Physics

Program Features

Physics is the study of the Universe and how it works from the large scale to the sub-atomic scale. Students work and learn alongside faculty mentors in laboratories designed for experiments in electronics, holography, quantum optics, nuclear physics and more. Students graduate ready to enter grad school or work as researchers, laboratory technicians or physics teachers.

Curriculum

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

Fall

  • PHYSICS 170: University Physics I............ 3cr.
  • PHYSICS 171: Exploration in Physics I............ 1cr.
  • MATHEMATICS 170: Calculus I............ 4cr.
  • CORE 100, First Year Seminar............ 3cr.
  • CORE 101, GOA............ 0cr.
  • Second Language 103 level............ 3cr.

Spring

  • PHYSICS 172: University Physics II............ 3cr.
  • ENGR 173: Explorations in Engineering............ 1cr.
  • MATHEMATICS 171: Calculus II............ 4cr.
  • CSCI 170, Computer Science I............ 3cr.
  • THEOLOGY 111: Theological Foundations............ 3cr.
  • CORE 102, GOA............ 0cr.
  • Second Language 201 level............ 3cr.

Fall

  • PHYSICS 330: Modern Physics I............ 3cr.
  • PHYSICS 331: Modern Physics I Lab............ 2cr.
  • PHYSICS 242: Circuit Analysis I............ 3cr.
  • PHYSICS 243: Circuit Analysis I Lab............ 1cr.
  • MATHEMATICS 220: Calculus III............ 4cr.
  • ENGL 101: Composition............ 3cr.

Spring

  • PHYSICS 340: Modern Physics II............ 3cr.
  • PHYSICS 341: Modern Physics II Lab............ 1cr.
  • ENGR 244, Electronics............ 3cr.
  • ENGR 244, Electronics Lab............ 1cr.
  • MATHEMATICS 230: Differential Equations............ 3cr.
  • PHILOSOPHY 100: Ethics as Intro to Philosophy............ 3cr.

Fall

  • PHYSICS 360: Electromagnetism I............ 3cr.
  • PHYS 382, Thermodynamics............ 3cr.
  • MATH Elective............ 3cr.
  • PHYS 350, T. Mech............ 3cr.
  • Lit. & Moral Imagination............ 3cr.

Spring

  • PHYSICS 364: Physical Optics............ 3cr.
  • PHYSICS 365: Physical Optics Lab............ 1cr.
  • MATH/CS/ENGR Elect............ 3cr.
  • Theological Perspetives............ 3cr.
  • Historical Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • Free Elective............ 3cr.

Fall

  • PHYSICS 395: Physics Research............ 1cr.
  • PHYS 376, Quantum Mechanics I............ 3cr.
  • PHYS 355, Advanced Lab............ 2cr.
  • Creative Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • Social Science Elective............ 3cr.
  • Div. Flag* or Free Elective............ 3cr.

Spring

  • PHYSICS 398: Physics Thesis............ 1cr.
  • PHYSICS 377: Quantum Mechanics II............ 3cr.
  • Capstone............ 3cr.
  • Philosophical Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • Humanities Elective............ 3cr.
  • ER/S Flag* or Free 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 Physics major at Xavier:

Modern Physics (PHYS 330) - Learn about the warping of spacetime as objects travel close to the speed of light, about 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.

Astrophysics (PHYS 388) - Apply concepts and principles of classical and modern physics toward an analysis of astronomical phenomena such as orbital motion, star formation and evolution, neutron stars and black holes, galaxy structure and formation, and cosmology.

Advanced Lab (PHYS 3855) - 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.

All Xavier Clubs

Outcomes

97% of students from Xavier’s STEM majors, including Physics, are working, volunteering or in graduate school within six months of graduating.

Top Jobs: Software Engineer, Actuarial Analyst, Associate Consultant, Chemist, Developer, Electrical Engineer, Research Engineer

Top Companies: Good Samaritan Hospital, The Christ Hospital, AT&T, 84.51, TBM Consulting, ScribeAmerica, GE Aviation

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.

Student Research

The undergraduate research experience is an integral part of a student's personal and academic development. Students work alongside faculty mentors to find solutions to real world problems through research.


Student Research

Labs and Equipment

The Lindner Family Physics Building houses a variety of research facilities, 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.


Career Opportunities

Many students go on to study in veterinary, medical and dental school.


Pre Professional Health Support

Physics Major at Xavier University

The Physics program at Xavier provides a close interaction between faculty and students. Research laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and all principal faculty members are active researchers. In short, Physics at Xavier offers: A strong community that encourages team work, active research laboratories that offer undergraduate research opportunities and physics in a liberal arts setting which strengthens logical and communicative skills.

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."