Physics Department

Hartwick physics student

Physics Overview

Hartwick physics students learn to think critically about the physical world around them. They learn to break down problems into their component parts, to synthesize what they have learned from across their course to create new ideas, and how to communicate what they have learned. These skills easily translate into opportunities not just in physics research, but also for careers in education, engineering, management, and science policy to name just a few. Students develop these skills not just in the classroom and associated labs, but also in ongoing student projects and research at Hartwick and elsewhere, culminating in their senior thesis.

Please note: Hartwick College focuses on offering fall, January, and spring term undergraduate courses in person, however circumstances may require us to offer a small number of courses in this department through distance education. In times of emergency, following regulatory guidelines, all classes may temporarily need to be delivered through distance education, including online. We also offer a slate of courses online in the summer to help our students make progress towards their degrees. With support from an academic advisor, students needing particular courses may have other online options as well. If you have questions about the way courses are delivered in your program, please contact your Department or Program Chair.

Exciting Student Outcomes

Hartwick physics students complete research and internships and are well prepared for employment and graduate school.

Graduate School

Physics Ph.D. Program
University of Rochester
Kyle Murray ’15

Nanoscience Ph.D. Program
SUNY Albany
Steven Grezeskowiak ’14

Material Science Ph.D. Program
University of Vermont
Nathan Nichols ’14


AXA Equitable
Mary E. Decuyke ’16

Innovations in Optics
Trevor Baker ’15


Software Engineer/UI Developer for US Naval Research Laboratory Department of Homeland Security
Thomas Heritage ’16

Monte Carlo simulations of Ge Detectors for Winchester Engineering and Analytical Center
Samantha Malcolm ’16

Physics Requirements

Ready to consider a physics major or minor in astronomy and planetary sciences? See what it takes.

Physics Majors and Minors

Physics Courses

A variety of courses are offered in electronics, atomic and nuclear physics, astrophysics, optics, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, and mechanics to allow students to complete degree requirements for the major in physics.

Current Course Offerings

Special Opportunities

Physics students at Hartwick benefit from modern facilities for learning, including an optics lab, an advanced lab for nuclear physics experiments, and a building shop- complete with milling machine, band saw, welding equipment and 3D printer. The Ernest B. Wright Observatory, at the top of Oyaron Hill on the Hartwick campus, is available for students to use for senior these projects or a directed study. Research opportunities include astronomy observations at the Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico. Physics students may join Society of Physics Students, the professional physics association and Sigma Pi Sigma Honor Society to build research and career networks.

More About Special Opportunities

Physics Faculty

At Hartwick, physics faculty members are focused on educating students in the classroom, laboratory, and field. Physics professors actively engage students in their research. Many students co-author articles with our faculty.

Meet our Physics Faculty

Still have questions?

Contact the Physics Department