Applied Physics Major

Program Features

Physics is about exploring the universe on a large scale all the way down to the sub-atomic level. As an applied physics major, you’ll conduct experiments, research alongside expert faculty and learn the foundations of physics, mathematics and engineering. You'll also have access to multiple labs with the latest equipment, including a holography lab, atomic and nuclear labs, optics lab, superconductivity lab, atomic force microscope lab, a thin-film deposition system and an astronomical observatory. 

Xavier’s intentionally small class sizes offer an environment where you’ll receive personal attention from your professors. This will help prepare you should you pursue an advanced degree in physics, engineering or another field where having scientific and technical knowledge is an advantage (e.g. entrepreneurship, patent law, business innovation and environmental engineering). 

Xavier University, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, is nationally recognized as a top university by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review and Forbes. 98 percent of our students, including those in the applied physics major, are working, volunteering or in graduate school within six months of graduation (Class of 2021). Additionally, Xavier students have a 92 percent acceptance rate to medical schools (Class of 2019), compared to 40 percent nationally. 

Optional Concentration

Engineering

Curriculum

The sample course sequence below illustrates class offerings for the Applied Physics major. Consult the official Xavier University course catalog for detailed registration and advising information.

Fall

  • Core 100: First-Year Seminar............ 3cr.
  • Core 101: GOA............ 0cr.
  • Second Language 103 Level............ 3cr.
  • ENGL 101: Composition............ 3cr.
  • Elective............ 3cr.

Spring

  • MATH 169: Precalculus or Elective............ 3cr.
  • Theology 111: Theological Foundations............ 3cr.
  • Core 102: GOA............ 0cr.
  • Second Language 201 Level............ 3cr.
  • PHIL 100: Ethics............ 3cr.
  • Elective............ 3cr.

Fall

  • PHYS 170: University Physics I............ 3cr.
  • PHYS 171: Explorations in Physics............ 3cr.
  • MATH 170: Calculus I............ 3cr.
  • Theological Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • ENGR 101: Introduction to Engineering............ 3cr.
  • Elective (3)............ 3cr.

Spring

  • PHYS 172: University Physics II............ 3cr.
  • PHYS 173 or ENGR 173: Lab............ 1cr.
  • MATH 171: Calculus II............ 3cr.
  • ENGL 205: Literature and Moral Imagination............ 3cr.
  • Elective............ 3cr.

Fall

  • PHYS 330: Modern Physics I............ 3cr.
  • PHYS 331: Modern Physics I Lab............ 1cr.
  • PHYS 242: Circuit Analysis............ 3cr.
  • PHYS 243: Design Experience: Circuit Analysis Lab............ 1cr.
  • MATH 220: Calculus III............ 3cr.
  • Philosophical Perspectives............ 3cr.

Spring

  • PHYS 244: Electronics............ 3cr.
  • PHYS 245: Electronics Lab............ 1cr.
  • PHYS 350: Mechanics............ 3cr.
  • PHYS 355: Advanced Lab............ 1cr.
  • ENGR 180: Mathlab............ 3cr.
  • Humanities Elective............ 3cr.
  • Elective............ 3cr.

Fall

  • PHYSICS 395: Physics Research............ 1cr.
  • Program Elective............ 3cr.
  • Elective............ 3cr.
  • Social Science Elective............ 3cr.
  • Program Elective............ 3cr.
  • Program Elective............ 3cr.

Spring

  • Physics 398: Physics Thesis............ 1cr.
  • Program Elective............ 4cr.
  • Creative Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • DCR or Elective............ 3cr.
  • Program Elective............ 3cr.
  • Elective............ 3cr.

Sample Courses

Xavier is known for providing an education that's both challenging and personal. Here are some courses that are part of the Applied Physics major at Xavier:

Electronics I (PHYS 242) - Explore the fundamental concepts and laws of electric AC and DC circuits and apply them to topics such as delta-star conversion, power and power transfer in circuits, impedance, steady state and transient analysis, ideal transformers, operational amplifiers, RLC resonant circuits and analog filters.

