Bucknell Majoring or Minoring in Physics

Physics Department | About | Faculty & Staff | Major Reqs. | Courses | Facilities & Resources | Astronomy | Research & REU | Seminar

Why Major or Minor in Physics?

Simple question, simple answer: because studying physics helps you understand how the universe works. The laws of physics, when you really look at them, are absolutely amazing. The more you learn about physics, the more you come to see how seemingly unrelated phenomena in the universe can have remarkably similar explanations.

Learning the laws of physics gives you an appreciation for some incredibly cool everyday phenomena that you might (probably) otherwise take for granted. In addition, you also learn about phenomena that you don't see everyday, but address some very fundamental questions: What is the nature of time and distance? How did the universe begin, and what is its ultimate fate? What really is matter and energy? What are the limits of what we truly can know about the universe? Would the earth fall out of its orbit if everyone in Asia jumped at precisely the same time?

The skills that you learn studying physics are also very useful in the job market (see discussion below). Whether you go on to grad school (in physics, medicine, law, business, etc.) or find a regular job when you graduate, you will benefit from the problem-solving skills, laboratory techniques, writing and speaking skills, and appreciation of the physics of modern technology learned in a standard physics curriculum. And, of course, since the laws of physics describe the real world, an understanding of these laws is important for understanding (and manipulating) many (actually, most) real things.

The bottom line: if you enjoy learning about how the universe works, you should consider a physics major or minor.

Degree Options:

The department of physics offers four options for students interested in studying physics. With all four options, there are choices both in classwork and for doing independent research with a faculty member.

Common questions:

This page maintained by
Tom Solomon, tsolomon@bucknell.edu.