The degree in physics 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.

Curriculum

Our tailored degree in physics 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 will let you explore physics fundamentals. You can then focus your expertise with chemistry, engineering, electronics, or computer science courses that will 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 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—studying magnetic field based propulsion, building robots with hydraulic muscles, working on satellite image classification, and learning how to improve batteries—to project work outside of the classroom at one of our many project centers around the globe.

More Value

Whether it’s real-world work experience through a co-op or internshipearning a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in four or five years through the BS/MS program, or integrating your coursework with your extracurricular interests through Major and a Mission, there are many ways you can make the most out of your time at WPI.

Consider a Minor in Physics

If you’re interested in physics but not sure you want to major in it, consider earning a minor in it or a related field like astrophysics or nanoscience. With a minor in physics, you’ll gain both a well-rounded understanding of the field and experience needed to solve real-world engineering problems. A minor in astrophysics focuses on the evolution of the universe and structures of space, while a minor in neuroscience offers hands-on experience while studying how molecules, materials, devices, and living matter behave.

Earn a Certificate in Nuclear Science and Engineering

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or science and have an interest in nuclear industry, consider earning a certificate in nuclear science and engineering. Along the way, you’ll complete four courses that will cover nuclear power, radioactivity, chain reaction physics, and more.

Continue Your Education with an MS or PhD

If you’ve already earned a degree in physics and are looking for more, WPI is the perfect place to continue your education. While pursuing a master’s in physics at WPI, you’ll combine essential theoretical knowledge of physics principles with groundbreaking research to solve problems everywhere from a pharmaceutical lab to a lecture hall. Taking your education even further, the PhD in physics will give you all the skills and experience you need to lead transformative research and contribute to faculty research projects focused on light scattering, nanomechanics, fiber optics, and quantum computers.

Explore the World of Applied Physics

Looking to continue your physics education beyond a bachelor’s degree? Structure your own academic and professional path in everything from photonics to medical physics with a master’s degree in applied physics at WPI. You can also take the next step with a PhD in applied physics, where you’ll be able to align your research goals and interests with your career path through close collaboration with your faculty advisor and peers and faculty in other disciplines.

Go Back to School as an Educator

WPI’s Master of Science in Physics for Educators give physics teachers invaluable support and research experiences to advance their careers, deepen their content knowledge, and encourage their students to discover the joys and excitement of exploring physics, all while becoming part of an extensive network of physicists.