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Physics

Physics Department News

Physics Professor Honored with Teaching Award

Jan Tobochnik, the Dow Distinguished Professor in Natural Sciences,  has been named as the [...]

The William Randolph Hearst Undergraduate Research Fellowship at K

Thanks to a generous gift from The Hearst Foundation, Inc., Kalamazoo College has established [...]

Kalamazoo College Professor Péter Érdi Earns Award from International Neural Networks Societies

Péter Érdi, K’s Henry R. Luce Professor of Complex Systems Studies, served as the Program [...]

Program Information

Professors: Askew, Cole (Chair), Érdi, McDowell, Tobochnik

The physics curriculum at Kalamazoo College provides preparation for the potential physicist as well as a solid background for students in the other sciences. A student majoring in physics can pursue further study in physics, engineering, computer science, astronomy, medical physics, or environmental science. Other opportunities include teaching at the high school level and working in a business that involves modern technology, and other careers such as finance, patent law, and technical editing.

Students interested in majoring in one of the physical sciences should plan to take CHEM 110, MATH 112-113, and PHYS 150 during the first two quarters of the first year.

Students with an AP score of 4 or 5 on the Physics C-Mechanics exam will also be granted credit in PHYS 150 and should begin their sequence with PHYS 152. Students with the same score on the Physics C-E&M exam will also be granted credit in PHYS 152 and should begin their sequence with PHYS 220. Students may also receive credit for PHYS 152 by receiving a 5,6, or 7 on the IB Physics HL exam.

Students planning on a major in physics should achieve at least "B" level academic work in the department by the time they complete PHY 220.

Students interested in engineering should consider the combined curriculum in engineering. This typically follows the program of the physics major during the first three years. (See the 3/2 Engineering Program description.)