Physics Major

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

Gain practical skills and experience from your first engineering course through your final research project. As a physics major at Houghton College, you’ll develop a deep understanding of foundational principles. A foundation that will give you the confidence to face new and complicated problems in the classroom and in the workplace.

ClassesCareersMeet the Faculty

High-tech Equipment

Gain critical experience using the tools of practicing physicists, including (a):

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

Real World 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 physics program, you will use state of the art equipment as you:

  • Tackle real-world complex issues, or travel in your first year with acceptance into Houghton’s Science Honors Program
  • Develop practical new skills that are useful in physics research, like operating machine tools, welding, soldering, electronics, or using new computer languages and operating systems
  • Spend your summer getting paid to do real, cutting-edge research
  • Work alongside Christian professors who care about your growth academically, emotionally, and spiritually. Spend your afternoons at the office chalkboards as you discuss research problems and encourage one another
  • Publish and present your research at national conferences
  • Gain a solid foundation for graduate work in physics or related fields, like nuclear and particle physics, materials science, astrophysics, biophysics
  • Build a foundation in mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics

124 Credits

Degree Requirements by Major
Physics (BS)Physics (BA)Applied Physics (BS)

Physics vs. Applied Physics


  • 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.

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; engineering design, programming, mechanics, fluids, electrodynamics, optics, thermodynamics and more.
  • 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.

Develop Skills that Employers Want

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

Learn more about the self-driving car and microstar

Learn from Realistic Labs

Houghton’s small class size allows realistic labs to be a part of the lecture courses. There's no need to wait a week to carry them out in a separate lab section.

Experiential Learning

Each summer have the opportunity to conduct research at Houghton College’s Shannon Summer Research Institute. Work closely with faculty mentors on research projects for five weeks before you present your findings. Past research projects have included the following collaborations: Cornell University Center for Materials Research, SUNY Geneseo, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Ohio University Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics.

Program Outcomes

Students earning a bachelors in Physics from Houghton College are prepared for careers as a:

Employment Expected to Grow 9%

for Physicists
SourceU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Application Requirements


Start Your Application

Complete the application here
Apply Now

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 Physics from Houghton College is right for you.