Download the Program Guide

The Physics major at W&J introduces students to the principles and techniques that scientists use to describe our physical universe. By emphasizing hands-on laboratory work in addition to core content, our curriculum encourages students to develop transferrable skills such as data acquisition and analysis, computation, electronics, fabrication, and oral and written scientific communication. Physics students are prepared to contribute meaningfully to research in science and industry; to pursue graduate study in physics, engineering, and other technical fields; and to apply quantitative and problem-solving techniques in fields such as medicine, finance, and technology.

Beyond the Classroom

Students have a wide array of opportunities for research, internships, conferences, and networking beyond the classroom that give them an advantage to prepare for life after W&J.

Research, Internships, Community

  • The intense, hands-on laboratory curriculum is designed to prepare students to participate in meaningful research early in their studies.
  • As part of the curriculum, students may elect to complete a two-semester independent research project in which they work with a faculty member to investigate a topic of relevant to their scientific or career interests.
  • Transferable skills propel students to take advantage of international research internships in cutting-edge scientific and engineering fields.
  • The Department supports active Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma honors society chapters, with annual trips to national laboratories and outreach events.


  • research, including at national laboratories and in industry
  • engineering and product R&D
  • finance, including financial planning and financial analysis
  • graduate programs and careers in engineering, including electrical, mechanical, software
  • PhD programs in physics, biological physics, biomedical engineering
  • careers in medicine, including veterinary medicine (DVM) and combined MD/PhD programs

Physics Faculty

Physics Department Chair

Michael McCracken

Michael E. McCracken, Ph.D. is an associate professor and the Department Chair of Physics. He is also the Coordinator of the 3-2 Engineering Program at Washington & Jefferson College.

Cory Christenson portrait

Cory Christenson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Physics


Sarah Chamberlin portrait

Sara Chamberlin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Physics


Professor Bill Sheers

Physics Program Downloads

Physics Program Sheet

Version: 2019