A field as vast as the universe.
MBU students can declare a major in Physics until August 2024.
Students who have already declared a major or will declare one from the existing course catalog prior to August 2024 will be able to complete their major on schedule through courses offered at Mary Baldwin.
Physics majors study matter and energy, and explore questions about the universe, technology, and how the world works. If you enjoy math and diving into complex topics requiring excellent problem-solving abilities, physics might be a good fit for you.
- Time to finish
- 4 years
- In person
- Bachelor of Science
Why Major in Physics at Mary Baldwin?
Small class sizes and close faculty mentorship makes the Mary Baldwin physics major and minor more accessible and less intimidating than physics programs at larger institutions. Offered in conjunction with Washington & Lee University, this major gives students experience in both classical and modern theories.
As a physics major at Mary Baldwin, you’ll have the opportunity to:
- Participate in hands-on learning experiences, including project-based courses and a senior thesis
- Gain research experience working alongside faculty members on campus or summer research with partner institutions and programs
- Attend — even present at — national physics conferences, such as the American Physical Society
- Get involved in Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society
- Learn from professors with expertise in areas like novel nanoelectronic devices
Choosing physics as your minor
Physics also makes an excellent minor. For example, pairing an applied mathematics major with a physics minor is especially attractive for students interested in preparing for graduate engineering programs.
What You’ll Learn
As a physics major, you’ll complete your core requirements through coursework at both Mary Baldwin and Washington & Lee. Given the interdisciplinary nature of physics, you’ll also have a chance to take electives from across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
Example core and elective classes include:
This laboratory-based course covers intro-level circuits — like basic DC Circuits, Ohm’s Law, Kirchoff’s Rules, resistance, Thevenin and Norton equivalents, op-amps, digital circuits, and transient circuits.
The branch of chemistry that establishes and develops theoretical foundations for the discipline. Start with an essentially macroscopic perspective, then learn the approach used to connect molecular properties to macroscopic phenomena.
Covers subjects like vectors, the dot and cross product, functions of several variables, partial derivatives, chain rule in multiple variables, directional derivatives and the gradient, and Lagrange multipliers.
Unique student support
The McCree Center for Life Success assists current students and alumni in finding the best opportunities throughout their career development. We work closely with both faculty and employers to identify how your valued education best matches the needs of today’s evolving marketplace.
After Graduation: What Can I Do With a Physics Degree?
With extreme problem-solving skills and plenty of hands-on experience, Mary Baldwin physics majors find professional success in a range of fields. Many pursue advanced degrees in order to further prepare for careers in academia, research, and medicine.
Careers That Matter
Physics graduates often teach in middle and high schools, and start careers in engineering or computer science.
Graduate School Opportunities
- Physics minors Elyse Levins ’22 and Colette Levins ’22 are both in PhD programs at the University of Oxford; Elyse in biomedical engineering, and Colette in atmospheric, oceanic, and planetary physics.
- Katherine Keegan ’22, physics minor, is pursuing a PhD in mathematics at Emory University through a competitive, prestigious U.S. Department of Energy’s Graduate Computations Science Fellowship program.
- Emma Rhodenizer ‘19, also a physics minor, graduated from medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2023.
Cost & Financial Aid
A great education is worth it. Here’s how Mary Baldwin helps you pay for it: Generous financial aid packages, a broad range of scholarships, transferring maximum credit hours from previous coursework or relevant work and life experiences — the list goes on. Our mission is to help you level up and bring your aspirations to life.
MBU helps you fast-track your path to a political science degree with the opportunity to transfer up to 18 credits (6 courses) through direct course equivalents from the Virginia Community Colleges System.
- Cost per credit hour: $486
- Credits required for a bachelor’s degree: 120