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Physics: B.S. & B.A.

Perhaps you were hooked on physics from the time you learned about gravity and the speed of light – or when you realized how Isaac Newton’s discoveries set the stage for science as we know it. Whether to study physics or not isn’t your problem – it’s what you want to do with it.

Students of physics can be found in just about every field imaginable: engineering, disease diagnosis, mechanical design, climate modeling, computer games, sports, space … and beyond. At Ouachita, studying physics will broaden your problem solving, analysis and critical application skills, all of which are highly adaptable to different jobs and challenges. Whatever you’ve imagined for your future, begin here.

Researcher

Engineer

Electrical/Mechanical Designer

Toxicologist

Renewable Energy Consultant

Teacher/Professor

Aerospace Intelligence Analyst

Engineering Graphics

Statics

Medical Physics

Thermodynamics

Electrical Circuits

Electricity and Magnetism

Quantum Mechanics

View the Ouachita catalog for a full course listing with course descriptions.

Ouachita provides several pathways for studying physics. See a summary of degree options below.

View the detailed degree requirements PDF to see all courses included in the program.

Learn more about the School of Natural Sciences.

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Acceptance to Graduate Schools and Jobs (2020)

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Working in Physics/Engineering upon Graduation

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Hour Card Access to Lounge and Labs

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Average Physics Class Size

7 Study Options:

choose your path

This degree will teach you to “think like a physicist.” In comparison with our B.A. in physics, the B.S. degree gives more focus to research and requires additional coursework in your choice of biology, chemistry, mathematics or computer science. It provides an excellent basis not only for graduate study in physics and related fields, but also for professional work in fields such as astrophysics, biophysics, engineering and applied physics, geophysics, management, law, economics or medicine.

Our B.S. in engineering physics degree is specifically designed to rigorously prepare you for a technical career in industry, perhaps as an engineer, analyst or consultant. You will develop your critical thinking and problem solving skills through on- and off-campus research opportunities and by studying a variety of engineering-related concepts in class. You also will be required to minor in your choice of biology, chemistry, mathematics or computer science.

The B.S. in biophysics degree combines methods from mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology to provide you with the skills necessary to compete in the interdisciplinary environment of biophysics. If you are curious about biological processes and enjoy puzzle solving, designing experiments or working with numbers and computers, there are many exciting opportunities for you in the field of biophysics – from treating cancer to creating powerful vaccines against infectious diseases to developing new medical imagining technologies.

If you do not immediately plan to become a physicist, the B.A. in physics will cover a breadth of historical and modern fields of physics, require a solid background in calculus, and yet still leave significant room for you to explore additional physics or other science electives. This degree may be well suited for students who want to continue their education in the fields of medicine, dentistry, business, ministry or law school.

The B.A. in applied physics degree is an outstanding option for students desiring to strengthen their critical thinking and problem solving skills within the context of another discipline outside of science. This degree requires a second major, so it is a great choice if you are interested in another field such as Christian missions or acoustics (Music major).

Ouachita is one of the few institutions in the state to offer a secondary Physics/Math Licensure degree* for those who desire to teach physics and mathematics, specifically. Carefully selected courses in physics, mathematics and education will prepare you to confidently and creatively help students grow in their knowledge and love of science. You’ll graduate with a double major in Physics/Mathematics and Secondary Education.


*Our licensure program is a four-year degree that meets Arkansas Department of Education standards and culminates with a student teaching experience.

A Physics minor might be of interest to you if after taking our introductory physics courses you want to study more but do not have enough time or space in your degree plan for a full physics degree. An 18-hour minor includes courses such as Physics I and II, Introduction to Modern Physics as well as nine additional hours of your choice ranging from Engineering Graphics or Statistics to Astronomy, Dynamics, Statics, Thermodynamics and more.


See degree details, including hours and classes required, in the university catalog.

In their words

hear from a faculty member & student

"The engineering physics curriculum was both interesting and challenging, and it was rewarding to see how much I learned over my time at Ouachita. Through interviewing for both my profession and master's program, companies and schools were intrigued by my engineering physics courses because of the strong focus on developing problem solving. The many skills I learned in the program have empowered me and have transitioned well into supporting my professional career."

Anna Hurst headshotAustin Connolly
2019 engineering physics graduate, pursued a graduate degree in supply chain management

professor and student

EXPLORE PHYSICS PERSONALLY

You will have the opportunity to network with notable Ouachita physics graduates in various fields – from engineering to mechanical design and renewable energy to NASA – as well as receive personal instruction from our faculty rather than a teaching assistant. You will have the opportunity to take trips each year with peers and professors – such as for professional development or a regional conference.

Students

HANDS ON, EARLY ON

Whether you are working to design a watermelon frequency detector, build a sun-tracking solar panel or utilize our Alienware computers or ultrasound workshop, there are endless ways to put classroom concepts into practical use from your first semester. And due to the personalized nature of our program, you will receive enthusiastic feedback from professors who support your research.

student

AN EDUCATION ENGINEERED FOR YOU

You can customize your Ouachita physics degree for whatever you have in mind for the future. Many students choose a double major or combined degree, like biophysics or physics/math education. Because you will have one-on-one advising with a physics faculty member, you will receive their in-depth knowledge but also their knowledge of you to help you get where you want to go.

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SO YOU WANT TO BE

an engineer?

Many of our engineering physics students go directly into an engineering position upon graduation, and they often make better engineers because of our advanced mathematics and broader skills training, allowing them to more easily adapt to the challenges of an ever-changing technology landscape. Ouachita is making strides to soon offer a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, which will be designed to meet ABET accreditation standards; read more about those plans here. Two other paths to an ABET-accredited engineering degree include: our traditional degree with focused preparation for a graduate program at an ABET school, or our dual degree program (two degrees in 5-6 years split between Ouachita and a partner institution).

PATTERSON SCHOOL OF NATURAL SCIENCES

The Patterson School of Natural Sciences nurtures critical and creative thinking, an appreciation of the beauty and complexity of natural systems, the development of ethical codes, the ability to communicate effectively, and an understanding of the importance of service and leadership.

 

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