Physics

Physics Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree On-campus

About Physics

Benefit from in-depth learning to fulfill your career ambitions.

The Bachelor of Arts in Physics degree program at California University of Pennsylvania merges a liberal arts education with the preparation you need for graduate study and/or a career as a physicist in private industry, governmental agencies or secondary education.

This undergraduate program focuses on helping you develop a firm understanding of the principles, concepts and methods of physics, effectively employ the scientific method, and apply the concepts of physics to real-world challenges. You and your faculty adviser will work together to develop a four-year program in physics and related areas that allows you to successfully pursue future career goals and ambitions.

Gain a career advantage with Cal U's top undergraduate program in physics.

Career opportunities in physics include government, academic and industrial positions ranging from space programs to the electronics industry to materials science and engineering, in addition to university teaching and research. Some Cal U physics graduates have chosen to continue their education in graduate school in order to pursue careers in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, management and higher education.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: Physics

Specialized study:  Our B.A. in physics offers you intensive instruction in classical and modern physics. Successful students will have advanced analytic and mathematical skills, particularly as they pertain to physics applications. Our program provides you with a strong foundation that's in demand by employers in the private and public sectors. You'll also be ready to go on for advanced professional or graduate study.

Distinct experience: Our program uses the Studio Physics approach to teaching and learning in introductory-level courses. In this format, first instituted at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, lecture and laboratory experiences are integrated for an active, hands-on experience. Physics students benefit from opportunities to use instrumentation. Physics faculty members are focused on student research and on ways to enable students to present their research at national conferences.

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19:1 
Student-to-faculty ratio at Cal U.
120 
Credit hours for the bachelor's degree in physics, which can be completed in eight semesters or four years.
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Degree Benefits

Our physics studio facility is equipped with 22 computer stations, each with probes and automated data capture to enable real-time collection and analysis of data. The facility delivers our introductory physics courses and allows the integration of lecture topics with experiential learning. In studio courses, you'll make daily use of the computer stations, probes and software to discover and reinforce the fundamental principles of physics.  The physics program offers a new laser optics course, and students also have the opportunity to explore the emerging field of nanofabrication.

 
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Graduate Outcomes

Career opportunities for graduates with physics degrees are expected to continue to be plentiful, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Many physicists teach and pursue research opportunities in college and university settings. Others work in consultation, quality control, industrial production or inspection. Career opportunities also are available within the federal government, especially in the departments of Defense and Energy, and in NASA. Most physicists specialize in one or more branches of physics, such as elementary particle physics, nuclear physics, atomic and molecular physics, physics of condensed matter, or optics, acoustics, and the physics of fluids. As a result, many work in subdivisions of these branches in ceramics, crystallography and semiconductors. Growing numbers of physicists are specializing in fields combining physics and geophysics, and physics and engineering. Many recent Cal U graduates have accepted positions in industry or continued their education at the graduate level.

 
Physics (B.S.)
Physics lab equipement.

Research  Focus

The physics curriculum includes a full year of research for senior-level students. They conduct research with individual faculty members and present their research findings at local, regional and national meetings.

Students walking outside of Old Main on Cal U campus.

Campus Connections

Physics students can take advantage of such campus organizations as the Society of Physics Students and Women in Science. Physics students are eligible for special scholarships and awards, including the J. Robert Craig Scholarship, a first-semester scholarship that is awarded to an incoming freshman or transfer student exhibiting excellence in the natural sciences. The Calvin Fleming Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding student majoring in the natural or physical sciences, with preference given to students with a composite SAT of 1200 or more.

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Career Opportunities

Over the years, physics graduates have obtained industrial jobs both locally in western Pennsylvania and outside the region. Among the employers of our physics graduates: Bayer Corp.; Duracell; Eli Lilly; state crime labs in Erie, Greensburg and Charleston, S.C.;  and the Allegheny County Coroner's Office in Pittsburgh. Our graduates have successfully completed their Ph.D.s at West Virginia University, Iowa State University, University of Maryland, Arizona State University, and University of South Carolina.

 

B.A., Physics Courses

Example Courses
  • General Chemistry
  • Calculus
  • College Physics
  • Problem Solving and Programming Constructs
  • Intermediate Electricity And Magnetism
  • Differential Equations
  • Modern Physics
  • Intermediate Mechanics
  • Physics Seminar

View full course sequence

B.A., Physics - Minor and Concentration

Minors
  • Physics - Minor
Concentrations
  • Nanofabrication manufacturing technology (concentration)
Certification
  • B.S. Ed. certification program in physics

Physics Faculty

Dr. William E. Dieterle
Associate Professor

dieterle@calu.edu

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Dr. Matthew J. Price
Department Chair / Professor

price@calu.edu

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Dr. Kausar Yasmin
Associate Professor

yasmin@calu.edu

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