Explore the largest galaxies to the smallest subatomic particles with a major or minor in physics. The basis for other sciences, physics is the study of the fundamental principles and mysteries that govern existence itself; and provides a solid foundation for any scientific or technical career. Develop your analytical and problem-solving skills with a dedicated faculty mentor who will guide you through the process of conducting your own research, and be with you every step of the way. 

Physics up close In and Beyond the Classroom


All physics majors complete a year-long advanced laboratory sequence and learn modern techniques using experimental apparatus like lasers, spectrometers, photomultipliers, radioactive sources, and detectors. Working closely with a faculty member, you will conduct a semester-long research project and produce an original investigation from start to finish.

What’s more, you’ll have opportunities to complete paid summer research, exploring questions under the guidance of a faculty mentor, though the Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

Physics student smiles in front of her research presentation board
Professor with student studying physics equations in a classroom for research.

advising and mentorship

With multiple opportunities for small group problem-solving and research presentation, RMC physics majors stand out from other physics graduates as exceptional communicators and team members. At RMC, you even receive personalized mentoring from faculty members as you work through the application process for graduate school or the workforce. 

High-impact internships

It doesn’t get cooler than this. Majoring in physics opens doors to inspiring internships at:

  • Naval Center Warfare Division Dahlgren Division
  • NASA Langley Research Center
  • Fermi National Laboratory

Global Education

As part of a unique J-term course called Physics of Light, students recently explored Wroxton and London, England in a hands-on travel course that focuses on laboratory investigations of light and explores light from a conceptual and historical perspective. The experiences abroad helped studnts discover the concepts of light and shadow; pigments and colors; mirrors and lenses; and wave particle duality amidst the historical places associated with the development of light theory.  

  • 33%
    of RMC physics graduates are women (2017-2022) surpassing the 21% national average
  • 1
    Keeble Observatory housed by the Department of Physics built in 1872
  • 186,000
    miles per second is the speed of light
A group of students studying engineering physics standing around a baby pool observing a student piloting a self-made boat during the mousetrap boat challenge with Professor Jim McLeskey

Physics in full Courses You Won’t Want to Miss

(A very small sample)

PHYS 105

Hitchhiker’s Guide to Physics

Explore the physical world and your understanding of the objects and processes that surround you. Student-driven topics of interest include the conservation of energy and momentum; principles of thermodynamics; electricity and magnetism; and the relativity of time and space.

PHYS 321

Intermediate Physics Lab

Practice modern laboratory techniques using lasers, optical and magnetic spectrometers, interferometers, photomultipliers, radioactive sources and detectors to reproduce some of the pivotal results contributing to the development of modern physics. 

PHYS 340

Electricity and Magnetism

A rigorous exploration of classical electromagnetic theory, this course focuses on the study of electric and magnetic phenomena, including static electric and magnetic fields, and their interactions with matter. 

Opportunities Worth Grabbing

Popular activities and programs among physics majors
Physics of light student looking through a lens

Society of Physics

The premier club for students in Physics and related fields, liaising with the member societies of the American Institute of Physics

Sigma Pi Sigma

The Physics Honor Society

From Here To What you can do with a Physics degree from RMC.

Anshu Sharma '21

Anshu Sharma ’21

Software Developer at Cydecor
Doctoral Candidate, Computer Science
College of William & Mary

“At Randolph-Macon, I learned that I can and should talk with people of various academic and professional backgrounds, that I should take advantage of the events that I can, and that learning to communicate effectively is vital to grow professionally and academically.”

bekah polen ’22

Doctoral Candidate, Physics
Duke University

Henry D. Castillo ’15

TD Lithography Module Engineer
Intel Corporation

Steven Lohrey ’16

Mechanical Engineer
Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division

Connor Hoerr ’15


A man in a pink shirt smiling against a black background.

David Sullivan ’14

Software Engineering Manager

“My time at Randolph-Macon taught me how to learn. It also taught me the importance of a holistic approach to problem solving, interdisciplinary studies, and collaboration. Because of all of this, along with the network of friends, professors, coaches, and all Yellow Jackets alike, I will always consider my time at RMC to be some of most formative years of my life.”


Senior Director, Applied Global Services
Applied Materials, Inc.

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Get Ready Discover Physics at RMC.