The Physics Major and Minor

Why Study Physics?

If you like to think about why the world works the way it does, physics might be the right subject for you.  If you want to understand how technology works and design the next innovations, physics has some of the answers.  If you want to make contributions to the biggest open scientific questions of our generation, physics can help!  We can't explain the entire universe, but we can provide you with the tools you need to find some of the answers on your own.

The Physics Major

Students who major in physics at Mount Holyoke design their own major curriculum. Some take courses necessary to prepare for graduate study in physics or closely related fields (including engineering). Some plan a program that, together with courses from other disciplines, prepares them for advanced work in medicine, environmental engineering, or other physical sciences or branches of engineering. Others design their program to prepare for secondary school teaching, technical writing, or technical positions in industry.

Students interested in geophysics, astrophysics, physical chemistry, and other similar programs can work out special majors in consultation with faculty in the appropriate department. See the Bulletin & Course Catalogue for details on requirements for the major, as well as sample programs of study.

The Physics Minor

The physics minor consists of a minimum of 16 credits (four courses). After completing Physics 115/110, Force, Motion, and Energy, and 216/190, Waves and Electromagnetism, minors normally take three or more advanced (200 and 300-level) physics courses.

See the Bulletin & Course Catalogue for more information on the minor.