Physics, BS

Central to Understanding Universal Behavior.

The Central BS in Physics emphasizes in-depth inquiry into basic physical principles, analytical techniques, applications of physics, and critical thinking. The program prepares students for graduate study in fundamental and applied physics, or for positions in wide variety of STEM and other professional careers.

The Physics program requires a minor in any subject or a concentration in at least one of the following: Engineering Physics, Biology, Biomolecular Science, or Finance. Students in the program go on to graduate school for further study in physics, engineering, law school, medical school, and medical physics; to entry-level research and development positions in industry; and a host of other options. Central also offers a BS in Physics for Teacher Certification.

Program Features

  • Offers varied optional concentrations for students seeking specific competencies in cutting edge interdisciplinary fields
  • Unique undergraduate research opportunities that involve students in the high-impact practice of real-world research
  • Research findings presented at conferences
  • Opportunities to gain valuable skills to excel in graduate schools or the workplace
  • Specialized tracks allow students to pursue education in individual interests while still earning employable skills
  • Internship opportunities
  • Financial aid and scholarships available
  • Free on-campus child care available

Program Options


Integrates intensive study of Physics, Engineering, and Mathematics to provide a strong applied and analytical skill-set for areas such as aerospace, materials science, nanotechnology, renewable energy systems, photonics, and microelectronics. Program prepares students for employment or graduate study in any of these areas of innovation.

Offers courses in the biological sciences making it one of the best preparations for medical school (Physics majors outperform pre-Med majors in MCAT tests). Students in the program also develop the high-level physical science and analytical training required for research and development at the frontiers of the study of biological systems, biotechnology, nanotechnology, biophysics, and medical physics.

Physics, finance and economics have had a long history together. Many theories used in Finance and Economics were derived by physicists. For example, a co-recipient of the first Nobel Prize in Economic Science in 1969 was a physicist. Today, the world of Finance and Economics, from Wall Street to Insurance companies, seeks physicists and others with strong analytical skills, known as quants, to fill their need for quantitative analysis. In addition to the traditional career of physicists in research, education, and engineering, the Finance Concentration prepares students to work in financial institutions, or pursue graduate studies in Finance, Economics, and Law, and for careers in finance related areas.

In addition to the basic engineering courses, the program is designed with free engineering electives that allow students to choose a focus in aerospace, materials, or civil engineering. A Robotics & Mechatronics concentration is still being worked out.

Did You Know?

Central faculty are active members of the following august national Physics and science organizations: American Physical Society, Electrochemical Society, Materials Research Society, American Chemical Society, Optica, formerly OSA.

Learning Outcomes

1. In fundamental fields of Physics including a) Mechanics, b) Electricity, Magnetism and Optics, c) Thermodynamics and d) Quantum Mechanics and Modern Physics, students will be able to understand concepts and to apply the concepts successfully to problem solving.

2. Students will be able to communicate scientific ideas and results accurately and effectively. Specifically Students will be able to

  • Provide an exposition of the work’s goal/big picture
  • Clearly explain the work
  • Accurately represent scientific data
  • Develop and elucidate logical conclusions/interpretations.

3. Students will be able to investigate physical phenomena, accurately and effectively utilize common experimental apparatus, analyze data, calculate experimental uncertainties, and derive appropriate conclusions based on the data and analysis. Specifically students will be able to

  • Use appropriate experimental apparatus in a correct method
  • Analyze data
  • Quantify experimental uncertainties
  • Reach appropriate conclusions based on the data.

4. If working on a research project, the student will be able to perform a literature search, utilize appropriate computational and/or laboratory skills, and to make an effective written or oral presentation of the results of the project.