Undergraduate Physics

Physicists study the natural world. We help you to develop tools to understand how the world works at the most fundamental level. As a student in this discipline, you’ll learn to build mathematical models that predict and explain our observations of the natural world, to design and conduct experiments to explore physical systems, and to think critically about data and evidence in order to construct new understandings of how the world works.

Program Highlights

  • Our new Fab Lab opened in Spring 2019 and provides students access to equipment such as 3-D printers, milling machines, and laser cutters. The facility will provide ample opportunities for student directed projects, as well as new courses, including Introduction to Engineering and Engineering Modeling and Design. The Fab Lab will be open to students from across campus, not just physics majors.  

  • All of your introductory physics courses are taught using a project-based approach, where students actively engage with the material on a daily basis in an integrated lecture/lab format.  

  • Each unit is structured around a real-world problem and culminates in a project that applies physics knowledge to solve that problem.  

  • Class sizes are small, with no more than 20 students in introductory courses, and typically between 8 and 10 students in upper-level courses.  

  •  Faculty advisors help students to tailor their physics education by choosing courses and finding summer research or internship opportunities that are aligned with your career goals.

Career Outcomes

As a professional physicist you may work in research in an academic or laboratory setting. Also, strong analytical and mathematical problem solving skills, developed as part of the Physics major, are valued in many professions. Physics majors often find careers in engineering, education, finance and business, information technology, or other STEM related fields. 

Collaborative Programs

Edgewood College and Madison College have a partnership that allows students to easily transfer coursework between the two institutions. Edgewood College students may take coursework in the following areas: Renewable Energy, Electrical Engineering Technology, Civil Engineering Technology, Mechanical Design and Automated Systems at Madison College. These courses allow you to gain technical skills, in addition to the more theoretical training in traditional physics courses. These technical skills will be useful for students who hope to work in STEM professions after graduation, including students who plan on attending graduate school. Courses taken in these areas are covered by your Edgewood College tuition, so that all scholarships and financial aid still apply.

Our Collaborative Program with the University of Wisconsin-Madison allows you to take one course per semester at UW and transfer it back to Edgewood College. This provides students to explore specialized coursework in science and engineering that is not available here at Edgewood College, and the credits count towards the elective credits for your Physics major. Tuition is covered by your Edgewood College tuition, so scholarships still apply. In addition, you may wish to take advantage of resources at UW-Madison, including library access and internship/research opportunities. 

Engineering Dual-Degree with UW-Platteville

If you are interested in a career in engineering, this is a great place for you! We have a dual degree program with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville that allows you to earn two degrees: a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Edgewood College and either a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering or a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

 Qualified students will spend 3 years at Edgewood building a strong foundation in physics, mathematics, and chemistry in our small classroom, high-engagement environment. Students can then apply for transfer to UW-Platteville, where after two years, they can expect to receive an ABET-accredited engineering degree. Students must achieve a GPA of at least 3.0 in their major coursework to apply for admission to this program.

Transfer Agreement with WI Technical College System

Through this agreement, you have an efficient pathway to transfer from Madison College to Edgewood College. Students who have completed an associate degree in one of the following areas are eligible to transfer into the Physics: Applied Science major at Edgewood College, which is designed to be completed in as little as two years:

  • Civil Engineering Technology
  • Electrical Engineering Technology
  • Mechanical Design Technology
  • Electromechanical Technology
  • Automated Manufacturing Systems Technology

If you are interested in this program, you should plan to major in Physics: Applied Science. The Applied Science concentration is essentially a reduced version of the standard physics major that gives you credit for the coursework taken while earning your associate degree. We will not transfer individual courses into the major, but have approved the associate degree programs as a whole.

You will likely have completed some of the general education requirements as part of your associate degree. For example, Written Communication, Economics, Critical Thinking, etc. We will review your transcript and give you credit for all general education courses that have already been completed. When you get to Edgewood College, you will be eligible to complete the Applied Associate to Bachelor Completion (ABC) general education requirements. Talk to your advisor for details.

  • Zachary-Greenwood-Schaeferty
    My time as a Physics student at Edgewood College has taught me so much more than the math behind our everyday lives; it taught me to be curious and observant of the world around us. My degree in Physics encouraged me to think creatively, problem solve, and most importantly, never take technology and everyday processes for face value. There is always something new and challenging to improve both yourself and the world we live in. That’s what my degree means to me.
    Zachary Greenwood-Schaftary ’17

Faculty Spotlight

  • Rachel Lancor

    Associate Professor of Physics

  • Brian Lancor