What is Physics?
In this program, you will study the science of matter and
energy and the basic laws which govern their behavior. You will learn
about classical physics, studying such subjects as mechanics, thermal
physics, optics, electricity, and magnetism. You will study modern
physics, learning about electrons, photons, atoms, molecules and
solids, and studying their behaviors. You will also study quantum
mechanics, looking at electromagnetic waves and energy levels.

The goals of the physics curriculum are to provide a
conceptual and quantitative understanding of the fundamental laws of
nature upon which all physical and biological systems depend, and to
provide the experimental and theoretical methods required to attain
this understanding. The physics department courses serve the needs and
interests of students regardless of their background in science and
mathematics. Students who are curious about the behavior of the natural
world at its most basic level and who find pleasure in discovering the
order in the world around them should consider a major in physics. In
addition to its intrinsic worth as a liberal art, the study of physics
serves as preparation for further professional training in physics,
engineering, medicine and other related fields, such as biophysics,
geophysics, space science and secondary school science teaching.
Physics majors also pursue careers in business, management and
industry, often in areas that deal in the application or development of

Working in Physics
Characteristics and Skills Necessary for Success

  • Interest in understanding why things work the way they do
  • Curiosity about the logic and laws of nature
  • Enjoy and skilled in mathematics and in science
  • Logical and organized
  • Creative problem solver
  • Good observational skills
  • Ability to express yourself both verbally and in writing
  • Ability to use a computer to analyze and interpret your scientific findings

Click HERE for a table on Career Areas, Employers, and Strategies for Employment

Sample Job Titles

Computer Systems Engineer
Forensic Scientist
Physics Professor
Test Engineer
Technical Writer


Learning More About Physics

  • Visit the Career Services office and check out our Career Resource Library which includes:

    • Great Jobs for Physics Majors
  • Visit the SLU Physics Department website
  • Check out Physics course descriptions in the Catalog
  • Talk with a professor in Physics about the major. Click here for a list of possible questions to ask.
  • Perform an informational interview with a professional in the field. Click here for information on how to find a professional, contacting them, and a list of possible questions.
  • Get connected with SLU alum in the field through SAINTSLink, participate in Shadow-a-Saint or complete an Internship.

Additional Resources

Related Majors and Minors at SLU
Biology-Physics Interdisciplinary
Computer Science
Geology-Physics Interdisciplinary