Majoring in Physics


Physics, the most fundamental science, tries to explain how the physical universe behaves. Undergraduate physics study provides an ideal background for personal growth and for a broad spectrum of rewarding careers, e.g., scientific research, academic, business, medicine, law, education, or computer science.  The only limit is your imagination.  Click her for more information on Careers in Physics.

We have a low ratio of faculty members to physics majors which means each student receives individual attention usually only available at much smaller schools. As an undergraduate physics major, you can take courses on sub-atomic particles, the origins of the universe, super-cooled superconductivity, and superheated plasmas. Physics majors are exposed to faculty performing world class research in several areas and many undergraduates research physics questions throughout the year. Several features of the AU physics program make it ideal for an undergraduate physics education. Physics majors are the science team leaders in a national effort to send student-built satellites to space.  We have a very active chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) which provides support and opportunities for majors; in years past, the SPS has organized the building of a vehicle for the national Moon Buggy competition. Also, Auburn University has a very active Honors Program which provides smaller and more challenging classes. 

The Physics Department offers a number of scholarships for physics majors.  Students can apply through the College of Sciences and Mathematics.

The Physics Department welcomes visits by prospective undergraduate physics majors. Arrangements can be made for lab tours and visits with faculty. If you would like to visit the physics department, contact Prof. J.D. Hanson to arrange a convenient time.

The AU Physics Department awards undergraduate degrees to students completing the Requirements for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics. The curriculum model is designed to provide a high degree of flexibility so that students may select a course schedule that meets their individual needs.  A Sample Curriculum in Physics is provided to assist in planning course schedules.

Physics majors have 21 hours of free electives among the 120 hours required for graduation. They are expected to choose these hours with the approval of their departmental faculty advisor in a coherent manner.  One way is to elect to focus in an area consistent with their interests and career plans.  For example students planning to pursue a graduate degree in physics might choose the courses in advanced physics or the mathematics option.  Other possibilities are chemistry, materials science, biological sciences, electrical engineering, or any other area that advances the student’s career plans.