The BS in Physics program at WPI encourages your passion for asking the big questions and solving perplexing puzzles that face humanity. With our engaged faculty and our individualized approach, you’ll explore your interests and find your own path in Physics.

We’ll help you expand your natural curiosity with our supportive program of hands-on learning that involves you in research from your very first year. Whether you like to experiment with electricity or want to understand the big bang theory, you’ll do just that as you work on project-based teams that help you understand physics principles and apply them to engineering problems.

Students may also opt for accelerated study to earn a BS/MS degree in five years.

physics

Curriculum

Our tailored Physics major means you’ll study the path that interests you most, and our faculty will encourage you to reach your biggest potential. The major course work in classes like Mechanics or Electricity and Magnetism, lets you explore physics fundamentals. Then you can focus your expertise with chemistry, engineering, electronics, or computer science courses that teach you how to apply the physics principles you’ve learned to engineering and scientific problems.

With your classroom and lab work, you’ll think critically and get the hands-on experience in solving real-world problems. Working on groundbreaking research emphasizes the skills you’ll need to explore the world around you as a working physicist. WPI faculty offer many research groups that allow students to delve into specific topics like Nanoscience or Biophysics. 

Project-based Learning

Project-based Learning

Project-based learning forms the foundation of a WPI education, and it’s the best preparation for aspiring physicists. Your experiences will range from project work alongside faculty in state-of-the-art facilities and labs where you will learn how to improve batteries, study magnetic field based propulsion, build robots with hydraulic muscles, or work on satellite image classification, to project work outside of the classroom at one of our many project centers around the globe.

WPI’s Global Projects Program immerses students in communities as close as our home city of Worcester and at more than 40 other locations worldwide. Students work in teams with a faculty advisor and are accountable to a project sponsor on a specific problem that connects science or technology with social issues and human needs.

The hands-on collaborative culture in our community of faculty and students—both on and off-campus—help form connections, deepen understanding of classroom knowledge, and ready students for postgraduate plans. Physics majors’ recent projects:

• Protective equipment for head and neck injuries in football

• Listening to optical spectra

• Oil well logging using neutron activation analysis

• Brachytherapy source testing

• Developing mathematical modeling of charged laminate materials

Student working side-by-side with locals at a project center

Getting Involved

Getting Involved

A WPI education is so much more than what happens in the classroom. You’ll find clubs, groups, and organizations that let you experience everything from Greek life to perfecting the tango. Physics students join on-campus chapters of the international and multidisciplinary research honor society Sigma Xi and the Society of Physics Students.

Students organizing project tasks with sticky notes on a whiteboard

After Graduation