Physics Major

Students in Introductory Physics Lab Launch a Rocket

The physics major is intended to prepare you for advanced study in physics or engineering, for teaching high school physics, for a career in industrial research and development, government research laboratories, or any career involving quantitative problem solving and analysis.


  • Starting with your freshman year you will have the opportunity to participate in project-based labs and research projects to obtain a first-hand appreciation of physics beyond the textbook.
  • During your four years at Simpson you will gain increasing skill in computational methods for mathematical modeling and solving complex problems in physics and engineering.
  • As a Simpson student you will gain hands-on experience with a wide range of electronic and laboratory instrumentation transferrable to physics research and industry.
  • You will be encouraged to work with faculty on faculty-student research projects. Research topics may include: experimental research in lasers, atomic physics, and quantum optics; or theoretical or computational research in elementary particle physics and dark matter.
  • The Simpson College physics club will connect you not only to our local community of scholars, but also to a national community through our national chapters of the Society of Physics Students and the Sigma Pi Sigma honor society.

Jobs and Internships

  • 3M Company
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • John Deere
  • NASA
  • Shazam
  • The Cyclotron Institute at Texas A&M University
  • Ames Research Laboratory

Courses Required

  • Phys 191 General Physics I
  • Phys 192 General Physics II
  • Phys 230 Modern Physics
  • Phys 271 Experimental Physics I (.5 course)
  • Phys 370 Physics Seminar (.25 course)
  • Phys 385 Capstone Completion (no credit)
Choose two of the following four courses:
  • Phys 310 Thermal Physics
  • Phys 320 Classical Mechanics
  • Phys 340 Electromagnetic Fields
  • Phys 360 Quantum Mechanics
Choose two and a half courses:
  • Physics Electives 200-level or above
Required Supporting Courses:
  • Math 151 Calculus I
  • Math 152 Calculus II
  • Math 251 Calculus III
  • Math 345 Differential Equations
In addition to the required courses specified above, physics students are encouraged to consider additional physics electives according to their career goals as well as the following supporting courses: Math 255 Linear Algebra, CmSc 150, (155) Fundamentals of Computing I (II), and Chem 101 (102) Bonds and Structures I

A Physics Success Story! Meet

Austin Roy ’13- Teaching Physics To Future Generations

2013 Simpson Grad Austin Roy achieves success at Dallas-Center Grimes High School

2013 alum Austin Roy uses his professors passions to instill the same drive In others.