A-Z Index


Program(s) Available: B.S., Minor

Does math come naturally to you? What about critical thinking and problem-solving? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you might be a prime candidate for the physics major!

Why Study Physics at Northwest

Physics majors gain a holistic understanding of the basic principles of the universe. No big deal, right? You'll leave Northwest with a solid understanding of the underlying laws of matter, space and time. Coursework is calculus heavy and not for the weak of heart. However, some people are meant for this stuff. 

The cool thing about this program is that students put knowledge to the test by learning, hands-on. For example, you'll get the chance to use gamma-ray spectroscopes to study nuclear physics and electrical circuits. We also offer the best facilities for physics students. The award-winning Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation features more than $3 million invested in state-of-the-art instruments available for you to use! The Garrett-Strong Science Building, another building you'll spend lots of time in, offers 26 labs where students gain profession-based experience on campus. 

The good news is that the job outlook for physicists and astronomers is growing rapidly. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics shares that over the next several years, the job outlook is projected to increase by 8%! That's about 2,000 more jobs than there are currently. 

A common misconception about physics is that it is only for future engineers. That's simply not true! Whether you want to pursue math, consulting, quality control, engineering, science or technology in the public or private sectors, the physics major is a very impressive degree. There aren't many people who can say they are proficient in calculus and physics. 

The physics major offers four emphases to choose from: 

  • Biological science
  • Computer science
  • General
  • Geological science

To learn more about each emphasis, keep reading!

Pick your path

Biological Science

If you're interested in learning how biology and physics go hand-in-hand, this emphasis is for you!

Physics: Biology 4-Year Plan

Computer Science

You may be surprised to learn that computer science and physics complement each other. Physicists use programming to solve math problems, analyze big data, experiment with hardware and more!

Physics: Computer Science 4-Year Plan


This emphasis provides an overview of how the world works and how everything in the universe is interconnected. If you do not want to specialize in a specific branch of physics, this is the program you will want to select.

Physics: General 4-Year Plan

Geological Science

The geological science emphasis is for students interested in studying the physical properties and structures of the Earth.

Physics: Geology 4-Year Plan

Minor program

Did you know? A minor in physics is available. This 25-credit-hour program exposes students to the fundamentals of physics and calculus. To learn more, check out the academic catalog. 

Career Ready
Biological Sciences

One of my favorite classes was human anatomy. By working in labs and doing research, I really got hands-on experience with science, and that motivated me to go into the medical field. — Matt Breen

Career Opportunities

  • Engineer
  • Quality control
  • Researcher
  • Development
  • Consulting
  • Environmental consulting
  • Law consulting

What Can I Do With a Major in Physics?

Garrett-Strong Science Building

Garrett-Strong Science Building offers 26 labs where students can gain profession-based experiences on campus. This facility also houses a synthetic cadaver, an aquarium and two museums that feature living animals such as a hedgehog, rats, iguanas and more! 

Garrett-Strong Science Building
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