Physics Tracks

There are 3 different options for a bachelor’s degree in physics at Drew: Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Physics, or BS in Engineering Physics.  They reflect the diverse goals and interests of physics students.

All 3 tracks include a set of Common Foundation Courses in Physics and Math that cover the following subjects:

  • Physics: Mechanics (PHYS 150) with Laboratory (PHYS 113), Electricity and Magnetism and Optics (PHYS 160) with Laboratory (PHYS 114), Modern Physics (PHYS 250), Electronics (PHYS 255), Advanced Laboratories (PHYS 304/305), and Advanced Mechanics (PHYS 301)
  • Mathematics: Calculus and Differential Equations (MATH-150, 151, 250, 315)

Talk to your physics advisor, who can help you decide on one of these tracks:


Engineering Physics BS (62 credits)

This track is recommended for students pursuing engineering and other technical careers.

In addition to common courses, students will take:

  • Advanced mathematical methods (PHYS-321)
  • Computer Programming (CSCI-149/150/151)
  • General Chemistry (CHEM-150)
  • Principles of Engineering Design (PHYS-270)
  • Engineering elective (an upper-level physics, math, or chem courses from an approved list)

Link to the catalog.

Physics BS (62 credits)

This track is most focused in the discipline of physics and recommended for students interested in careers in research and development in diverse areas of physics.

In addition to common courses, students will take:

  • Advanced mathematical methods (PHYS-321)
  • Computer Programming (CSCI-149/150/151)
  • Upper-level physics courses in Quantum Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Thermodynamics, Optics, etc.

Link to the catalog.

Physics BA (54 credits)

This track is most flexible to provide opportunities to explore physics broadly and is recommended for students interested in careers in business, finance, medicine, law, education, science policy/communication, etc.  Students can take a wider range courses, such as astronomy, energy and environments, etc.

In addition to common courses, students will take:

  • 1 course in PHYS-1xx or higher
  • 1 course in PHYS-2xx or higher
  • 1 course in PHYS-3xx

Link to the catalog.

What’s great about the Physics major:

Flexible curriculum for diverse career options

Students majoring in physics at Drew are prepared for careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and other fields, including law, education, medicine, and business.

High academic quality

Many students (approximately 75% of physics majors) go on to graduate or professional schools, pursuing physics, astrophysics, biomedical, environmental, civil, and aeronautical engineering, energy and environmental policy, law school, medical school, and secondary education. Recent schools include Brown, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Lehigh, and University of Washington. These students receive fellowships and research/teaching assistantships that cover the full tuition of the graduate school plus living expenses.

Engineering Program

For students interested in engineering, there are dual degree programs affiliated with Columbia University and Washington University in St. Louis. These programs lead to a physics (B.S. or B.A.) degree from Drew and an engineering (B.S.) degree from the affiliated school. Participants commonly enter the engineering school after their junior or senior years at Drew.

Research opportunities and facilities
  • The Drew Particle Physics Group (DPPG) at Drew University is a member of the Mu2e collaboration at Fermilab and has several research opportunities for students during the summer and during the academic year. The members of DPPG also direct senior physics projects or honors theses. Students interested in research in particle physics should contact Professor Kamal Benslama.
  • Students can also participate in faculty-mentored research projects in atomic physics, optics/photonics (confocal microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, semi-classical optics), biophysics (computational neuroscience), and astronomy.  Some students successfully publish their work and present it at professional meetings.
  • Thanks to various grants and endowed funds, students can also receive stipends and free housing, while engaged in a full-time research experience for 8 weeks as part of the Drew Summer Science Institute (DSSI).
  • Members of RISE, who have retired from world-renowned Bell Laboratories, for example, direct senior physics projects or honors theses.
  • Physics majors also frequently participate in summer research/internship projects at other places, such as Cornell, Duke, Lehigh, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, University of Washington and Fermilab
  • Drew has a 16″ research-grade telescope with CCD camera in the rooftop observatory.
Supportive environment

Our close-knit department has a supportive environment for learning. Upper-level classes typically have 5-10 students.

Society of Physics Students

Our physics student club is part of a national organization which promotes academic and social interactions and career opportunities. There are SPS-sponsored talks, dinners, field trips, etc. Eligible students are also inducted into Drew’s chapter of the national physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma. The department newsletter, The Dilated Times, is run by Drew’s physics students.

Sigma Pi Sigma

Membership of Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society, is granted in recognition of excellent scholarship and achievement in physics. In addition, the department awards numerous annual prizes. Endowed awards exist for recognizing superior work as a freshman (Ollom Prize), for an outstanding research project (Harrington Prize), for excellent overall performance (Boxer Prize), etc.