Physics is the most fundamental of all sciences. At WPI, we encourage the curiosity physicists have about how the world works by giving them the resources and the tools to further the study of the nature and properties of matter and energy. Physicists are problem solvers. They are always looking for new ways to approach questions and challenges and develop solutions based on our observations and experimentations.

We want students to follow their passions so a physics degree from WPI is apt to look different for each person. The program is structured so you can take the path that appeals to your natural curiosity. Through project work, students explore everything from developing more protective equipment for athletes to exploring nanoparticles. Students in our in our physics teacher preparation program work with faculty and in classrooms to improve physics education, teaching methods, and student learning.  Graduates go directly onto careers in industry, teaching high school physics (high in demand), or onto graduate school in physics or related fields.

WPI’s world-renowned faculty members inspire both undergraduate and graduate students to become engaged in research and teaching projects—which often leads to students making important contributions and writing articles for research journals before graduation, and helping them decide their career paths. Our faculty works collaboratively with students across disciplines, making discoveries in nuclear science, photonics and optics, new materials, biophysics, statistical and solid state physics, spectroscopy, and electromagnetism. 

Degree is also offered online.
Area of Study Bachelor Minor Certificate Master PhD
Applied Physics bachelor master phd
Astrophysics minor
Nanoscience minor
Nuclear Science & Engineering certificate
Physics bachelor minor master phd
Physics for Educators master
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Undergraduate Research Projects Showcase

A celebration of research, design, and creative theses—a requirement of every graduating senior through the Major Qualifying Project (MQP)—takes place each spring on campus. Student teams representing all academic departments present their work to their faculty advisors, external sponsors, and the community-at-large, and the public is invited.

From the University Magazine

colorful drawing

Untapped Energy

WPI researchers use novel ideas to tackle the urgent need for clean energy.

man standing in lab

A Dry Heat

Jamal Yagoobi’s dual areas of expertise have him in demand everywhere from outer space to the manufacturing floor.

sharks in water

Revealing the Ocean’s Mysteries

Underwater cinematographer Jonathan Bird ’90 tells the story of life below the waves.


WPI's Collaborative Environment Inspires Innovation

WPI faculty and students work side-by-side in our labs and classrooms. Whether they are working on research that advances the field or exploring a new approach to matter and energy, we encourage experimentation that often leads to innovation.


The Annual Goddard Cup - Water Rocket Competition


The Annual Goddard Cup - Water Rocket Competition is hosted by the Department of Physics and honors the legacy of Robert Goddard at WPI.

This event is open to middle to high school student teams.  We look forward to your joining us in striving for the Cup!


Enriching Summer Programs

Now is the time to start planning for enriching pre-collegiate summer STEM programs hosted by the Department of Physics. Registration for our various programs opens in February. Students of many ages are invited to find out why STEM fields are so exciting and how they can turn their interests into a career.

IGNITE is for rising 7th and 8th graders.

LAUNCH is for rising 9th and 10th graders.

Frontiers is an on-campus residential program for rising 11th and 12th graders.

The Department of Physics also hosts summer programs for Girls Inc. Eureka!® -- a year-round STEM-focused cohort program for girls in 8th through 12th grades.

Facts and Figures


current faculty members have won the NSF Career Award during their careers

National Science Foundation (2023)

best career placement

The Princeton Review (2024)

Career Outlook

Physicists are some of the best problem solvers, so their career opportunities are vast. Graduates often move into research, academic, or management positions in fields ranging from medical to aerospace to power generation.