Physics Major & Minor

Physics, the most fundamental of the sciences, deals with the laws describing the behavior of matter and energy.

From the study of physics, students acquire not only knowledge of the subject itself, but valuable training in analytical thinking and a quantitative approach to problem solving which will be useful in both their professional and personal lives.

Where degrees in physics can take you.

Hartwick physics majors acquire not only knowledge of physics but valuable training in analytical thinking and a quantitative approach to problem solving.

Requirements for the major provide students with a broad, flexible background in the discipline that enables them to develop analytical skills necessary to pursue a career in physics or a related field.

A closer look.

Hartwick physics students can tailor their academic programs to meet their interests and needs. They get hands-on experience in the nuclear physics laboratory, the optics laboratory, and the Ernest B. Wright observatory, and at off-campus facilities.

Beyond the basic.

Students are encouraged to engage in research and work on projects with faculty members during the academic year and during the summer at Hartwick and other institutions. For example, students have built a carbon dioxide laser and an electromagnetic “can crusher” in the lab and are building a ruby crystal laser. Our students have also completed competitive summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates(REU)’s at the following institutions:

  • Stanford Linear Accelerator Collider (SLAC) – studying dark matter astrophysics
  • Large Hadron Collider at CERN
  • Michigan State University
  • Columbia University
  • Georgetown University

Putting physics to work.

Hartwick physics students graduate ready to thrive in their careers, and well-prepared for further study at some of the nation’s finest institutions.

Hartwick alumni work for:

  • Corning Glass
  • Raytheon
  • Lucent Technologies and Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • The National Security Administration
  • General Electric
  • GE Global Research
  • NASA
  • GE Aviation(aeronautical engineering)
  • Lockheed Martin

Hartwick graduates have been accepted to:

  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • University of Texas-Austin
  • Drexel University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • The University of Arizona
  • State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • Columbia University
  • NYU
  • University of Virginia
  • Baylor College of Medicine (Neuroscience PhD Program)
  • Tufts University
  • University of Rochester
  • College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Meet the physics faculty.

Hartwick’s expert physics faculty are future-focused. That’s because they work closely with students who are meant for more. Students who will have an impact on the world of tomorrow. Hartwick students.

Larry Nienart
Professor and Department Chair of Physics
Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo
Areas of expertise:
electronics, radio astronomy, analog computers.
Kevin Schultz
Associate Professor of Physics
Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook
Areas of expertise:
atomic physics, ultrafast lasers, semi-classical physics quantum chaos and microcontrollers.
Parker Troischt
Associate Professor of Physics, Astronomy & Planetary Sciences Program Director
Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Areas of expertise:
Extragalactic astronomy, general relativity, and cosmology, star formation, gas content, and the impact of environment on galaxies and galaxy clusters.


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