With a physics major, you can study the universe from the largest galaxies to the smallest particles. Physics is the most fundamental science and an integral part of many other disciplines, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, and engineering.
You’ll take courses in classical and quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics. Since physics incorporates so many other sciences, it’s a versatile degree. Employment rates for physics majors are among the highest nationwide.
Many graduates go on to careers as science educators or as physicists in national and international labs, and others pursue engineering. Because our curriculum is lab-based, you’ll work closely with other students and professors.
Physics students are encouraged to participate in student-faculty research teams. Some research projects are done on campus in the Sagan Energy Research Lab or the Nanoscience Lab, while others involve trips to the Friedman Field Station in Maine. Students pursuing the Astrophysics concentration can work on projects that will take them as far as Madrid and the Canary Islands. Recent projects have studied wind turbines, geodesic domes, analysis of vibrating strings, methane monitoring of landfills, wireless remote sensors, and x-ray spectroscopy.
Alumnus Nathaniel Steinsultz, noted for his research work with Suffolk professors, won the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Award for Math, Science, and Engineering in 2010—an honor reserved for the top 300 science students in the country.
You can choose a concentration in astrophysics, the study of celestial bodies. Many students who pursue this concentration go on to work in the fields of astronomy and computational astrophysical modeling. This program is immersive and travel-based, with a study abroad program in Spain during either the sophomore or junior year.
During your junior and senior year, you can also work on a two-year-long capstone research project with faculty in Spain and here in Boston. In addition to working as a teaching assistant in our campus labs, you’ll have the chance to travel wherever science calls. Recent visits include the Canary Islands and the Gran Telescopio Canarias in La Palma, Spain. Through the study abroad program, you’ll work closely with professional astronomers at top observatories and at the Centro de Astriobiología in Madrid.
Planetary Science Concentration
Are you interested in what the earth and other planets are made of? In the Planetary Science Concentration, you can explore the physical and chemical nature of the earth and planets in the solar system. Learn principles of mathematics, applied physics, and computational technology that will help you investigate the land close to home, around the globe, and maybe even beyond.
This concentration is ideal preparation for a career in the earth and space sciences, including geology, the energy industry, and environmental policy and protection.
Society of Physics Students
The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association focused on helping students develop the well-rounded skillset needed to succeed beyond the classroom. Membership is open to anyone interested in physics. In addition to physics majors, members include majors in chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, medicine, and other fields.
Suffolk has a vibrant physics club, part of the National Society of Physics Students. This network connects you to students and events at more than 200 colleges nationwide, many right here in Boston. You’ll also have the chance to present papers and research at national and international conferences, with faculty guidance.
The SPS helps students become contributing members of the professional community. Course work develops only one range of skills. Other skills needed to flourish professionally include effective communication and personal interactions, leadership experience, establishing a personal network of contacts, presenting scholarly work in professional meetings and journals, and providing outreach services to the campus and local communities.