Are you filled with wonder about how the natural world works and want to be able to apply that knowledge? Are you interested in the mathematical underpinnings of fundamental physics but desire to take it to the next level with computer and data science? Are you looking to use your abilities to analyze complex problems, work with high-tech equipment and put into practice your strong quantitative background by preparing for in-demand careers? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then the practical approach of our applied physics program provides a seamless transition from your liberal arts education to industry and government labs.
Students majoring in Applied Physics who complete all requirements earn the degree of Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Physics.
Areas of Study
The applied physics major includes several core physics courses, such as university physics, modern physics, mathematical methods of physics, and several other. It also has a core requirement of three mathematics courses, including calculus I and II, and required courses in data science and computer science.
Applied physics majors are well-prepared for many different technical jobs such as design and analysis of optical, electronic, and acoustic systems; telecommunications; advanced programming for engineering modeling; and many more.
The applied physics major requires students to participate in either independent study or an internship. For-credit and paid internships are available close to campus and in nearby Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia. They provide opportunities for students to gain applied work experience and learn about potential employers. Internship sponsors such as NASA and the Naval Surface Warfare Center work with the department to establish individual objectives. Individual study with UMW professors is another avenue though which students conduct intensive study and develop advanced technical skills.
Applied physics majors may earn departmental honors through a full-year research project conducted during the senior year. Your academic advisor can explain the detailed requirements and guide you through this process.
The applied physics major requires between 37 to 41 credits from courses in physics, data science, computer science, math, and a capstone physics course.