Engineering and Physics at Providence College > Applied Physics Majors and Minors

Applied Physics Majors and Minors

Applied Physics Major

The Department of Engineering-Physics-Systems offers a cross-disciplinary program in applied physics that combines the traditional physics program with courses in systems science. The program is designed to build skills in problem solving, planning, and technical management while preparing students for a variety of career and/or graduate study options. A student’s first four semesters will provide three semesters of introduction to physics and a semester of introduction to mechanics. In the final four semesters, the student will take upper level physics courses that are required for the major. Physics majors are required to engage in two or more semesters of research and are also encouraged to pursue an undergraduate thesis project or internship. Students are awarded a B.S. degree in applied physics.

Students in our Applied Physics program receive a broad background in the liberal arts as well as the sciences. The program is intended to develop creative problem solvers for a position in systems analysis and design, problem solving in technical-managerial environments in industry and government and for graduate study in planning and administration, systems science, and operations research.

Please read the degree requirements in the course catalog.

Career possibilities for applied physics majors:

  • Medicine
  • Research
  • Forensics
  • Technical writer
  • Data analyst
  • Statistician
  • Engineering
  • Business
  • Law

Applied Physics/Secondary Education Major

The physics/secondary education major is offered for students interested in teaching at the high school level. This course of study has been carefully crafted to include the courses required for the secondary education certification as well as a solid base of knowledge in physics. A student following this course of study is well prepared to teach physics at the secondary level. The first semester of study s/he will take physics courses. In the second year of study education courses will be integrated into the students schedule along with physics courses. During the third year of study, the student will finish his/her physics courses. In the student’s final year of study the student will be able to student teach and any other courses the student takes will be education courses. The program requires that a student must take a basic skills test which is mandated by the Rhode Island Department of Education, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, and a minimum 2.0 average in Physics major courses. The student will be awarded a B.A. degree in physics with an emphasis in secondary education.  Please read the degree requirements in the course catalog.

Applied Physics Minor


In order to be a physics minor, a student must take 5 physics courses. The student is required to take the three-semester long introductory to physics, i.e. general physics 1 and 2 and modern physics. Then the student must take two additional physics courses of their choice.  Please read the minor requirements in the course catalog.

Systems Minor

A minor in systems science is available.  Please read the minor requirements in the course catalog for more information.