Group of Hamline students and professors using an electron microscope

Physics Majors

Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts

Your physics degree is a stepping stone to an advanced degree and career in physics or engineering. With tracks in energy and environmental science, materials science, computation, innovation, and engineering, Hamline's physics department provides a skills-based education that prepares you for almost any technical field.

You'll have countless research opportunities—led by students and professors alike—at your fingertips, in fields from astrophysics, renewable energy and materials science to environmental science, optics, and computational physics. Hamline physics students frequently participate in national research competitions such as the EPA student design competition and the NASA-funded MnSGC quadcopter challenge. We host distinguished scholars every year at the annual Malmstrom Lecture in physics, which has drawn around a dozen Nobel laureates to our campus.

We partner with Washington University to offer a dual degree program for students to earn both a liberal arts degree and an undergraduate or master's engineering degree, and our students participate in internships with local Fortune 500 employers such as 3M, Honeywell, Medtronic, and more.

Student research opportunities

At Hamline, students participate in research with faculty as early as their first year, something usually reserved for graduate students at other institutions. You'll design and conduct your own research project based on your individual interests and goals.

The list of possible research projects is as varied as our students. For example, picture yourself:

  • Developing energy conversion and storage devices like solar cells, lithium ion batteries, and supercapacitors
  • Testing how household materials could improve telemedicine through inexpensive and accessible material for determining a patient's health
  • Applying new computer image processing techniques to help telescopes in light-polluted areas detect “exoplanets”—planets around other stars
  • Using nanoscale materials and developing methods to monitor drinking water quality for rural and urban communities
  • Analyzing microstructures and compositions of materials used in forensic science, materials science, pharmaceuticals, and anthropology with our newly acquired environmental scanning electron microscope

During your research process, you’ll collaborate with scientists at major research institutions, publish your research in scientific journals, and present your work at local, regional, and national conferences. Physics students also frequently participate in national research competitions such as the EPA Student Design Competition and the NASA-funded MnSGC quadcopter challenge.

Paid internships for physics students

We make sure you leave Hamline with work experience in the field of physics on your resume, and the opportunities are boundless. Whether you want to explore a career in aeronautics, medical equipment development, civil engineering, or more, we have paid internship opportunities for you.

Examples of past physics student internships include:

  • 3M, technical aide
  • Image Sensing Systems, algorithm engineering Intern
  • Honeywell, data science intern
  • Seagate, firmware engineer Intern
  • Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, forensic lab intern
  • Donaldson Co., Inc., engineering intern
  • Pace Analytical, support coordinator
  • Thomson Reuters, software engineer intern

Explore career paths

Our innovative courses and one-on-one mentoring by faculty will give you the tools to succeed in a variety of jobs, such as:

  • Naval nuclear reactors engineer
  • Lead product manufacturing engineer, aerospace division
  • Electromagnetic interference and compliance test engineer
  • Patent attorney
  • Associate software engineer
  • Healthcare analyst
  • Science museum design team instructor
  • Analytics data scientist

You can put your degree to work in any number of fields, including:

  • Materials science
  • Nuclear physics
  • Medical physics
  • Astrophysics
  • Data science
  • Science education
  • Consulting
  • Computer systems engineering

Take your studies further with graduate school

Our graduates have gone on to graduate schools across the country in the pursuit of master’s and doctoral degrees. Examples of programs and schools include:

  • PhD in physics, Purdue University
  • Master of aeronautics and astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • PhD in bioengineering and biomedical engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • PhD in engineering mechanics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • PhD in applied ocean sciences, University of California, San Diego
  • PhD in materials science, University of Minnesota

Learn more about physics at Hamline

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Physics news

Lifeng Dong Lecture
January 29 2024 / Newsroom

Dong Delivers Invited Research Talk in China

Lifeng Dong, Professor and the Emma K. and Carl R. N. Malmstrom Endowed Chair in Physics, was honored to participate in an Expert Roundtable Forum at...
Physics students
August 28 2023 / Inside Hamline News

Physics Students and Faculty Win National Student Design Competition

A team of physics students - Tommy Andersen, Kiera Christianson, Zach Griebel, and Shane Mettler - recently won the US Environmental Protection Agency...
Hamline students in a lab
August 7 2023 / Newsroom

Hamline Awarded EPA Grant to Research Lead Detection in Drinking Water

Hamline University received a $24,975 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency this month to research enhanced methods of detecting lead ions in...