Physics and Astronomy

All Majors & Minors

Independent Learning

Independent learning lets students take responsibility for their education and develop initiative and independence by enhancing their confidence in their own abilities.


Ursinus students are encouraged to work with faculty members on original research. Students work on faculty-initiated research projects, and faculty members serve as mentors for student-initiated research projects.

Opportunities for original research include independent study during a semester, participation in the Summer Fellows Program, and a senior honors thesis. Research topics completed by Physics majors have included:

  • “Inelastic Proton Scattering from 50Ca”
  • “Energy exchange among ultra-cold Rydberg atoms ”
  • “Gamma-ray spectroscopy of exotic calcium isotopes with the GRETINA array”
  • “Simulations of Stellar Cluster evolution”
  • “Algebraic diagrams for education and research”
  • “Construction of a Saturated Absorption Spectrometer”


Physics majors may also pursue off-campus internships.  These internships are most often completed during the summer or the winter break. Recent internships have included engineering and pharmaceutical firms.

Student Teaching

Students who pursue teaching certification will spend one semester of their senior year teaching at a local high school. The Education department places our students with mentors who work with our students to develop their teaching.