Physics is the fundamental science of nature, encompassing the tiniest and largest things in the world—and every scale in between. In past centuries, physicists have unraveled laws governing the forces of nature and explored the structure of matter at the deepest level. Today some of the most exciting discoveries in physics are at the nanoscale—the realm of atoms and molecules—and apply to biological materials as well as other types of substances.
USP offers a unique bachelor of science in physics degree. The program is exceptional in offering one of the few undergraduate physics programs in the region with biophysics and materials science tracks. These tracks provide focus to upper-level courses and offer an applied interdisciplinary connection with current issues in industry, medicine, and research. The culmination of the student learning experience in the program is a capstone senior-level research course sequence where each student is matched with a physics faculty mentor to complete a project and develop and deliver a formal seminar presentation.
Students who obtain a bachelor of science in physics degree could potentially go on to engineering, medical, graduate, teaching, and other professional schools, as well as a career in industry or any other pursuit in which knowledge of physics is a prerequisite. By concentrating in the biophysics degree track, students will get a heavier emphasis in biological sciences that would benefit them in careers as a medical physicist, biomedical researcher, or imaging/MRI professional. In the materials science track, students will receive a heavier focus on new materials and nanostructures useful in the development of new biomedical technologies, cancer research, alternative sources of energy, the next generation of computers, and engineering functions.
Students in the physics program will:
- Understand the discipline-specific knowledge in physics.
- Be able to integrate knowledge of physics with knowledge from other disciplines.
- Have strong physics reasoning and problem-solving skills and be able to apply these skills to the solution of theoretical and applied problems.
- Have strong skills in applying experimental methods.
- Be able to read and understand scientific literature.
- Be able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with both professionals and non-professionals.
- Be able to work effectively within a team and to assume a leadership role.
- Have a broad educational background.
- Understand the application of physical techniques to biological systems (biophysics track).
- Understand the properties of matter on the atomic and molecular scales and how these relate to macroscopic structures (materials science track).