Physics Major

Sample Courses

  • Analytical Physics I, II, III, IV
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Differential Equations   
  • Electric Circuit Analysis
  • Instrumentation and Interfacing
  • Mathematical Methods in Physics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Statistical Thermodynamics

Recent Internships / Conference Experiences

  • Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona
  • Division of Plasma Physics conference, Pittsburgh, PA, to present research conducted in collaboration with the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester
  • American Physical Society meeting, New York City, to present gravitational wave research

Alumni Spotlight

Mollie Bienstock ’15, MS

Major: Applied Physics

Career: Bienstock is a senior product development engineer with Lumicell in Newton, MA. She earned her master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University in 2020.

Physics Major

Why study physics and astronomy at Geneseo?

Physics is the study of how the universe works, from the smallest subatomic particles to the largest galaxy clusters. Physics majors at Geneseo develop advanced problem-solving skills and get hands-on experience with state-of-the-art lab equipment that is useful for a wide variety of technical careers. They also go on to pursue graduate degrees in physics, astronomy, engineering, and related fields, and many go on to become high school teachers. One of the great strengths of our program is its flexibility, enabling students to choose courses tailored to their particular interests.


Program Options

Additional Options

Program Highlights

  • Geneseo ranked #2 out of more than 500 schools nationwide in the number of physics bachelor’s degrees produced at an undergraduate-only physics department (American Institute of Physics report, September 2022).
  • Geneseo offers one of the largest physics programs in the nation among colleges and universities that do not offer a PhD in physics, which means that physics majors at Geneseo join a large and thriving department focused solely on undergraduates.
  • In 2019, the physics department received the nationwide American Institute of Physics Award for Improving Undergraduate Education.
  • Physics majors work alongside faculty members on research projects in astronomy, nuclear physics, optics, plasma physics, engineering, surface science, computational physics, and theoretical physics. In Summer 2022, 26 students worked at Geneseo alongside faculty members on research projects, and many traveled to national meetings to present their work to the physics community.
  • The department has a strong tradition of supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB).
  • Social activities throughout the academic year allow students and faculty to get to know each other outside the classroom.
  • SUNY Geneseo houses a 1.7 MV Pelletron particle accelerator used for research and teaching. Geneseo is one of only a small handful of undergraduate physics departments in the nation to have such a state-of-the-art scientific instrument.

Example Careers

  • Assembly and Testing Technician
  • Astronomer
  • Astrophysicist
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Biophysics Researcher
  • Biotech Production Specialist
  • Imaging Scientist
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Medical Physicist
  • Nuclear Engineer
  • Optical Technician
  • Physics Professor
  • Physics Researcher
  • Physics Teacher
  • Research Engineer
  • Software Technical Support
  • Systems Engineer

Recent Employers

  • Brookhaven National Lab
  • Corning Optics
  • Corning/Tropel
  • L3 Harris
  • Laboratory for Laser Energetics, University of Rochester
  • Medisked
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
  • TAE Technologies

Recent Grad Schools

  • Binghamton University
  • Columbia University
  • Duke University
  • Indiana University at Bloomfield
  • Indiana University of Medicine
  • Notre Dame University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Stony Brook University
  • Temple University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Buffalo
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of Rochester
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Virginia Tech
  • West Virginia University

Contact Info

Savitri Iyer, Professor and Department Chair
ISC 234A

Physics Department

Physics Faculty

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