Energy and matter. Time and Space. Fields, particles and wavefunctions. Learn about the fundamental nature of the universe.

Department of Physics

We offer the B.A. in Physics and the B.S. in Engineering Physics, as well as a minor in Physics. Students work in a rigorous but supportive environment, getting immediate access to professors and research opportunities to prepare them for future graduate or technical careers.

The B.A. in Physics provides a rigorous foundation in basic science, while allowing flexibility in tailoring your education to match your interests. Students often combine this with a second major, or with secondary teaching licensure. The B.S. in Engineering Physics expands on the foundation with a particular focus on applications. It can prepare students for technical careers or advanced study in a wide variety of areas.

Why Study Physics at Otterbein?

Our department is small and welcoming. You get direct, personal instruction from our highly accomplished faculty – nationally known for research, and award-winning teachers – in both lecture and laboratories. Don’t want to get lost in the crowd at a big school? Study with us!

At the same time, we offer a depth and challenge to rival anyone. Our broad program of theoretical and experimental physics offerings prepares students for the most demanding graduate programs or professional careers. A novel feature of our program is the integration of computational methods and simulation throughout the entire physics curriculum, ensuring that graduates have the technological mastery to solve real world problems.

In addition, physics students at Otterbein have significant research opportunities, including funded opportunities in the summers. Faculty members are active in both experimental and theoretical research. Experimental work is carried out at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, with support from the National Science Foundation.

The Columbus area is also rich with high-tech companies, offering many local opportunities for internships and professional development.

Finally, Otterbein’s focus on integrative learning will immerse you in the liberal arts, giving you a deeper awareness of connections across disciplines as well as developing your skills in writing and speaking.

Why Study Engineering Physics at Otterbein?

Do you love physics, but want a job designing and building? Do both!

You can pursue applied physics with our  Engineering Physics degree, which combines courses from the Physics and Engineering programs to create a personalized degree option. This program, like the regular physics major, provides a rigorous grounding in fundamental physics, critical thinking and creative problem solving, and provides broad practical training in science and technology. The addition of engineering courses gives students practical experience with the processes of design, development, and deployment that are used in real-world applications.

Why Study to be a Physics Teacher at Otterbein?

The world needs good physics and science teachers in high schools. We team up with the Otterbein Department of Education to offer a degree in Physics with a Secondary Teaching Licensure. Courses taught within the Department of Physics use best-practices in teaching, so you will get first-hand experience in learning physics with evidence-based pedagogical practices.

Work-study and supplemental-instruction opportunities abound for those who want to start practicing teaching skills within the department.

Are you curious about the physical universe? Want to know about subatomic particles or how atoms behave when cooled down almost to absolute zero? Then come study with us!