Transcending space and time

If you love learning about the world around you through exploration of the fundamentals while applying quantitative reasoning to understand them, the Alfred University Physics major is for you. We offer several concentrations in the Physics curriculum -- including General, Solid-State, and Astrophysics -- giving you the opportunity to create a plan of study as unique to your educational and career interests as you are.


Campus Locations

Main Campus - Alfred, NY


Physics (BA)



First and Second Years:

  • PHYS 125 Physics I
  • PHYS 126 Physics II
  • PHYS 325 Elementary Optics
  • PHYS 326 Elementary Modern Physics

Third and Fourth years:

  • PHYS 341 Advanced Physics Laboratory
  • PHYS 401 Quantum Physics
  • PHYS 421 Statistical and Thermal Physics
  • PHYS 423 Advanced Mechanics
  • PHYS 424 Advanced Electricity and Magnetism

Plus a minimum of eight credit hours from one of the four concentrations:

I. General Physics concentration – 8 credits from among:

  • Any of the courses outlined in the other concentrations, with no more than four credits from any one concentration.

II. Astrophysics concentration – 8 credits from among:

  • ASTR 302 Planetary Science
  • ASTR 303 Stellar Astronomy
  • ASTR 304 Galactic Astronomy and Cosmology
  • ASTR 307 Observational Astronomy

III. Solid State Physics concentration – 8 credits from among:

  • CEMS 344 Properties II: Electrical, Magnetic, and Optical
  • CEMS 347 Spectroscopy
  • CEMS 349 X-ray Characterization
  • CEMS 501 Solid State Physics*

*seniors in good standing may, with permission of instructor, take a 500-level graduate course
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 115

IV. Mechanical Systems concentration – 8 credits from among:

  • MECH 321 Thermodynamics II
  • MECH 324 Fluid Mechanics I
  • MECH 415 Mechanical Vibrations I
  • MECH 424 Fluid Mechanics II

View general education requirements.

In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the Interdepartmental Major, as well as the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences general education requirements, you'll be required to complete the College's First Year Experience Program or Transfer Student Program.

Physics Minor:

  • PHYS 125 Physics I
  • PHYS 126 Physics II
  • PHYS 325 Elementary Optics
  • PHYS 326 Elementary Modern Physics
  • 8 hours of 300 and/or 400 level courses in physics (4 hours may be taken in astronomy).

*Note: Since 300 and 400 level physics courses are only offered in alternate years, be careful scheduling.

A degree in Physics prepares students for a wide range of careers. According to the Institute of Physics, about one third of all physicists work in public service industries, one third in private industry, and one third in secondary and higher education. Physics graduates are qualified to work in career fields such as astronomy, medicine, engineering, research, computing, and even finance.

Recent examples include:

  • Teaching Assistant – University of Toledo
  • Measurements Engineer – Corning Incorporated
  • Toxicologist – New York Hospital
  • Engineer – EMS Technologies
  • Engineer – Mercury Corporation

Similar Programs

Majoring in Physics but like the idea of having more career options after graduation? You should consider adding a second major or minor to your plan of study.

All Undergraduate Programs