Physics equation on black board

Major in Physics

Program Overview

Degree Type

Bachelor of Science

Department Name

Physics

Department Chair Name

David Moffett

Department Assistant Name

Belinda Hilliard

What is a physics degree?

You want to understand the meaning of it all – from studying the laws of motion to unraveling the theories of space and time. A degree in physics is the scholarly pursuit of the branch of science dealing with the nature and properties of matter and energy – from the elemental atom to mechanics, heat, light, sound, electricity and magnetism. Decode the mysteries of the universe with a degree in physics.

Why study physics at Furman?

Emphasizing instruction in an increasingly vital field, the Department of Physics provides an array of courses and undergraduate research opportunities in cutting-edge facilities. The outcome is an impressive graduation rate rivaling many of the largest U.S. institutions for producing physicists. With a physics degree from Furman, you’ll be primed for positions in engineering, medicine, law, electrical contracting and academics. Not sure if physics is for you? Take a few courses in physics and other disciplines, and find out what really inspires you. If you realize physics is the right path, you can begin our program as a sophomore and still remain on track to  graduate in four years. That’s just one benefit of taking the sciences at a liberal arts and sciences institution like Furman. Plan a visit to Furman’s beautiful campus or start your application today.

On top of hands-on classroom, lab work and undergraduate research, supplement your experience with internships and study away opportunities, which include semester and summer programs and three-week May Experience excursions to places near and far.

How will you learn?

By working one-on-one with our faculty and conducting laboratory research that many students don’t experience until graduate school, you’ll understand the most important concepts in physics, such as the nature of subatomic particles and the evolution of the universe. You’ll be able to analyze and explain complex systems through your quantitative and problem-solving skills, and you’ll come away from the program with a strong foundation in math and physics, both highly prized by employers.

Our physics programs offer students an environment that fosters intellectual and personal growth. Rich curricular, co-curricular and extracurricular experiences help you on your way to self-discovery and realizing your potential. Our first-principle approach to analysis and critical thinking builds your capacity to break down difficult problems into manageable components, then bring the pieces together to formulate a solution. It’s a process that fosters creativity, imbues a visionary mindset and develops leadership.

As you delve into everything from theoretical abstraction to real-world experimentation, you’ll  also sharpen your ability to communicate through presentations, lively discussions and scholarly activities. You’ll unpack STEM languages, work as a team, and apply your inner polymath in downstream careers as a data scientist, information technology guru, or a laboratory and engineering systems specialist.

Careers for physics majors

A liberal arts and sciences degree is in high demand no matter the career path you choose. In addition to enhancing your technical skills, you’ll leave Furman knowing how to think critically, how to learn, how to see things from multiple perspectives and how to evaluate and create. Our alumni have landed positions such as:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) assurance and operations specialist
  • Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) technician
  • Data scientist
  • Design engineer
  • Digital pathology image analyst
  • Electrical engineer
  • Engineer, space vehicle systems simulation for aerospace company
  • Financial advisor
  • High school science teacher
  • Lawyer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Physician
  • Project consultant
  • Project coordinator for global project management and process integration firm
  • Project manager
  • Sales engineer physicist for environmental and energy management company
  • Software engineer
  • Researcher
  • University professor

Physics courses

The Department of Physics offers a wide range of options in the course catalog.

Quantum Mechanics I

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Astrophysics

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83%
physics majors involved in at least one engaged learning experience
58%
physics majors who have research experience by graduation
50%
physics majors who are double majors
50%
physics majors who participate in at least one internship

What our students say

Students at patio by the lake

“I can honestly credit the Furman Department of Physics with the path I've taken so far in my career. The faculty instilled in me a passion for science, technology and difficult problems that take time to solve. More importantly, they fostered a collaborative community where I was comfortable to ask questions and grow both personally and intellectually.” – Patrick Musau ’17, B.S., physics and computing applied math; ’20, M.S., electrical engineering, Vanderbilt University; ’22, Ph.D., electrical engineering, cyber-physical systems, machine learning verification, Vanderbilt University

Our faculty

Your academic advisor will help you explore your passions, define your interests and achieve your goals. You’ll tap into a widespread network of community and alumni mentors to help you on your individual educational path – and to the opportunities at the end of it. Furman’s physics faculty represent decades of study and real-world expertise. Take your first steps by contacting admissions or reading more about how to apply.

  • William M. Baker
    Title:

    Professor of Physics

    William Baker

    William M. Baker
    Title:

    Professor of Physics

    Phone Number: 8642943519

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  • William H. Brantley
    Title:

    Professor of Physics

    William H. Brantley

    William H. Brantley
    Title:

    Professor of Physics

    Phone Number: 8642943237

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  • J. David Turner
    Title:

    Professor of Physics

    David Turner

    J. David Turner
    Title:

    Professor of Physics

    Phone Number: 8642943239

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  • David A. Moffett
    Title:

    Department Chair and Professor of Physics; Undergraduate Evening Studies Faculty

    David Moffet

    David A. Moffett
    Title:

    Department Chair and Professor of Physics; Undergraduate Evening Studies Faculty

    Phone Number: 8642942259

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  • Dake Wang
    Title:

    Professor of Physics

    Dake Wang

    Dake Wang
    Title:

    Professor of Physics

    Phone Number: 8642943644

    View Profile

  • FAQ

    What can you do with a physics degree?

    A variety of transferable skills such as critical thinking, data analysis, quantitative reasoning, collaboration, and verbal and written communication competencies position you for a wide range of career options. Our physics majors have entered fields such as engineering, computer science, sales, academia and medicine. They have landed jobs such as AI assurance and operations specialist, computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) technician, data scientist, design engineer, digital pathology image analyst, electrical engineer, engineer (space vehicle systems simulation), financial advisor, high school science teacher, lawyer, mechanical engineer, physician, project consultant, project coordinator for global project management and process integration firm, project manager, sales engineer physicist for environmental and energy management company, software engineer, researcher and university professor.

    What is the average salary for physics majors?

    According to Payscale.com, a Bachelor of Science in physics commands an average annual starting salary of just over $97,000.

    How long does it take to earn a physics degree?

    The physics B.S. at Furman is a four-year program.

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