Physics Major

Physics is the most fundamental science, combining the excitement of experimental discovery with the beauty of mathematics. By studying physics, you will explore and learn the fundamental laws of nature: motion, force, energy, heat, light, electricity, magnetism, atomic and nuclear structure, and the properties of matter.

LVC physics students can get a hands-on education by working closely with their professors in the laboratory as paid research assistants. Research is a central aspect of the physics major at the College and is supported by departmental funds and external grants. Students may also take on independent study projects or participate in summer research with professors.

The Physics Department maintains optics, atomic/nuclear, electronics, advanced physics, atomic force microscopy, and computational physics laboratories.

Our physics majors pursue careers as physicists, engineers, high school or college teachers, technical writers, marketers, medical physicists, or salespersons. Recent LVC physics majors have competed graduate work at Penn State University, the University of Delaware, Lehigh University, and the University of Nebraska.

LVC is committed to intensive training in physics within the context of a strong liberal arts education. Many physics students continue their professional training in physics or engineering graduate programs.

Flexible degree requirements make it possible for LVC physics majors to enhance their educations by studying abroad or pursuing professional internships.

LVC students can earn a B.S. in physics and a B.S. in engineering in just five years through the College's 3+2 Engineering Program (in partnership with Penn State University or Case Western Reserve University).

Secondary education teacher certification in physics is available to students who complete the physics major and a complement of courses that are offered through LVC's Education Department.

Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Science with a major in physics

Required courses:

*PHY 111 Principles of Physics I
*PHY 111L Principles of Physics I Laboratory
*PHY 112 Principles of Physics II
*PHY 112L Principles of Physics II Laboratory
PHY 211 Atomic and Nuclear Physics
PHY 211L Atomic and Nuclear Physics Laboratory
PHY 311 Analytical Mechanics I
PHY 312 Analytical Mechanics II
PHY 321 Electricity and Magnetism I
PHY 322 Electricity and Magnetism II
PHY 327 Experimental Physics I
PHY 328 Experimental Physics II
MAS 261 Calculus III
MAS 266 Differential Equations


*May substitute one of the following sequences with permission:

PHY 103 General College Physics I
PHY 103L General College Physics I Laboratory
PHY 104 General College Physics II
PHY 104L General College Physics II Laboratory


One of these mathematics sequences:

MAS 111 Analysis I
MAS 112 Analysis II


MAS 161 Calculus I
MAS 162 Calculus II

PLUS 4 Additional semester hours above the 211 level.

Total of 43-47 credits