At Lawrence, we know truth is light. But what is light, really?

Questions like this find a home in our physics program, where you’ll explore the laws of the universe through individualized research, multidisciplinary courses, and collaborative experiences in professional laboratories. Whether you want to build a wind tunnel, explore distant galaxies, or write an algorithm to simulate quantum computing, learn directly from experts in their fields in a program that is designed to support your success at Lawrence and beyond.

Grace Weber poses for a portrait.

Student Perspective

“We were lucky enough to get a Wisconsin Space Grant, and that allowed us to get materials for our microscope and continue our research. Part of that was that I and my coworker were able to give an oral presentation at the Wisconsin Space Conference.” 

Grace Weber ‘24
Oshkosh, Wisconsin


The Scholar Athlete | This is Lawrence

Senior Ceara Larson, Natural Sciences Interdisciplinary Major (Biology-Physics) and Viking Softball Catcher, combines her work in class and on the field to research the biomechanics of a softball swing.

From atoms to asteroids, physics coursework lays the foundation for hands-on research and projects.

Explore requirements for a major or minor in physics, as well as typical coursework programs.

Professors with varied specialties and interests bring diverse perspectives to the physics program.

Aerial of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory campus near Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Oak Ridge Science Semester

Ready to put your physics skills to the test? Try a world class laboratory on for size during this unique research term experience for students interested in energy, engineering, geophysics, and more.

Four students gathered around laser

Rule a Laser Palace

Or at least research in one. You'll have access to high-level facilities including labs for lasers, computational physics, surface physics, plasma physics, and biophysics. 

The Chandler Senior Experience

The Senior Experience in the Department of Physics consists of an independent investigation tailored to the your goals in physics. You’ll make a formal project proposal to the department followed by one or two independent study courses with a faculty supervisor, culminating in a capstone thesis paper and an oral presentation of your work.

Recent Senior Experience projects include:

  • The Plausibility of Detecting the Casimir Force in an Undergraduate Laboratory
  • Polymer Field Theory: The Physics of Lines
  • Blade Design: The Efficacy of Vortex Generators
Three students sitting around a table in the makerspace looking at a wooden laser harp they constructed.

Get cooperative 

We're dedicated to teaching undergraduates, but Lawrence offers cooperative master's programs in engineering and optics through partnerships with schools like Washington University and University of Rochester.

Hand holding a magnifying glass inspects parchment


Experiential Learning Funds

Intern for a social justice organization. Work for elected officials. Simulate galaxy collisions. It's all possible with career exploration funding.

student taking measurements of clear liquid in beaker on an electric heating plate.

Physics Outcomes

From engineering to education and analytics to astronomy, physics students follow their passions. 

Can you picture yourself at Lawrence? Apply for admission.

The best way to find out if Lawrence is the university for you is by visiting.

Your virtual tour starts at the Arch but be sure to check out Steitz Hall, to explore physical science learning spaces.