The physics program provides scientific skills in experimental investigation and theoretical understanding of the properties of matter and energy and the laws that govern them. BGSU’s Bachelor of Science in physics readies students for graduate school and a career in academia, while our Bachelor of Arts in physics prepares students for a career in industry and adds courses in computer-aided design and computer science.
Pairing a physics major with our astronomy minor is excellent preparation for a career involving astronomy or astrophysics.
Quality classroom experiences
Physics majors enjoy the personalized attention of small class sizes. Every physics student spends at least two semesters in a research lab working on a Capstone Project, with many presenting at local, regional, or national physics or astronomy conferences. BGSU facilities include a planetarium, observatory with a half-meter reflecting telescope, materials research laboratories, and a computational physics laboratory with access to the Ohio Supercomputer Center.
Stand Out in courses like
- Modern Physics
- Quantum Mechanics
- Solid State Physics
- Thermal Physics & Optics
- Mathematical & Computational Physics
- Observational Astronomy
All physics majors are encouraged to take PHYS 1910 in the fall of their freshman year to learn more about our department, our research, the careers that are available, and the pathways that lead students there. The first two years of the curriculum emphasize general physics, chemistry and calculus courses in order to build solid conceptual foundations across disciplines. Advanced courses in classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, solid-state physics and computational physics are offered in the junior and senior years to provide our graduates with a strong grasp of the main fields of physics.
Our department features real research opportunities for undergraduates -- in our research and computational labs -- which are often available only to graduate students at other universities. Learning by doing is a central theme at BGSU.
Internships and Careers
Students may seek employment in the department as paid research assistants. National laboratories, such as the Argonne National Laboratory, offer half-year appointments to qualified junior and senior physics majors. These students work with scientists in the laboratory on current projects and earn academic credit.
Average Starting Salary & BGSU Placement Rate
$57,082* – Physics graduates average starting salary according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers
92.3% of Physics graduates report they're employed, in graduate school or starting a business within six months of graduation
Go Far in your career
- Computer Science
- Product Development
- Scientific Research
High school students who are considering a major in physics should complete all college preparatory courses available in math and science. Ideally, they should be ready to begin calculus courses their first year of college. Students are encouraged to participate in any high school science clubs or science fairs that are available.
Motivated high school students are encouraged to contact the department to discuss the possibility of volunteering or working in a physics research lab at BGSU before enrolling as an undergraduate student.
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in physics will be able to:
- Reduce complicated, real-world problems into conceptual elements which can be solved and recombined;
- Describe the world through mathematics and provide quantitative predictions that are required in many areas of employment;
- Know how to obtain, analyze and interpret data from experiments and computer simulations;
- Have first-hand research experience that cannot be obtained from books or in a classroom;
- Communicate technical and scientific ideas effectively in both speech and writing.
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012-2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
The Physics program will undergo Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2019-20.
Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.
Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The physics program does not lead to professional licensure.
Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.
The Physics program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.
* Job placement and salary information was compiled by the Office of Academic Assessment through the Graduation Survey from AY2015-2018. The data are gathered around the time of Commencement and a follow-up survey six months post Commencement. For the salary question, data for programs with fewer than fifteen responses are not included. Salaries for those programs are from the National Association of Colleges and Employers Summer 2019 Survey. For questions regarding the data, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.