Goals and Objectives

Our goal is to provide a broad foundation in the fundamentals of physics with an emphasis on developing laboratory skills. These skills provide students with hands-on experience applying general theories and techniques to solve a wide variety of problems.

Program and/or Curriculum

UW-River Falls has five different major options that enable a student to work with an adviser to tailor a program for a wide range of interests. In addition to two traditional physics options, we offer applied physics, a physics/engineering dual degree, education, two minor options, a pre-engineering program, and we participate in the broad field science program.


The physics faculty are committed to quality undergraduate teaching, and genuinely enjoy interacting with students. In addition to first-rate instruction in the classroom, there are numerous opportunities to work more extensively with faculty research on a number of topics ranging from lasers to astrophysics to liquid crystals and polymers.

Study Opportunities and Organizations

  • The internship program develops life-long career skills and provides paid summer experiences
    in industrial and research settings.
  • On- and off-campus externally funded projects employ students to work on projects like optical
    trapping with lasers and exploring the universe using novel neutrino and cosmic ray telescopes
    at the South Pole.
  • Students routinely report on their projects at campus, state, and national meetings.
  • Senior seminar provides students experience researching, developing, and reporting on a
    project of their design.
  • The UWRF Society of Physics Students (SPS) club is a nationally recognized outstanding
    chapter and hosts the physics department banquet honoring new UWRF members of the
    national physics honor society Sigma Pi Sigma.

Career Opportunities

The options for students who have studied physics are vast. There is high demand for the analytical, mathematical and computational skills involved in physics. UWRF physics majors get jobs in high technology fields such as electronics, semiconductors, photonics, robotics, aviation, systems integration, research and development of new products, quality control, computer interfacing and computer aided design and more. There are also tremendous opportunities for secondary school teachers where demand continues to outstrip supply. Studying physics teaches students how to find and process information to solve problems, no matter what the field of endeavor. The number one asset a physics major provides is the ability to ferret out the essential features of problems, and to develop creative ways to solve them.


Physics . . .

seeks to discover how the universe works. UWRF students develop a firm foundation in physics, mathematics, scientific programming, and technical writing. These skills also form the basis for many technical and scientific careers. Our program provides opportunities for hands-on experience in research and industrial environments.

Physics Plan

Department of Physics
125 Centennial Science Hall