The Department of Physics offers several degree plans to prepare students for STEM careers. These multiple tracks allow students to select the best option for them and tailor it for their career interests with elective courses in physics, research with faculty, and courses in biology, chemistry, computer science, and mathematics.
- The Physics major provides rigorous training in mathematics and physics with courses in statistical thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism and quantum mechanics as well as labs in optics, and electronics. Physics graduates pursue careers in industry, government labs, economics, and medicine. The program also prepares students for graduate education in physics, computer science, engineering, and law. Pre-health physics majors often receive high placement scores on the MCAT and other entrance exams.
The Department has three interdisciplinary programs that allows students to complement their physics education with an emphasis in mathematics, biosciences, or computer science:
- The Theoretical Physics/Applied Mathematics (TPAM) major is an interdisciplinary program that provides extensive training in both physics and mathematics. TPAM students gain a versatile set of skills that are well-suited for data science, numerical modeling, and quantitative analysis. It prepares students for graduate study in physics, mathematics, or applied mathematics; careers in fields such as engineering or computer science; or technical training in professions like medicine, dentistry, or law.
- The Biophysics major is an interdisciplinary program on the cutting edge of new developments in the biosciences. Offered by the Departments of Physics and Biology, the biophysics major provides rigorous training in biosciences, mathematics, and lab skills. The degree prepares students for research careers in biophysics, biochemistry, biomedical engineering, and physics. Biophysics is an ideal major for students considering careers in medicine, optometry, dentistry, and other applied health sciences.
- The Physics and Computer Science major prepares students with a foundation in physics, mathematics and computer science. Lecture and laboratory courses in physics train students in the physical principles. In computer science, students take several introductory courses and then choose upper-level courses in their specific interests. This program appeals to students interested in interdisciplinary areas, such as quantum computing, scientific computing, intelligent systems, and optical communication.
Two dual-degree program are sponsored by Loyola Physics in partnership with engineering departments from other universities and the LUC School of Education.
- Through the Physics (BS) + Engineering (BS) program, students can earn two baccalaureate degrees: a BS in Physics from Loyola and a bachelor's in Engineering from an affiliated engineering school. In this five-year program, students complete a three-year degree plan in physics at Loyola and then two years of concentrated engineering studies at the partner institution. This is an excellent route for students interested in careers in aerospace, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering.
- The Physics (BS) + Secondary Education (MEd) program is five-year degree plan in the Department and the LUC School of Education. It enables students to earn both the BS in Physics and Masters in Seconday Education (MEd) degrees along with the state certification necessary to teach middle- and high-school grades. Numerous job opportunities are available for students interested in becoming science teachers in grades 6–12.
We also offer a minor in Physics. Students are encouraged to pursue minors in other fields, such as Data Science and Mathematics. Physics majors often earn degrees in foreign languages, humanities and fine art programs as well.
Physics in the Science Core
The Physics Department offers several courses for non-science majors seeking to satisfy natural science core curriculum requirements: Liberal Arts Physics (PHYS 101), Planetary and Stellar Astronomy (PHYS 102), and Physics of Music (PHYS 106). These courses emphasize an appreciation of the basic laws, overall structure, and beauty of the physical universe. In addition, as part of the natural science core, these courses discuss the scientific method, and stress the importance of methodological competence as well as ethics in forming critical judgments on technically oriented societal issues. More information on Loyola's Core Curriculum can be found here.