Academics

Why study physics?

Students working wtih equipment

In the study of physics at Western Michigan University, students examine the foundations of the world in which we live, from the very large to the incredibly small.

In a sense, physics provides the underpinnings for many of the other sciences. For example, in physics you may not learn the rate of a specific chemical reaction, but you will learn why chemistry works the way it does.

Physics is concerned with the most fundamental interactions between matter and energy, the way matter may be created from energy and vice-versa, and the ultimate fate of the universe!

Yet despite its extremely broad scope, the study of physics has contributed countless practical applications—critically important tools such as the x-ray, as well as everyday items we can’t imagine living without, such as cellular phones, computers and microwave ovens.

Instead of asking, “How is physics used in real life?” a better question would be “How isn’t physics used?”

physics at wmu

Undergraduate programs

Graduate programs

Course offerings by semester

Information about this exciting field of study

American Physical Society—Why Study Physics?

American Institute of Physics

Physics and Astronomy Online

Physics Today magazine

National Association of Colleges and Employers
Physics majors at the bachelor's degree level are expected to be the top paid science major in 2016.

Pathways to Science
A resource toolbox for students at all levels. Great information regarding preparing applications, summer research experiences, grad school and postdoc experiences.