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.

Special learning opportunities

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.

Courses & Requirements

What can a Union degree do for you?

Here is what some alumni have been up to:

  • Applications engineer, EBM–PAPST
  • Electrical engineer, Advanced Energy Conversion
  • Ph.D. student in physics, McGill University
  • Physics teacher, Westwood High School
  • Design assistant, Newgrange Design
  • Senior reservoir engineer, Shell Appalachia
  • Actuarial analyst, AXIS Capital

College accelerator:

The Pelletron accelerator, an indipensible tool for physics research at Union, generates static electric fields to accelerate particles.
Pelletron accelerator