Department of Physics and Astronomy
Science & Engineering 308
807 Union Street
Schenectady, NY 12308
(518) 388-6254
Explore Majors & Minors
See where Union takes you:

Program Manager, Bose Corp.

Physics Teacher, Westwood High School, and Apple Distinguished Educator

Applications Engineer, EBM–PAPST

Quality Analyst, Pfizer Inc.

Electrical Engineer, Advanced Energy Conversion

Building Energy Consultant, Serious Materials

IT Specialist, University at Albany

Coordinator for Education and Outreach, College of Engineering, Drexel University

Graduate Research Assistant, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Medical Student, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Ph.D. Student, University of Pennsylvania

Ph.D. Student in Biophysics, University of Michigan

Graduate Student, School of Electrical Engineering, Boston University

Senior Reservoir Engineer, Shell Appalachia

Resident, University of Rochester Medical Center

Visiting Assistant Professor, Kenyon College

Samuel Amanuel, associate professor of physicsSamuel Amanuel, associate professor of physics


As a Union physics major, you will explore the general laws that govern force, matter, motion, energy, time and space.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers Bachelor of Science degrees in both physics and astronomy, as well as minors in physics, astrophysics and astronomy.

In small classes, you will learn about the wide spectrum of modern physics, with courses in relativity, string theory, black holes, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics and other physical states and relationships that make us see the universe in very different ways.

Our faculty members are the recipients of numerous prestigious grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, NASA and other premiere funding agencies. They (not graduate students) teach all labs, and you will be able to take advantage of instrumentation that is comparable to that of a much larger institution.

Independent research with a faculty colleague is required for the degree in physics, and this work has often led to meaningful contact in the wider scientific community.

Many of our students spend their summers at Union or at national laboratories doing research. They present their results at regional and national conferences on undergraduate research, at Union's own Steinmetz Symposium each spring and in co-authored articles in scientific journals.

Union is home to local chapters of the Society of Physics Students (SPS); the physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma; and the scientific research society, Sigma Xi. The department of physics and astronomy also maintains an active colloquium series to help keep students and faculty in touch with exciting developments elsewhere.

Physics opens doors to a broad range of careers in science, engineering, technology, government, education and the military.