Physics Program Description
Major in Physics


Physics is the study of the physical world; what it's like, what it's made of, and how it all fits together. So, in physics you study everything from the innermost workings of the atom, to the interactions between entire galaxies in the Universe, and more. At Utica College, the student of physics is trained to use mathematics ("the language in which the Book of Nature is written," as Galileo Galilei said), computers, and problem-solving techniques, along with fundamental physics principles, to understand and solve problems dealing with mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, electronics, relativity and quantum mechanics. In this way, one is able to come to understand this physical universe of ours, and come to appreciate how it all fits together.

Special Opportunities

Utica College offers the bachelor of arts (B.A.) and the bachelor of science (B.S.) degrees in physics, as well as both 2-2 and 3-2 special programs in engineering. All programs share a common body of courses for the first two years.

The B.A. degree in physics is directed toward those students interested in teaching physics or physical science in primary or secondary school systems. It provides a broad liberal arts education combined with scientific perspective. A minor in education is often elected with this major. The B.A. also is useful for those students who intend to work in business or government in occupations requiring a general background in the physical sciences. The choice of appropriate electives helps to link the physics major with the desired career option.

The B.S. degree in physics is intended for those students who expect to work in research or engineering in industry or government or who intend to pursue graduate work in physics or engineering. It also is a beneficial major for fields where specialized scientific training is required, such as medical, legal, or business and system fields.

The 2-2 transfer program in engineering provides the basic courses typically found in the first two years of engineering programs. Students master foundation courses in science, mathematics, and introductory engineering at UC. After two years at UC, they transfer to an engineering school to complete their work at the junior and senior levels, and they will receive their degree from that school. Utica College students have successfully transferred into engineering programs at Syracuse, Clarkson, RIT, and Union, among others.

The 3-2 transfer program in engineering is similar to the 2-2 program but leads to two degrees instead of one. It includes another year of study at UC in which students take more physics, mathematics, and core courses for a total of at least 96 credit hours. Students then transfer to an engineering school, where they take junior-level engineering courses.

Upon completion of 32 hours at the transfer college, students earn a B.A. degree in physics from Utica College. When the students have satisfied the engineering school's requirements, typically after a second year of study there, they earn a second degree in engineering. This program is well- suited for students seeking a career in technical management.

Opportunities exist for student employment in the labs and in tutoring, experiences that are especially appropriate for those who go on to teach. Physics majors are especially encouraged to obtain hands-on experience through research with a physics faculty member, or through the College's Cooperative Education Program.

Career Opportunities

Utica College graduates perform successfully in a variety of occupations. Many alumni accept engineering and/or research positions in industry and government without further formal training. Others move into managerial positions where the ability to deal with complex scientific concepts is essential.

The ability to assimilate technical material is a major part of UC's program, so graduates are prepared to readily learn specific job-related skills when they begin working. Some graduates pursue advanced degrees in physics, engineering, computer science, education, and medicine.

UC Graduates

Many of Utica College's graduates have obtained the Ph.D. degree in physics or astrophysics. One of them, Dr. Raymond Serway '59, is an adjunct professor of physics at North Carolina State University and the author of several best-selling college physics textbooks that are in use all over the world.

"I thought the professors were fantastic. They were all very professional, experienced, and well qualified."
--Richard P. Calenzo '93, Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics Teacher, Utica City School District

"The best thing I learned from physics was problem-solving skills. I learned to look at a problem and approach it from several different ways. This makes it much easier to solve problems in the lab at work. It has made a big difference to have my degree along with my experience. I wouldn't have all the opportunities I have now if it wasn't for UC."
--Robert Duda '92, Lab Manager/Senior Design Engineer, Nordson Corporation, Duluth, GA

"UC offered very fine instructors and a very good education. There seemed to be more of a concern for each individual student and more attention paid to quality instruction."
--Donald Pratt '65, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA


Linda S. Dake, Ph.D.
266 Gordon Science Center

(315) 792-3805
Take the next step - Apply now
(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502