Majoring in Physics


Physics, the 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 here for more information on Careers in Physics.

The Department of Physics has 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 first social hour in March 2019, gave faculty and students a chance to connect and learn more about the new Leach Science Center. Watch a video from the second social hour: 

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

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.

A wide array of tools and resources is available to help physics majors:

Resources for Physics Majors

What professional societies are available for professionals who pursue a career in physics?

American Physical Society or APS - more than 50,000 members

American Astronomical Society or AAS - 7,838+ members 

American Institute of Physics - 120,000 members

Browse through job openings - 

APS – Career in Physics  

American Institute of Physics - Career Resources 


Career Resources - Society of Physics Students

Interesting in teaching physics to future generations? Learn more from the Physics Teacher Education Coalition.

Apply to be an intern or a fellow with NASA. Learn about their pathways program and explore amazing opportunities!