Physics

Earn your bachelor’s degree in physics in a flexible, interdisciplinary program with extensive experiential learning opportunities.

Explore everything from the largest galaxies to the smallest particles as a physics major at Wells College. You'll study the fundamental laws of nature through investigation and mathematical formulation and examine the roles of computers in the sciences. You'll also learn how physics interconnects with other sciences through an interdisciplinary, liberal arts program that will enable you to bring a broad perspective to any problem. Hands-on learning opportunities in the New York region and beyond enable you to apply your learning to real-world challenges, discover your interests, and prepare for career success. The Physics program at Wells leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and is also available as a minor.

students in physics laboratory
professor scott heinekamp helping student
students in stratton lecture hall for presentation

A Look Inside the Physics Bachelor’s Degree Program at Wells

In the Physics bachelor’s degree program, you’ll use mathematical formulas to explore the laws of our universe. You’ll also have a great deal of flexibility within the major—at Wells College, a liberal arts education provides physics majors with opportunities to build strengths in computer science, business, and other diverse areas of study. Your senior thesis in physics also allows you to design an original project and apply your undergraduate education toward your specific career objectives.

At Wells, you’ll get to know your professors and work closely with your peers in the collaborative learning environment of a small college. With small classes and highly accessible faculty, you’ll benefit from a level of one-on-one mentorship that you won’t find at many universities. Our professors also offer opportunities to conduct research and present your work at national conferences, helping you to gain valuable networking and presentation skills that will serve your professional career.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in engineering, you can also join our 3/2 program with Cornell University, in which you can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Wells College as well as a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Cornell.

What You’ll Learn as a Physics Major

  • An understanding of the laws of nature and the relationship between energy and matter
  • Analytical thinking and problem-solving skills you can apply to diverse careers
  • How to use mathematical formulas to try to explain theories and make scientific predictions

Beyond the Classroom: Experiential Learning in the Physics Bachelor’s Degree Program

Take your study of physics beyond the classroom to gain hands-on experience in the field, build a professional network, and discover what you’re passionate about. We offer a wide range of internships, study abroad programs, and co-curricular activities on campus and beyond as part of the Physics program at Wells. 

Internship and Study Abroad Opportunities

Required internships give you the chance to gain first-hand career experience in the field of your choice while you pursue your bachelor’s degree. These are just a few examples of recent internships held by Wells students in the science programs: 

  • Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., Lexington, Massachusetts
  • Museum of Science & Technology, Syracuse, New York
  • Wall of America, Sharon, Connecticut
  • D & D Data, Vienna, Virginia 

You can also take your study of physics around the globe. Try a semester in Scotland, England, Ireland, or New Zealand and expand your horizons along with your academic resources. Learn more about study abroad programs at Wells.

Physics Clubs and Other Aurora Campus Programs

Explore your scientific interests further with out-of-the-classroom opportunities for learning, leadership, and fun.

The Physics Club on campus meets regularly to watch science-related films, celebrate "Pi Day," and spend time with like-minded people. There is also a Science Colloquium Series featuring lectures by faculty, students, and guests. Drawing on our interdisciplinary, liberal arts focus, many physics majors also participate in the annual Business Idea Competition held on campus, applying their analytical thinking skills to real-world business challenges. 

Related Minor Degree Programs

If you’re interested in Physics, you might also consider a minor in programs such as:

Career Options for Physics Majors

Physics students go on to careers in scientific research, astronomy, meteorology, technology, engineering, and many other industries. But a degree in physics does not limit you to working in specifically scientific careers: employers in all types of fields are looking for the kind of inventive thinking and analytical problem-solving skills that physics majors bring to the job. A bachelor’s degree in physics is also an excellent foundation for careers in healthcare, law, finance, education, and government, just to name a few of your options. The interdisciplinary perspective you’ll develop as part of the liberal arts program at Wells will broaden your prospects even further. 

Current Research in the Physics Bachelor’s Degree Program

In Professor of Physics Scott Heinekamp's research, he strives to learn more about experimental techniques in collaboration with scientists doing x-ray diffraction work at Cornell University. Under his direction, Wells hosted the Topical Symposium of the New York State Sectional Meeting of the American Physical Society, with the theme “Recent Advances in Physics.”

Apply Now to Pursue Your Bachelor’s Degree in Physics

Take the first step toward earning your bachelor’s degree in Physics at Wells College. Apply now.

Request More Information

Ready to learn more about Wells College and our Physics Bachelor of Arts program? Request more information. 

"I applied my experience in Film Club to get internship credit, and then one of my final projects in my German class was to make a film in German. So all these extra skills I've picked up along the way are helping me in class as well."

Jesse Sumner '17
Computer Science Major, Mathematics Minor, Collegiate Vice President, Film Club President
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Program Faculty
Scott Heinekamp
Professor of Physics
Matthew Hogan
Visiting Lecturer in Mathematics
Show What You Know

One of the aspects of our Physics program that students enjoy most, like all programs at Wells, is the opportunity to work side-by-side with professors on original research projects. Even more, you’ll have rewarding opportunities to share what you’ve learned—with both your peers and the wider academic/professional community—gaining experiences in the process that will enrich your life and future career. The accomplishments of Wells students speak for themselves: our undergraduates have participated in local and national disciplinary conferences, co-authored papers for publication in scholarly journals, and have been selected to present their research findings at the annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). Learn more about undergraduate research at Wells

Academics

Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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