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Physics and Astronomy

What is it?

The basis upon which other branches of science are founded, physics encompasses a wide spectrum of study. Classical physics includes the fields of mechanics, heat and thermodynamics acoustics, electricity and magnetism, and optics. Modern physics concerns the study of atoms and molecules, atomic nuclei, elementary particles and the properties of liquids, crystalline solids and other materials. Clemson adds astronomy to the mix, incorporating the study of planets, stars, galaxies, relativity, cosmology and the large-scale structure of the universe.

What will I study?

The B.S. in physics prepares students for graduate study or for research and development work in industrial or governmental laboratories. Some students pursue graduate study or industrial work in areas of engineering and applied science.

The B.S. in biophysics includes the flexibility of selecting courses in chemistry, biological sciences, physics and mathematics and offers excellent preparation for medical school or graduate work in biological sciences. Graduates also seek employment in industry, manufacturing and instrumentation for clinical or molecular biology applications.

The B.A. in physics is ideal for students interested in acquiring a broadbased, liberal education with a solid understanding of science.

Undergraduate students may join research teams led by faculty. Research is currently being conducted in the areas of astrophysics, biophysics, advanced materials, nanomaterials, surface and interface nanoscience, solidstate matter and surface structure. Each summer, several undergraduate physics majors travel to Paderno, Italy, to study theoretical and experimental surface physics. While there, they engage in hands-on experimental training at the Surface Physics Laboratory of Elettra in Trieste.

Where is my future with a degree in physics and astronomy?

Recent graduates have found positions at NASA, Microsoft, Naval Research Labs, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Texas Instruments. Many students continue their education in graduate schools such as Cornell, Berkeley, University of Texas at Austin, University of  Michigan and the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.

Where can I find out more about Clemson’s physics programs?

Visit for more information.