Office: 121 Houghton Hall

(716) 673-3301

Justin Conroy, Chairperson



The discipline of physics is basic among the sciences and focuses on the study of natural phenomena. Its centrality and emphasis on problem solving makes an undergraduate degree in physics an excellent beginning for diverse careers well beyond the discipline, such as in engineering, biophysics, technical business, patent law, medicine, and radiation therapy to name a few. Within physics itself, research and development opportunities are growing as new fields such as nanotechnology, quantum computing, and new energy technologies mature. A steady demand for teachers at the high school and college level provides additional attractive physics careers. Within the department students find many opportunities for independent study and research with faculty. An active student club provides additional research experiences, travel opportunities to conferences, and social events. Some students also engage in internships with businesses and national laboratories.

The Department of Physics offers a major with several different concentrations including pre-law and pre-med in addition to more traditional programs, a minor, a major through the 3-2 Cooperative Engineering program, an initial certification to teach physics in secondary school, interdisciplinary majors in Geophysics and Mathematics-Physics (with the Geosciences and Mathematical Sciences departments, respectively), a major in Industrial Management, and courses to complement majors in other areas.

It is of special note that students may double major in Physics and Industrial Management, if they choose to do so. Interested students should see their academic advisor for details.

Student Honors and Awards

Student honors and awards presented by the Department of Physics include the Hack Arroe Memorial Scholarship Award, the John J. Connelly Physics Scholarship Incentive Award, the John J. Connelly Physics Peer Recognition Award, and the Physics Department Scholarship Award. Students should contact the Department of Physics chairperson for additional details on these awards. Specific awards for Cooperative Engineering students are also available (see section on Cooperative Engineering)