Applied Physics Major

Delve into how the universe behaves and matter interacts through hands-on experience.

The Applied Physics major at Houghton College will allow students to develop practical skills and experience from your first-year Introduction to Engineering course through to your final research project.

Gain critical experience with high-tech equipment such as:

  • Cyclotron [particle accelerator]
  • Farnsworth Fusor [nuclear fusion chamber]
  • Scanning electron microscope [6 nanometer resolution]
  • X-ray diffractometer
  • Wind tunnel
  • One of the nation's fastest supercomputers [for simulations in aeronautical engineering]
Discover how this tech is being used for research

Get experience in the real world with a multi year project

You will complete 6 semesters of Project Lab, where you work with a professor on a real research problem and present your findings.

What will I learn?

Through Houghton’s major in Applied Physics, you will:

  • Conduct research, tackle a real-world complex issue, or travel in your first year with acceptance into Houghton’s Science Honors Program
  • Explore engineering design, programming, mechanics, fluids, electrodynamics, optics, thermodynamics, etc.
  • Spend your summer getting paid to do real, cutting-edge research at the Shannon Summer Research Institute in collaboration with Christian faculty members who care about your growth academically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • Publish and present your research at national conferences.

124 Credits


Required Courses


Elective Courses and General Education

Degree Requirements

Physics vs Applied Physics

Applied Physics

  • Focus on the most basic principles at work in the physical universe and how to serve God by applying these principles to meet people’s needs.
  • Acquire a broad background in general engineering principles and skills.
  • Prepare for a broad spectrum of technical careers.
  • 40% of our Applied Physics graduates have gone on to engineering graduate programs in mechanical, aerospace and other engineering disciplines.


  • Explore the traditional theoretical, experimental, and mathematical basis of physics.
  • Gain a solid foundation for graduate work in physics or related fields, like nuclear and particle physics, materials science, astrophysics, biophysics.
  • Prepare graduate programs and careers in physics.

Develop Skills that Employers Want

Impress future employers with your deep understanding of the projects you’ve worked on, experience with high-tech equipment, and ability to tackle new, complicated challenges.

Learn more about self-driving cars and the microstar

Learn from Realistic Labs

Houghton’s small class sizes allow realistic labs to be a space for gaining new information through solving problems and finding your own solutions under the mentorship of dedicated faculty members.

Prepare for Lifelong Success

Focus on the most basic principles at work in the physical universe and how to serve God by applying these principles to meet people’s needs.

Meet a Faculty Member

Program Outcomes

Students earning a degree in Applied Physics from Houghton College are prepared to for careers in many areas of the FIELD industry, including but not limited to:

Employment Expected to Grow 14%

for Industrial Engineers
U.S. Bureau of Labor StatisticsSource

What Graduates Say:

Application Requirements


Start Your Application

Complete the application here
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Documents and Supporting Materials

You’ll be asked to provide your official high school transcript and your test scores (can be waived)
Testing Policy

Personal Statement

The personal statement portion of our application for admission is perhaps the best place to truly tell your story, to tell who you are and what is important to you.
Personal Statement

Have Questions?

Discover if earning your degree in Applied Physics from Houghton College is right for you.