Bachelor of Science
College of Arts and Sciences

The future will rely heavily on high technology fields due to technological advances, as well as emerging energy and environment problems. People with strong physical sciences preparation are essential to develop new materials and devices that will address these needs. The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a program to provide basic scientific skills in experimental investigation and theoretical understanding that prepare students to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing technological society.

Career Opportunities

Graduates are typically employed in industrial or government groups. They are involved in research and development aimed at the creation and modification of new materials, instrumentation, devices, systems and techniques or in the design, construction and testing of prototypes and models of new products.

They may also be employed in health physics (hospitals and environmental monitoring agencies), acoustic design, computer interfacing, energy management and optical systems design.

Physics is an excellent major for students who wish to continue in medical school, law school (especially patent law) or who seek a graduate degree in physics or engineering.


The department offers a major in physics. A minor in physics, a minor in astronomy, and a pre- engineering program are also available.

The first two years of the curriculum emphasize general physics, chemistry and calculus courses. Courses in classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, solid state physics and computational physics are offered in the junior and senior years. Most students participate in special research projects with faculty members in the junior and senior years. A minimum of 35 semester hours in physics is necessary.

A bachelor’s degree in education leading to high school certification to teach physics is available through the College of Education and Human Development.

Faculty and Facilities

There are 13 full-time faculty members, all of whom have the Ph.D. degree. Their areas of expertise include astronomy, properties of materials, superconductivity, optical devices and materials, computational physics, physics pedagogy, and the physics of the human voice. The department boasts a low faculty-to-student ratio and individualized student contact.

Facilities include a planetarium, observatory with 0.5-m reflecting telescope, three materials research laboratories and a computational physics laboratory. State-of-the-art computing facilities include a number of workstations and access to the Ohio supercomputer center. Students have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment in their courses and to participate in department seminars and research projects.

Special Features

National laboratories such as Argonne National Laboratory offer half-year appointments to qualified junior and senior physics majors. These students work with senior scientists on current projects at the laboratory and earn academic credit.

Students may also seek employment in the department as paid research assistants. Internships are available through BGSU’s Office of Cooperative Education.

Preparation for College

Students who are considering a major in physics, astronomy or engineering should complete all the college preparatory courses in mathematics and science available. Ideally they will be ready to begin a calculus course their freshman year. If activities such as a high school science club and science fairs are available, students should participate as fully as possible.

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for a physics major. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Two, three or even four years of the same foreign language is excellent preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices.

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Physics, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: