Physics (BS and BSPhy)

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If you want a hands-on learning experience, a physics degree program at Creighton University will deliver. Creighton’s Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Science in Physics (BSPhys) touch on important philosophical questions in theories of relativity and quantum mechanics, and uses mathematics, computers and high technology instrumentation as tools for research.

Majoring in physics affords you:

  • A deep understanding of nature
  • Unusual flexibility in your choice of career
  • Exceptional strength and stability in the job market

Physics Minor

The physics minor provides a thorough introduction to the theoretical and experimental methods extensively used by physical scientists and engineers. You’ll develop practical quantitative problem-solving skills, which are valuable regardless of your major.

Atmospheric Sciences Minor

The atmospheric sciences minor explores a wide range of investigation within synoptic meteorology, forecasting, global climatology and climate change. The course work in the minor is designed to give the student a grasp of the various sub-disciplines associated with the atmospheric sciences and allied physical sciences.

Biological Physics Minor

The biological physics minor provides you with an opportunity to apply the concepts and methods of the physicist to advance your understanding of the life sciences. Students pursuing careers in medicine or the life sciences can use this minor to improve their preparation for the interdisciplinary nature of modern science.

Outcomes

Creighton’s physics program is designed to combine a solid foundation in physics with adaptability to a wide range of personal interests and career objectives. Graduates with solid scientific backgrounds are in high demand.

Our programs lay the foundation for careers in fields, such as:

  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics and space exploration
  • Atomic physics
  • Biophysics
  • Computer science and technology
  • Electronics and photonics
  • Elementary particle physics
  • Holography
  • Laser physics
  • Mathematical physics
  • Medical physics
  • Nuclear physics
  • Optics
  • Solid state physics
  • Superconductivity

Graduates who chose physics as a major are also employed as physicians, dentists, lawyers and teachers.

The acceptance rate for Creighton physics majors applying to graduate or professional programs is over 95%. Graduates have entered a variety of engineering fields, including electrical engineering.

Job Placement

Recent physics graduates have accepted employment at:

  • University of Iowa
  • Fidelity National Financial
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Capuchin Volunteer Corps
  • Cerner Corporation

Advanced Study

Creighton physics graduates have been accepted to graduate programs at:

  • Tulane University
  • University of Rochester
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • University of Iowa
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Notre Dame University
  • Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health
  • Rice University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Mayo Catholic University

What You'll Learn

  • The fundamental concepts in each of the major areas of physics
  • How to use concepts from multiple areas of physics to solve problems
  • Conceptual problem solving
  • Application of mathematics to physics
  • Design, measurement and analysis techniques required in the laboratory
  • How to work as members of a team
  • How to synthesize current knowledge and apply it to new situations
  • How to work through ethical issues in physical science
  • How to effectively present the results of quantitative studies

Curriculum

Requirements to declare a major in physics:
To declare a major in physics, a student must have completed one of the general physics sequences: PHY 211 and PHY 212 or PHY 213 and PHY 214 or PHY 221 and PHY 212 or received an “A” or “B” in PHY 211, PHY 213, or PHY 221.

Teacher Certification

Students seeking certification in physics in secondary education must consult with the education department, the physics department, and with the appropriate agency in the state in which they intend to teach.

 Arts-Engineering Program

You may choose to transfer to an engineering school after graduation or at an earlier point in your academic career. If you wish to earn an engineering degree after earning a Creighton degree, you might consider the applied physical analysis major in the physics department.

You can also obtain the equivalent of one or two years of pre-engineering study and then transfer to an engineering school.

A study of the first-year program at the engineering college of your choice will reveal those variations, which can be accommodated in your schedule. (Students wishing to spend a second year at Creighton before making application to an engineering school are advised to contact that school directly for explicit approval of a second-year schedule.)

A formal agreement exists between Creighton University and Detroit-Mercy’s Engineering School, but students should not consider this to be their only option.

Details on Minors

Student Organizations

  • Sigma Pi Sigma

    Sigma Pi Sigma is the national honor society in physics, with hundreds of chartered chapters throughout the country. Creighton University’s chapter, The Society of Physics Students, was chartered in 1982.

    The society awards distinction to students of high scholarship and promotes student interest in research and advanced study, and encourages a spirit of friendship and professionalism among members. It also promotes interest in physics on campus.

Research Opportunities

Undergraduate and graduate physics students currently participate in research projects in areas such as:

  • Astro-particle Physics
  • Observational Astrophysics
  • Atomic Physics
  • Biophysical Optics
  • Computational Molecular Biophysics
  • Condensed Matter
  • Cosmic Ray Astrophysics
  • High Energy Nuclear Physics Group
  • Laser-Cooled Atoms

Visit the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship or the physics department research page for more information.

Admissions Requirements

Current students, see the university catalog for specific requirements for admission to the physics major.

Future students, learn more about Creighton University’s admissions requirements.

Tuition & Scholarships

Michael Anderson Award
Awarded to the student entering modern physics who had the best performance in general physics, following in the spirit of Major Michael Anderson.

Physics Alumni Award
Awarded to the senior physics major with the best performance on the modern physics section of the Graduate Comprehensive Exam.

Schrodinger Cat Award
Awarded to a junior or senior level female physics major actively engaged in research with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25.

Clare Boothe Luce Program for Women in Science Scholarship
Each year, Creighton University awards Clare Boothe Luce Scholarships for undergraduate women in science to students entering their junior or senior year. The scholarships cover the full cost of tuition and fees and include a housing and book allowance. The scholarships are awarded to female students majoring in the natural sciences, mathematics or computer science and who intend to pursue graduate degrees in one of these fields. Students receiving the scholarship are expected to conduct research in their field.

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