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Physics – The Foundation for Everything

Physics can be considered the most fundamental of sciences, because, ultimately, all natural laws are laws of physics. By studying how fundamental principles can be applied to produce new insights, physics majors become near-universal problem solvers.

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2degree options: Physics/Physics Licensure
3program-specific undergraduate scholarships
1required research experience

What Will I Learn?

The fundamental areas of physics are

  • Mechanics: The study of forces, particles and their interactions. The foundation for phenomena such as stability of buildings and jet propulsion.
  • Electrodynamics: The study of electromagnetic fields. The foundation for wireless communication.
  • Quantum mechanics: The study of the amazing world at the nanoscale and beyond. The final frontier for computer design and approaches to computing.
  • Relativity: The study of gravity and particles at high speeds. The new frontier for study of the early universe.

Active areas of research include computer simulations of solid-state and polymer systems, nuclear theory, experimental atomic and molecular physics, optics and computational ocean acoustics. Undergraduates will participate in a research project as part of the curriculum.

Mike Vera, Advisor to the Society of Physics Students

Our chapter of the Society of Physics Students regularly visits local schools and presents science demonstrations intended to excite interest in science among younger students. Members also participate in regional meetings and travel to sites of scientific interest.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

Programs at the University of Southern Mississippi that prepare students for licensure in Physics (Licensure), B.S. is designed to meet the licensure standards set by the Mississippi Department of Education.  The University of Southern Mississippi cannot determine whether a particular licensure program meets requirements for licensure outside of the State of Mississippi. Students seeking licensure in another state are advised to contact the appropriate licensing board in that state to determine specific requirements of guidelines for reciprocity.  For a list of the state departments of education that oversee professional teaching licensure, see the U.S. Department of Education website - State Contacts  page. 

For questions, please contact Dr. Christopher Sirola, Christopher.SirolaFREEMississippi, 601-266-4935.


Degree Plan Availability
Physics (Physics Education) BSHattiesburg
Physics BSHattiesburg
Physics Minor
  • Engineering
  • Research
  • Education
  • Computer hardware and software
  • Erica Bloor, 2013,
    Astrophysics Ph.D. Student and Graduate Research Assistant, Florida State University
  • Andrew Giovengo, 2017, 
    Geographic Data Scientist, Oak Ridge National Lab
  • W. Tyler McCleery, 2010, 
    Postdoctoral Researcher at John Innes Center, Norwich, UK
  • Kileigh Petrus, 2009, 
    Therapeutic Medical Physicist at Texas Oncology, Dallas, TX