Undergraduate Program

The physics major is a gateway to professional life unlike any other. Trained physicists have a developed ability to analyze problems in their purest, and often most abstract conception, and therefore have honed skills that can be generalized to wide swath of professional activities. Physics majors have held nearly every office and powerful position in the world.

Some examples of physics majors you may have heard of include:

Jimmy Carter, president of the United States

Marie Curie, physical scientist and discoverer of radiation

Albert Einstein, physicist and philosopher

Robert Goddard, inventor and engineer, invented the rocket

Mike Judge, actor, animator, producer, and film director

Angela Merkel, chemist and chancellor of Germany

Gordon Moore, businessman and founder of Intel

Elon Musk, inventor and founder of Tesla corporation

Sally Ride, astronaut

Neil de Grasse Tyson, astrophysicist, author and science communicator

In the U.S. in the 21st century, physics majors emerge from university among the highest paid science fields in studies that consider the average salary immediately after graduation.

The Physics Major curriculum at the University of Connecticut begins with a two-year Introductory Physics sequence especially designed for students intending to select physics as a major. To date, the Physics Department has 166 undergraduates enrolled in the physics program. It also includes courses in Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Quantum Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Optics. Laboratory instruction parallels courses that develop the formal theory; courses in Mathematics also are essential components of the undergraduate Physics Major curriculum. A detailed description of course offerings and degree requirements appears in the University’s General Catalog. Physics classes for Physics Majors are small, and opportunities for unstructured, informal discussions with faculty are readily available. Exceptional students can participate in the University’s Honor Program, and are encouraged to engage in independent study, often as participants in ongoing research projects. Undergraduates whose academic records warrant enrollment in introductory graduate courses in their senior year, are able to choose that option.

There are many potential rewards for students with diverse interests and career objectives, or with still indefinite career objectives, in studying Physics. The Physics Faculty of the University of Connecticut invites prospective students, interested in majoring in Physics, to schedule a visit to our Department to investigate whether we can serve his or her educational needs.