Physicists study and apply the laws of nature to answer fundamental questions about the evolution of the universe, the nature of light and matter, and the behavior of the natural world. The Physics Department engages students in a rigorous academic environment in graduate and undergraduate education. The undergraduate major provides the depth and breadth required for graduate study in physics, related or interdisciplinary areas, or for applied programs such as engineering, electronics, and optics. A major factor in our success in preparing students for advanced degrees and rewarding careers is the high level of cooperation and interaction we maintain between faculty and students. Our classes are small, often laboratory-oriented, promoting serious learning in a friendly environment. Students are encouraged to participate in research with faculty and are frequently co-authors of articles in physics journals. Many students are supported as research assistants by funds from the College of Science and Health or by external grants.
In addition to its strong undergraduate program with concentrations in standard physics and computational physics, the department offers a joint engineering program in conjunction with Illinois Institute of Technology, and a master's degree in Applied Physics.