Faculty member teaching in lab

Physics

About Our Program

Physicists are creative, imaginative, innovative, and determined to answer the universal question, ‘How?’  If you like to build things, want to learn how devices work, are fascinated by astronomy, and enjoy solving math problems, then our physics program is for you.

You’ll investigate the fundamental principles of the natural world from elementary particles to the farthest dimensions of the universe and the search for dark energy.  You’ll build relationships with professors who inspire you to answer burning questions through experimentation, collaboration, and thinking outside of the box.

Program Offerings

  • Major
  • Minor

Department

Science in Action

No matter where you are conducting research, our hands-on program will prepare you for a variety of science-related careers.

Research

You can examine physics topics or pressing issues further through research during the semester or as part of a paid summer fellowship. You may even get to present your findings in a research paper about sound waves on an electric bass guitar like Matthew Bitzer ’19. He measured the signal produced by an electric bass guitar and resynthesized the waveforms to reproduce the sound.

Senior Year Experience (SYE)

Turn your passion into a project with a Senior Year Experience. Caleb Clarke ’20 harvested the lost energy of bicycle suspension with a linear electromagnetic generator. He designed, produced, and tested two prototypes modeled around an implementation within the bicycle industry and proposed a new design aimed to improve power efficiency.

Short-Term Off-Campus Research Fellowships

In addition to on-campus research opportunities, you’ll have the chance to pursue short-term summer research fellowships at other colleges and universities.

Students have explored their interests in physics, astronomical sciences, atmospheric and geospace sciences, computer and information science and engineering, earth sciences, engineering, and materials research. 

Short-Term Trips & Field Experiences

In addition to semester- and year-long programs, you’ll also have the chance to participate in short-term travel study trips with faculty members. For example, St. Lawrence students visit the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia to use the largest fully steerable radio telescope in the world, attend workshops, take tours, and present research findings. 

Study Abroad

Choose from more than 30 semester-long programs offered in more than 20 international locations, including Australia and New Zealand.

Learn by doing in a real-world environment. Our majors intern with a wide range of organizations, including: 

  • Corning Incorporated
  • Cornell University
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • Tioga Construction Co. 
  • Acorn Science & Innovation, Inc.

Among the 150+ clubs and organizations at St. Lawrence, you’ll find many that involve your passion for the sciences, including: 

  • Society of Physics Students
  • Astronomy Club
  • Environmental Action Organization
  • Geology Club
  • American Chemical Society

Why St. Lawrence for Physics

100%

of St. Lawrence graduates majoring in physics are employed or continuing their education within a year

St. Lawrence students who studied physics have worked with:

  • Tesla
  • OnPoint - A Koch Engineered Solutions Company
  • T.R. Fellows Engineering
  • Henkel
  • General Electric Appliances
  • The U.S. Naval Academy
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Experimental Pathology Laboratories
  • Quidel

18

The number of times St. Lawrence students and astronomers have traveled to Puerto Rico and West Virginia to operate the world’s largest telescopes, attend workshops, and present research

52.3

The number of miles to the Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory where you can put your astronomy knowledge into action

3+2

Combined engineering program options with Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Clarkson University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

100%

of St. Lawrence students majoring in physics conduct independent research

St. Lawrence students who studied physics pursued graduate programs at:

  • Cornell University
  • Syracuse University
  • University of West Virginia
  • Columbia University
  • Boston University
  • Wake Forest University
  • University of Colorado
  • Clarkson University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Oregon

10

The number of scholarships offered to high achieving, Pell grant eligible, first-year underrepresented students interested in pursuing a STEM major

More Program Information

Program Requirements & Courses

Explore physics major requirements, as well as electives and combined study options.

Complimentary and Related Programs

If you’re interested in physics, you might also like these programs.

Popular Double Majors with This Program
Student working with metal

The Science Shop

If you can imagine it, you can build it. With the help of our on-campus workshop, you’ll have the machinery you need at your disposal to bring innovative lab tools, gadgets, and experiments to life.

St. Lawrence faculty with a student at observatory

Arecibo & Greenbank Observatory Trip

Take your physics knowledge on the road! During this multi-day trip to West Virginia, you’ll collaborate with scientists from other academic institutions, attend workshops, and tour the world’s largest fully steerable single aperture antenna.

The Physics of Music

Physics explores the fundamental principles of our natural world. In this hands-on class, you’ll use physics equipment and musical instruments to learn about sound, how sound is created, and what makes it musical.

Student working in a lab

Liberal Arts Scholarship

This program offers scholarships to domestic high-achieving, Pell-grant eligible students interested in pursuing STEM majors, outside of a pre-med track, including mathematics, statistics, computer science, physics, engineering, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, neuroscience, and geology.

Get More Information

We’re excited to learn more about you, tell you more about our interdisciplinary academic programs, show you around our beautiful campus, and help you navigate your college search.

Apply to St. Lawrence

We’re looking for curious students who are eager to make a difference. We take a holistic approach to reviewing applications and consider all aspects of your application and what we learn about you.