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Physics

The Randolph-Macon physics program offers three distinct areas of study: Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astrophysics. 

The Randolph-Macon Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astrophysics programs engage you in a personal exploration of these exciting and rewarding disciplines within the context of a traditional liberal arts education. You will be guided by a dedicated teaching faculty whose interests encompass such diverse areas as astrophysics, superconductors, electronics, computer modeling, non-destructive materials testing, solar energy technology, the physics of sports, and the magnetic properties of amorphous materials.

Physics Major or Minor

The study of the universe from the largest to the smallest possible scales is the province of physics. Yet it is not so much a body of knowledge as it is a disciplined way of looking and of asking questions. There are real benefits to pursuing the study of physics within a liberal arts environment. According to a survey conducted by the American Institute of Physics, more than half the students majoring in physics at the undergraduate level were at colleges not offering the Ph.D. degree, and some 40% of those who do pursue graduate degrees in physics come from colleges like Randolph-Macon. Learn more.

Engineering Physics Major or Minor

To be successful in today’s world of engineering, engineers need to have an understanding of physics and math as well as the ability to communicate well, to understand ethics and social responsibility, and to be able to work as a business person in a global econmony. The Engineering Physics major is a multidisciplinary field of study that blends courses from engineering, physics, and math and will prepare students for graduate studies in engineering as well as post-baccalaureate employment in many technical and applied science jobs. Learn more.

Astrophysics Minor

The minor offers students a broad introduction to the history and philosophy of modern astronomy as well as to the current state of research and knowledge in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics. Hands-on investigation and applied learning is available with the college’s Keeble Observatory. Learn more.

Studying physics and engineering in the context of a liberal arts education is an intellectually satisfying pursuit in its own right. The society of the next century will be shaped by the scientific and technological advances of the present. Science has left its imprint on history, politics, literature, and the fine arts. At Randolph-Macon College, your major is accompanied by studies with faculty and students across multiple disciplines. You and they will gain the ability to think about problems and explore the issues of the day from a well-rounded perspective.

Career and Post-Graduate Opportunities

In today's working world, new career paths are opening up that didn't even exist a few years ago, making this an exciting time for graduates of liberal arts colleges, who possess the problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and cross-disciplinary knowledge to address challenging issues in innovative ways.

Some of Our Recent Graduates

  • Hayley Williamson, 2013, Engineering Physics PhD Program at UVA
  • Ashley Lambers, 2012, staff scientist, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division
  • Kris Knopp, 2011, AAI Corporation
  • Enerel Munkhzul, 2011, Nuclear Engineering PhD Program at VCU
  • Rachel Walker, 2011,Chemistry PhD Program in at WVU
  • Andrew Willyard, 2010, Astrophysics Graduate Studies at VCU
  • Jennifer Green, 2010, staff scientist, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division
  • John Stone, 2010, Applied Physics PhD Program at UMass - Lowell
  • Andrea Gonzalez, 2010, IPKeys
  • Ronald Pandolfi, 2009, Physics PhD Program at UC-Merced
  • Robert Pullen, 2008, staff scientist, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division
  • Christopher Bass, 2008, PhD Medical Physics Program at VCU
  • Katherine Rueff, 2007, PhD Program in Astrophysics, University of Notre Dame
  • Brandon Sumpter, 2007, Civil Engineering Graduate Studies at George Mason University
  • Paulo Garcia, 2006, postdoctoral program in Biomedical Engineering at Virginia Tech
  • Elizabeth Griffin, 2006, high school physics teacher
  • Jay Jung, 2004, Physics PhD Program at the University of Stony Brook
  • Keith Weber, 2002, Baltimore County Police Department crash team investigation group