About the Program
Purdue physics is an internationally recognized department for excellence in forefront research and undergraduate and graduate education. Our undergraduate classes for physics majors average 30 or fewer students and are taught by professors actively engaged in forefront research. Undergraduate research is strongly encouraged and opportunities exist as early as the second semester to work in a research group. These groups include experimental and theoretical condensed matter physics, high energy physics, nano-physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, biological physics, geophysics, relativity, and interdisciplinary areas of material science, engineering, or computational science.
The department also helps undergraduates with external internships, particularly for the summers. Upon graduation our students are accepted for graduate programs at many of the top universities and are also sought after for positions in industry, particularly high-tech positions. Our graduates have an exceptional record of career accomplishment in a wide variety of settings, including academia and major industrial and government labs.
This program offers a specialization in physics as the core of a broad general education. The core courses provide a solid foundation in Classical Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Waves and Oscillations, Quantum Mechanics, Thermal and Statistical Physics, Modern Physics, Relativity, Electronics, and Computational Physics.
By using electives in the program, a student can include concentrations in condensed matter physics (PHYS 54500), nuclear physics (PHYS 55600), astrophysics (PHYS 56000), particle physics (PHYS 56400), and other areas. Students also are encouraged to participate in one or two semesters of individual research projects with a selected faculty member (PHYS 39000, 49000,or 59000).
Opportunities for employment in fields related to physics will also be enhanced by taking electives in additional science courses such as biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, geosciences, meteorology, and in various branches of engineering. With assistance from an advisor, a student can prepare an individualized program suited to career plans by selecting electives from these areas or from any other area within the University. Normally, students take such electives as juniors and seniors.