Program Information

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.)


Tom Askew, Professor of Physics. BA Gordon College MS, PhD University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Arthur Cole (Chair), Associate Professor of Physics. BA Williams College MS, PhD Ohio State University

Peter Erdi, Luce Professor of Complex Systems Studies. MSc L. Eotvos University, Budapest MSc Technical University of Budapest PhD, DSc Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Jan Tobochnik, Dow Distinguished Professor in the Natural Sciences. BA Amherst College PhD Cornell University

David Wilson, Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Assistant Professor of Physics. BS Michigan Technological University MS, PhD University of Michigan


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