Modern physics (PHYS 330) - Learn about the warping of spacetime as objects travel close to the speed of light, strange effects on the scale of quantum mechanics such as particles and waves behaving like each other and objects tunneling through walls and how spectroscopy works and is applied in a range of industrial and scientific situations.

Advanced Lab (PHYS 355) - Use research grade equipment as it is used by faculty in the department to perform experiments related to the fields of biophysics, optics, solid-state physics and computational physics.

Clubs

Physics Club

Students in the Physics Club organize trips to national labs, host cool experiment series and events that connect to physics, like ice skating (friction!) and water balloon launches.

Alchymest Club

Ever been to a liquid nitrogen ice cream social? This club is made up of chemistry enthusiasts who love to experiment and discuss the ins and outs of the study of matter.

All Xavier Clubs

Outcomes

98% of Xavier students, including those in the applied physics major, are working, volunteering or in graduate school within six months of graduation (Class of 2021). Additionally, Xavier students have a 92% acceptance rate to medical schools (Class of 2019), compared to 40% nationally. 

Careers: Accelerator Systems Operator, Advanced Technology Engineer, Computer Scientist, Computer Engineer, Engineering Physicist, Laboratory Technician, Radar Developer,Systems Engineer, Science Teacher, Physicist

Explore Xavier Alumni Outcomes

All For One

Xavier is ranked #1 for its excellent academic reputation among top competitors in the region. Students get the most out of their education, from rigorous classroom studies to experiential learning in the real world.

Cincinnati: A City of Opportunity

Skyline of Cincinnati's downtown at nighttime

Cincinnati, Ohio is ranked the #1 Best City for College Graduates (smartasset.com) and the #15 Best Place to Start a Career (WalletHub). Students in the applied physics major take advantage of for-credit internships and employment opportunities at multiple Fortune 500 companies, private companies, nonprofit organizations and other businesses.


Going to College in Cincinnati

What is Jesuit Education?

Students in the applied physics major learning from a Jesuit professor

A Xavier education is more than your typical college experience. Drawing on a Jesuit Catholic educational model 400 years in the making, students in the applied physics major get the personal attention and support they need to succeed. The result is an education that’s as encouraging as it is challenging, and as enriching as it is demanding.


Jesuit Education 101

Xavier Rankings and Recognitions

An aerial view of Altar Hall on Xavier University’s campus

Xavier University has been ranked among the top 10 best Midwest Regional Schools by U.S. News & World Report for the past two decades. The Princeton Review names it one of the "Best 385 Colleges in America." Explore how Xavier’s top-ranked academic programs continue to distinguish themselves among the nation’s best.


Xavier University Rankings

Applied Physics Major at Xavier University

The Applied Physics program at Xavier has small classes and provides a close interaction between faculty and students. The Alternate Concentration option provides maximum flexibility to students who are interested in pursuing interdisciplinary programs. This program combines the study of physics with a concentrated study in another area or discipline. Concentrations must include at least 18 hours in one chosen area, which allows for the majority of University minors to be included. Areas of concentration may be chosen from the sciences, mathematics, the humanities, the social sciences, business, and education. If mathematics is selected as an area of concentration, the courses must be in addition to those required by the Applied Physics major. The Natural Sciences option offers an alternative to the Natural Sciences major that allows students to study physics while preparing for medical, dental, or veterinary school. This program may also be of interest to students who wish to pursue careers in medical physics, radiological physics, and other health physics programs. The Natural Sciences program combines courses in physics, mathematics, and computer science with the chemistry and biology courses needed to fulfill the requirements for the Natural Sciences minor.

Xavier University’s College of Arts and Sciences challenges students to develop an integrated understanding of humanity, the world, and God by pursuing the questions raised in Xavier's core and departmental curricula. The College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest and largest college at Xavier University. The college provides an excellent liberal arts education in the Jesuit tradition that prepares students for careers, professional or graduate school, and life in a global society.

Xavier University is a private university located in Cincinnati, Ohio, providing a liberal arts education in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. Founded in 1831, the University is the sixth-oldest Catholic university in the nation. It has been ranked among the top 10 master's-level universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for the past two decades. The Princeton Review names it one of the "Best 385 Colleges in America."