Student wiring up project for Physics research

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Why Study Physics?

Physics seeks to discover how the universe works. The UW-River Falls physics program ranks in the top 10% of undergraduate physics-producing schools in the country and will provide you with a lifetime of transferable skills. With multiple option areas including dual degree, physics education and pre-engineering programs, you’ll have access to personalized hands-on learning, extensive research opportunities, professional development and so much more.

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Skills and Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and apply physics principles to solve problems, maintain a lab journal and assess and use data.
  • Gain experience with instrumentation and develop proficiency in collecting and interpreting data.
  • Develop and apply simulation techniques and experimental design principles.
  • Practice collaboration, oral presentation, scientific writing and laboratory safety skills.
  • Develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills.


Types of Courses

  • Astrophysics
  • Calculus-Based Physics
  • Dynamics
  • Electronics: Circuits and Devices
  • Modern Physics
  • Nuclear and Particle Physics
  • Optics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Scientific Programming

“My favorite experience has been the opportunity to do undergraduate research with one of my physics professors. As a sophomore, I got my first grant from URSCA to build a fiber optic interferometer with fiber stretchers for use in the upper-level optics class on campus. I got to build something that students will use for years to come and learned a lot about fiber optics and interferometers in the process. I loved it so much that I am currently working on my second URSCA-funded project which involves building an ultrafast pulsed laser.”

– Ian Carter, physics education major, mathematics minor

4-Year Plan

Potential Careers

Physics majors can take many paths when selecting a career. A wide variety of specialty areas gives graduates lots of options in the workforce. Some examples of future careers include:

  • Design or Project Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • General Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Research Physicist or Assistant
  • Software Engineer
  • Systems Engineer or Analyst