Physics Major

What is Physics?

Physics studies the laws of nature, the structure of matter and the behavior of physical processes: the keys to many of the universe's secrets. As a physics major you will participate in research directly with physics faculty as they push the frontiers of physics knowledge.

Physics FAQs

What does a physics major study at Marquette?

Physics students achieve a general understanding of leading edge computational, theoretical and experimental approaches to explaining diverse natural phenomena from sub atomic particles, to exotic stars and galaxies, and progress into areas as diverse as medicine, law, engineering and finance, as well as mainstream areas of physics such as particle physics, astrophysics, solid state, atomic and molecular physics. 

The physics major consists of a common core:

  • PHYS 1013 and 1014 [or 1001, 1002 or 1003, 1004] (Introductory Physics)
  • PHYS 2400 and 2500 (Modern Physics)
  • PHYS 3100 (Classical Mechanics)
  • PHYS 3056 (Advanced Lab)
  • PHYS 4031 (Electricity and Magnetism)
  • Six required seminar courses, including a Capstone course
  • Six additional hours (generally two courses) in upper division physics
  • Visit the Physics Major Curriculum to learn more about our physics courses


What can you do with a physics major from Marquette?

A Physics degree from Marquette opens doors as it ensures a strong education that leads to success in a variety of fields. As early as their sophomore year, our physics majors are invited to teach introductory labs for engineering and non-science majors. They are also invited to perform research, working directly with professors. The experience gained is incredibly valuable in going forward to graduate school or to the workplace.

Other recent graduates have proceeded to teach high school science, and several have continued on to law school and medical school.

How can a physics major prepare me for graduate school?

While many recent graduates have pursued advanced degrees in physics, many others have pursued astronomy, biophysics, materials science, and bioengineering. They have entered into many of the top graduate programs around the country, including Princeton, University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois, Purdue, Notre Dame, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and Vanderbilt. Each has earned a fellowship or assistantship which include full tuition, plus a substantial salary to support their studies!

Remarkably, Physics students scored the highest of all majors on the LSAT, and second highest on the MCAT!

Physics Major Curriculum

For an extensive course work guide on the physics major, including suggested schedule plans, please visit the Marquette Bulletin.