Physics at WMU

Visit the Department of Physics

Integral to the liberal arts environment, the study of physics is fundamentally important to thousands of students at Western Michigan University.

Students majoring in physics are in demand for careers in industry, government or teaching. Many go on to graduate study in physics, astronomy, education, engineering—even medicine and law. The intellectual challenges presented by this exciting field of study are significant, and the accomplishments of its students are widely recognized by professional schools. 

Many other majors, including engineering, chemistry and mathematics, require physics coursework. In fact, enrollment in our classes tops 3,400 each year.

Students with Dr. Asghar Kayani in physics laboratory

Our Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy programs prepare student researchers for careers in industry, academia and national laboratories, with concentrations in:

  • Atomic and nuclear physics, with potential applications in astrophysics
  • Condensed matter physics and material physics
  • Physics education (M.A. level only)
  • Applied work in conjunction with the College of Engineering

For students at all levels, our goals are to nurture an enthusiasm for learning and to convey the limitlessness of our modern world’s need and capacity for scientific discovery. In concert with this commitment to teaching, our faculty are involved in diverse areas of research—both on campus and at leading national and international laboratories. WMU is a premier, comprehensive, public research university. The faculty within our department receive more than $1.7 annually in external research funding.

Today, as in the times of Newton and Einstein, the study of physics lies at the forefront of human understanding. The students and faculty of the Department of Physics will continue to play an important role in solving the mysteries presented by our physical universe.