Physics seeks to explain the workings of the physical world encompassing a vast scale from elementary particles to the cosmos. Physics interacts with fields such as chemistry, biology, astronomy and engineering to provide a background for study in these areas.

Program Highlights

Studying physics is an excellent option for students majoring in related disciplines who want to deepen their understanding of underlying fundamentals. Students who minor in physics develop a deeper understanding of core physics principles and develop skills used by physicists, including laboratory techniques, mathematical and computational modeling, and research and presentation skills.

A background in physics is suitable for almost any career path. Students that study physics learn logical and critical thinking skills. According to the American Physics Society (APS), this allows physicists to bring a broad perspective to almost any problem without being bound by the context of the situation. Being able to problem solve is a desirable attribute in any career.

Engineering and chemistry majors who minor in physics also set themselves apart from their peers by better understanding the physics that underlies many of the things they use regularly. This additional knowledge is helpful for students interested in graduate school or who want to accelerate their post-graduation careers. Math majors who minor in physics obtain a deeper appreciation for physical applications of their discipline, and it serves to set themselves apart from their peers as well.

For a complete list of professional applications, visit "What Can I Do With Major?". For additional information about how Saint Martin’s can help you find the career for you, visit our Career Center.



  • 21 semester hours of lower-division courses
  • 13 semester hours of upper-division  courses
MTH 171Calculus I
MTH 172Calculus II
MTH 271Calculus III
PHY 171/171LIntroductory Physics / Laboratory
PHY 172/172LIntroductory Physics / Laboratory


13 semester hours chosen from the following:

PHY 303Modern Physics with Laboratory
PHY 314Classical and Computational Mechanics
PHY 399Explorations in Physics
Applied physics course:PHY 355: Solid State Physics
PHY 365: Astrophysics
PHY 395: Special Topics (with permission of chair)


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Ernsdorff Tour

Saint stories

Image that shows the old stars with radial velocities calculated by Saint Martin’s astrophysics students around the globular cluster NGC 6441. The red symbols designate stars that are moving with the cluster, and the grey symbols designate the stars that are not.

Exploring our galaxy

"For the final project in the astrophysics class, the students calculated the motions of pulsating stars as they travel through space."

Andrea Kunder, Ph.D. Physics

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