Physics

Programs offered
  • Physics (majors and minor)
  • Physics with Education Focus (major)

When you major or minor in Physics, you study the changes, interactions, and properties of matter and energy. As a result, you learn how physics strongly influences humankind’s understanding of nature and how engineers create new technology based on the principles first discovered by physicists, contributing to the social economics and changes.

The Department of Physics is dedicated to educating and preparing students for a variety of careers in science, education, engineering, and business. We seek to provide a broad program of studies in theoretical and applied physics informed by a Christian worldview, graduating students who are equipped for continued graduate study, professional careers, and service.

Find out more about this department’s mission, vision, and learning outcomes.

Physics (BS)

VIEW DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

The bachelor of science in Physics major provides you with the preparation you need for graduate studies or professional careers in physics.

  • A minimum 99 credits are required for this major, including 47 upper-division credits.
  • In addition to the course requirements, you must complete a Senior Research Project.
  • PHY 4899 Natural Sciences Capstone is offered for 1 credit, but you must take it two times to meet the requirement.
  • The physics curriculum is designed to provide you with the practice and analytical tools necessary to solve complex problems.
  • You will have dedicated teaching laboratories, upper-division research space, and upper-division laboratory facilities in Otto Miller Hall.

Physics (BA) and Physics with Education Focus (BA)

VIEW DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

VIEW DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

This option is suited for you if you are preparing to teach physics at the secondary level, or if you are majoring in another science, math, or engineering discipline.

  • A minimum 78–79 credits are required for these majors, including 36 upper-division credits.
  • You will have a variety of laboratory equipment available to support your coursework and independent-study activities.
  • You will have dedicated teaching laboratories, upper-division research space, and upper-division laboratory facilities in Otto Miller Hall.
  • The physics curriculum is designed to provide you with the practice and analytical tools necessary to solve complex problems.
  • You will learn through active engagement and hands-on experience.

Physics minor

VIEW DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

  • A minimum 35 credits are required for this minor, including 15 upper-division credits.
  • You must have a minimum 2.5 GPA in at least two physics courses prior to applying for a Physics minor. 

entering and completing a major or minor

In order to earn a degree, you must complete an academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, and students are not required to enter a major immediately upon admission to the University. However, you should enter a major by the end of your sophomore year to help ensure your timely completion of a degree. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should identify and enter their major within their first two quarters at SPU.

  • If this is your first quarter at SPU and you wish to enter a major or minor in this department, you may select a program by using the online Major or Minor Application form. You will receive an email notification of acceptance.
  • If you are an SPU student with an SPU cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, use the online Major or Minor Application form to select your major or minor. You will receive an email notification of acceptance. Students on academic probation (with an SPU cumulative GPA below 2.0) will not be permitted to enter a new major or minor until they regain good academic standing.
  • If you plan to pursue teacher education, maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA after admission to the major.
  • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
  • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year of admittance to the major or minor.

Future teachers

Elementary Teacher Certification

If you plan to obtain elementary Residency Teacher Certification and are interested in physics, you must major in the Integrated Studies major with a concentration in Natural Sciences.

  • This concentration consists of courses in biology, physics, and chemistry.
  • The advisor for the mathematics concentration is Dr. Kara Gray (grayk5@spu.edu).

Secondary Teacher Certification

If you plan to obtain secondary Residency Teacher Certification with an endorsement in Physics, you should pursue a BA in Physics With Education Focus, and you must also complete Requirements for Secondary Certification through the School of Education.

If you intend to become a teacher, visit the School of Education for complete information.

Otto Miller Hall at Seattle Pacific University

Physics Department

Visit the Physics Department and see how a degree in Physics can help you achieve your goals and make a difference in the world.

Time Schedule: Physics

Course planning

Suggested course sequences help you complete your degree in a timely manner.

SPU students in a physics class

Physics Education Research

SPU Physics is home to a thriving Physics Education Research Group to help improve the learning and teaching of physics.