• A Hartwick student using a microscope in the science lab.
  • A Hartwick professor discussing Botany with a student.
  • Hartwick students giving a presentation in front of the class.
  • A Hartwick student using a microscope for research.


What is this major?
Physics is the most fundamental of all the sciences. Physics describes the interaction between matter and energy, particles and waves. The laws of physics precisely describe force and motion, gravity, electricity, magnetism, sound, light, heat, and atomic and nuclear interactions. These laws are described using mathematical relationships, and a solid understanding of mathematics is needed to be successful in physics. Physics helps you to understand the physical world. You also learn to work with people to solve real-world problems and to make precise measurements in the laboratory with sophisticated apparatus.

What can I do with this major?

Bachelor's Degree/Entry Level Further Education/Experience Required
  • security analyst
  • consultant
  • meteorologist
  • optical design engineer
  • science writer
  • science teacher
  • physicist
  • astronomer
  • engineer
  • chemist
  • geophysicist
  • radiologist
What skills will I improve/gain?
Improve your ability to think in a logical, precise manner, improve your problem-solving skills, learn to recognize relationships among variables, learn to use mathematical tools to make predictions about the behavior of physical systems, work with people in the laboratory and on problem-solving, use research-grade equipment to make measurements, gather and analyze data, understand and evaluate errors in measurement, summarize and report on your research findings, define and study research problems

Who employs graduates from this major?
Private industry such as Corning Glass, General Motors, Lucent Technologies and federal government agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA), the CIA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, and all branches of the military. Teaching positions in high schools, colleges, and universities. Workers/technicians in hospitals and related healthcare industries. Writers and fact checkers for professional and technical journals.

What is special about this major at Hartwick?

  • Hands-on approach to learning
  • Well-equipped optical laboratory
  • Observatory with a 16-inch reflecting telescope

Visit the Physics Department Web page.

Department Chair
Lawrence Nienart, 607-431-4737, nienartl@hartwick.edu

Undeclared Contact
Lawrence Nienart, 607-431-4737, nienartl@hartwick.edu

Major Connections Contacts
Please contact the Department Chair by e-mail to ask for the names of a few upper-level students you can contact.

Why contact upper-level students? These students can be a good resource to learn what a major is like, what careers are typical, what the professors are like, or even to learn what helped them to decide on this major.