Physics Program

Explore the laws of nature

Physics is, at its core, the study of the laws of nature at every scale. Physics explores everything from the nearly unfathomably small world of subatomic particles and the vast expanses of the universe. Our program allows students to pioneer their way through a rigorous curriculum, so that whether you want to solve problems, build things, or simply help others, you will have the tools needed to achieve your goals.

  • 1stIn 2019-2020 Saint Mary's College had the most bachelor's degrees in physics awarded to women in the state of Indiana
  • 64%of physics majors complete the Five-Year Dual Degree in Engineering Program
  • $52knational median starting salary for physics majors

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Discover your inner leader

Majoring in physics at Saint Mary’s prepares you for a variety of careers and empowers you to be a leader. Research has shown that learning in a collaborative environment of women will inspire confidence to speak up and it will prepare you to excel in a typically male-dominated field. You can also pair your physics degree with an engineering degree (most commonly electrical, mechanical, or structural engineering) as part of the Five-Year Dual Degree Program in Engineering with the University of Notre Dame.

Career paths for physics majors

Traditionally, an undergraduate degree in physics will lead to graduate school. That option and many more are available to physics majors from Saint Mary’s. Careers in fields ranging from engineering to finance, and everything in between, including medicine, are all possible. In whatever technical field you choose to make your career in, you will be prepared to present yourself professionally and demonstrate your ability to problem solve and ultimately make a difference.

Physics majors can take part in a unique 4+1 program, which allows you to begin taking graduate-level classes in your senior year at Saint Mary’s to receive your Master of Science in Data Science with just one additional year of study. You'll expand on your undergraduate coursework to develop a strong quantitative base — an enduring skill set in an ever-changing world — that will allow you to take on complex data challenges now and in the future.

Engage in Original Research

At Saint Mary’s you have the option to explore projects that interest you. You can choose to pursue research with your professors beginning in your first year. Updated facilities in Science Hall allow students to work side-by-side with faculty during the academic year or over the summer. Every student engages in either research, internships or both. This gives you the opportunity to expand on your coursework and try out different paths. We have found that this helps our students decide which path to take after graduation.

Become part of our community

Students in the physics program have formed a close-knit community, working together on homework assignments and studying for exams. As part of the broader STEM community at Saint Mary’s, students network with alumnae and engage in professional development. Outside of the classroom, the physics program hosts a variety of events including a solar eclipse watch for the campus community and a pumpkin drop.