Jun 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics, BS

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science and Engineering

103-112 credits


Physics is a branch of science that explores the basic principles that govern the physical world, including matter and energy, as well as their properties and interactions. Physics is often called the fundamental science because principles of physics are essential for the understanding of nearly all branches of the natural sciences. An undergraduate major in Physics provides a solid foundation upon which to build later work and study in physics, astronomy and engineering.

Why Consider a Physics Major?

A Bachelor’s degree in physics provides an excellent foundation in liberal arts and technology. The Physics BS degree can open a variety of doors for jobs in high tech industries, government labs, and as preparation for graduate school. Recent graduates have found positions in a variety of fields including engineering, software development, optoelectronics, failure analysis, and education, among many others. Many graduates have found the skills acquired in our degree program have prepared them for further academic studies in physics, astronomy, engineering, patent law, medical physics, medicine, and education, to name a few.

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Kevin Covey
Communications Facility 385A

Department Manager
Heather Greenlaw
Communications Facility 385

 Sample Careers

Astronomer | Engineer | Research and Development Scientist | Laboratory Technician | Software Developer | Technical Consultant | Educator | Industrial Hygienist | Geophysicist | Seismologist | Optical Devices Designer | Satellite Data Analyst | Science Writer

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

Students who intend to complete a major in Physics are urged to declare the major formally at an early point in their Western career so that a program of study can be planned carefully in collaboration with a departmental advisor. Contact the department office to declare in person or by email. Be sure to provide unofficial copies of your transcript(s). We will determine which of the courses you have already taken will be applied toward the major and develop a plan of study for the remaining coursework. If you are not sure which program option is for you, we can help. Declaring the major allows you to receive important information from the department, priority enrollment into required courses, and benefits such as accounts on department computers and access to department study space.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.