Physics is the science of the elementary laws of nature. The laws of physics form the basis for virtually all of the STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The physics program at UMN Morris will prepare you for a career in physics, engineering, astronomy, and other physical sciences, as well as any career requiring analytical reasoning. It also offers a background suitable for graduate study or careers in industry, research, or teaching.

The curriculum focuses on analytical and quantitative skill development, incorporating a core of classical and modern physics. While you will take many classes in mathematics and physics, you will also have the flexibility to take additional courses that align with your particular career or personal interests.

The physics program at UMN Morris includes a rigorous sequence of introductory courses with well equipped laboratories, a core of advanced courses in classical mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics, and a broad selection of elective courses such as electronics, experimental physics, optics, statistical physics, and computer modeling.

Overall, you will develop skills in problem solving, team work, programming, and experimental and theoretical scientific work.

Student Learning Outcomes

By completing a degree in physics, you will be able to

  • understand the concepts of classical and modern physics; 
  • solve quantitative problems in the areas of classical and modern physics;
  • perform experimental work; and
  • effectively communicate, in form and content, both orally and in writing, the results of scientific work.

General Education Requirements

The University of Minnesota and its faculty are committed to providing an education that invites you to investigate the world from new perspectives, learn new ways of thinking, and grow as an active citizen and lifelong learner. The University’s general education requirements are designed to be integrated throughout your four-year undergraduate experience. These courses provide you an opportunity to explore fields outside your major and complement your major curriculum with a multidisciplinary perspective.

Careers & Graduate School


A physics degree is a powerful credential for recent graduates entering the workplace. With the increasing need for employees with strong high-tech experience, scores of technology firms are regularly in search of candidates who have the analytical and problem-solving skills developed while earning a physics degree.

UMN Morris physics graduates go on to a wide variety of careers in physics and other sciences, mathematics, engineering, law, business or entrepreneurship, technology, medicine, and government or international organizations. About one-third find full-time employment in the private sector, government agencies (including national laboratories), and in the education system. Some specific occupations include:

  • Astronomer
  • Computer programmer
  • Computer operations manager
  • Engineer
  • IT specialist
  • Meteorologist
  • Naval officer
  • Nuclear physicist
  • Peace Corps volunteer
  • Research scientist
  • Software analyst
  • Software engineer
  • Systems operator
  • Teacher

Graduate School

Two-thirds of UMN Morris physics graduates have pursued advanced degree programs, often going to graduate school for a masters degree in engineering or a doctorate in physics and related fields. Graduates have attended graduate programs all across the country, including:

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cornell University
  • Iowa State University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Ohio State University
  • Oregon State University
  • Purdue University
  • SUNY, Stony Brook
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Maryland
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison

Research & Engagement


As a physics student, you’ll have various opportunities, either through the university or through outside programs,  to productively collaborate with faculty in their research or to develop your own research. Past student research projects have included research in non-Newtonian fluids, on experimental design for magnetic resonance measurements in low fields, and for ice halo analysis in atmospheric observations. 

As a physics student, you may be able to present your research on campus and elsewhere, participate in the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium’s annual challenge, or become involved with the on campus telescope. .


Hone your teaching skills or just review basic concepts by becoming a teacher’s assistant or tutoring through the Peer-Assisted Learning program. Or join the highly active Physics Club to further cultivate your interests. You’re also encouraged to participate in a study abroad program.

Quick Facts

Program Offerings
  • Major
  • Minor


University of Minnesota Morris
Welcome Center
600 E Fourth Street
Morris, MN 56267