Undergraduate Studies


Symons presenting her presentation on period changes in RR Lyrae stars for the Bowman Family Undergraduate Award in April 2023.

Each year the Bowman Family Undergraduate Research Award is presented to a BGSU undergraduate student who exhibits the highest quality independent study and research in Physics. Katherine Symons received the award for her analysis of period changes among RR Lyrae variable stars in the globular star cluster M107 (learn more here). She and Hannah Means worked together on the project, with Symons focusing on coding analysis programs and Means graphing light curves.  They confirmed that the periods of four of the 17 RRL gradually change as the stars’ internal structure evolves under the influence of their declining hydrogen and helium fuel. Given the slow rates of stellar evolution, this approach is one of the few ways stellar evolution can be confirmed and measured directly on a human timescale.

Why physics program at BGSU?

  • First of all, we offer real hands-on research opportunities from day ONE of your tenure at BGSU.  We believe that it is never too early to join a research Lab and work on the actual research problems. Our undergraduate students work together with experienced graduate students, which is an excellent opportunity to learn. All research groups accept undergraduate students at any time. You just have to be motivated to learn. We have a number of  RESEARCH DIRECTIONS to explore, and while at BGSU our students can try all of them, or pursue just one of their choice.  
  • We have small classes, which means more personalized attention
  • Our Society of Physics Students offers informal learning and discussion environment

Is Physics For You?

Do you...

  • Wonder what makes things work?

  • Marvel at the vastness of the Universe?

  • Derive pleasure from discovering something new?

  • Want a challenging career?

If so, consider the physics major at Bowling Green State University. Physicists work on problems that are connected with the real world that we see around us. From the sub-microscopic size of quarks and mesons, to the vast size of the Cosmos, and on all scales in between, physicists are working to better understand how it all works.

Physics at Bowling Green State University

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a program that will suit your needs. With a faculty of twelve and some thirty physics majors, the student-to-faculty ratio is optimal. The regular course of study in physics is designed to prepare our students for further postgraduate study. There are also specializations available in applied physics for students who want to enter the job market immediately upon graduation, and an astronomy minor for students who wish to pursue study in that field.

Details about undergraduate courses and programs are available here.

A special program in the College of Education is designed to prepare future teachers in physics and other science fields. Students may major in Physics in the College of Education to receive secondary certification in physics, or choose an endorsement in Astronomy, providing a strong background in the field but without teacher certification.

What Kind of Jobs Are There?

Physicists are employed as researchers, teachers, and scientific managers. Almost every "high-tech" industry utilizes physicists - for the simple reason that these industries are firmly based on applying the principles of physics. Some examples of industrial fields where physicists are needed are: lasers, computer chips, satellite management, radar and microwaves. At the present time, job prospects for baccalaureate physicists are excellent - most graduates receive two or more job offers.

The American Institute of Physics reported a median salary of $65,000 in 1996 for its members with Ph.D.'s; with master's degrees, $55,000; and with bachelor's degrees, $50,000.

The following sites have useful information regarding job opportunities and job searching, especially in Physics and Astronomy.

Program Requirements

  • A Physics BS major and a minor in Physics are avaliable
  • A minor in Astronomy is available
  • Follow the Courses and Programs link to learn more

Updated: 05/01/2023 09:41AM