the instructions and requirements in the Center for Education section. Students may seek certification in more than one field; however, this usually requires more than eight semesters. Students who wish to become certified in more than one area should work closely with their faculty advisor when planning course schedules.

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The Honors in Physics program is for students who wish to extend their studies beyond the requirements for a BS in physics. Students wishing to graduate with honors must complete a senior thesis. The senior thesis is intended to provide an opportunity for students to participate in an independent, investigative research project with recognition of their commitment and motivation to exceed the requirements of the traditional physics degree. The students will carry out novel laboratory, theoretical, or observational research in physics or astronomy. The program includes a three-semester sequence (PHYS 408, PHYS 409 and PHYS 410). Students must defend their theses before a committee and earn a minimum grade of “A–” in PHYS 409 and PHYS 410 to receive the honors designation.

Program Highlights

Students in observatory

Access State-of-the-Art Equipment and Research Sites

The physics department belongs to the National Undergraduate Research Observatory (NURO) plus you'll get unparalleled access to the 16” Meade Cassegrain telescope at Widener’s observatory. You'll even have the chance to travel to the Lowell Observatory and Anderson Mesa dark-sky viewing station in Flagstaff, Arizona to participate in astronomical research projects.

Dr Augensen in observatory

Distinguished Faculty Mentors

You'll work closely with the physics and astronomy faculty, gaining mentors in your professors and academic advisor. Faculty members are researching topics from quantum optics and stellar evolution to the large-scale structure of the universe, and they'll help you get started on your own independent undergraduate research too.

Student in lab

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

You'll have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty on research projects and even publish in peer-reviewed journals. As for independent research, you can complete a senior thesis, investigate a novel idea in physics or astronomy, and defend your work before a thesis committee. Recently, students have completed studies on active galactic nuclei and sonoluminescence. 

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

Recent Employers and Industry Connections

  • Boeing
  • Drexel University
  • Cornell University
  • Lockheed
  • PECO
  • Lowell Observatory
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Astrophysics
  • Architectural/structural engineering
  • Education
  • Industrial research
  • Medical physics

Industry Growth

Overall employment of physicists and astronomers is projected to grow 14% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Alumni Connections

The physics department holds an end-of year celebration for students and alumni that includes a talk by a graduate of the department. You'll network with these distinguished graduates, perhaps landing an internship.

Take the Next Steps

Join a leading university dedicated to your success.

Visit Us

To visit Widener is, more often than not, to fall in love with the place. To fit your timeline and schedule, we offer a variety of ways to get to know us.

View Tuition and Fees

When comparing costs, we encourage you to look beyond sticker price. Because Widener is a private institution, we’re able to offer financial assistance that brings our exceptional education within reach.

Financial Aid

Our financial aid team takes the guessing game out of applying for financial aid. To determine your financial aid package, including scholarships and grants, apply and complete the financial aid process. You might be surprised at how much we can offer in assistance.

Next steps to apply

Applying online has never been easier—and it’s free! We also accept the Common Application. Take the next step toward joining the Widener Pride.

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