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For more information, please contact the Chair of the Physics Department:

Dr. James Pientka
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(716) 375-2007
De La Roche Suite 121-A

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What Can I Do With This Major?



The program in physics is designed to provide opportunities for the undergraduate to develop the skills essential for graduate school, industry, government service and teaching. The Department offers two B.S. degree programs:
  • traditional physics
  • engineering physics
In addition, we realize out role in relation to other departments and give the undergraduate the broad fundamentals of physics so that they may serve as a foundation for the other sciences. A broad range of physical science courses are offered as electives.
Physics graduates at SBU have gone on to graduate study and/or employment in a variety of scientific and engineering fields: physics, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, electro-optics, systems engineering, biophysics, medicine, computer programming, oceanography, and financial engineering. A sampling may be seen on the Physics Alumni page.

More general information about pursuing a career in physics or a related field may be found at the American Institute of Physics website.

Individualized attention from full-time faculty

All physics courses are normally taught by full-time faculty members possessing a Ph.D. in physics, and classes are small. In addition, departmental majors each may receive individualized attention from the faculty on academic matters outside of the classroom.

Faculty have conducted research in computational physics, nuclear structure, solid-state physics and theoretical physics. Qualified students may be invited, at times, to participate actively in the research projects.

Physics majors are encouraged to participate in the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program or in a summer internship. One such REU or internship experience can serve as a physics elective course. Often, during an REU or internship a student makes contacts which lead directly to employment or to admission to a graduate program. For more information, see our REUs & Summer Internships page.

Advanced physics majors have the opportunity to serve the Department as teaching aides in the Introductory Physics Laboratory and Astronomy Laboratory classes. Undergraduate teaching aides receive a small amount of monetary compensation. This service provides the students with valuable professional experience and helps reinforce their own mastery of the subject.

Join the Orion Astronomy Club

The Department of Physics operates the SBU Observatory, which is equipped with an 11-inch Schmidt-Cassegrainian telescope. Interested students may participate in the Orion Astronomy Club.

A chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma, the National Physics Honor Society, has been established to give recognition to outstanding students.

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