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Explore how the universe works with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics

Regardless of whether you’re interested in majoring in physics or just taking a few introductory courses to satisfy your curiosity, SC State offers a wide selection of courses and activities to fit your needs.

Physics is one of the most fundamental of the scientific disciplines, encompassing the studies of matter, energy and the properties that govern them. Physicists seek to understand how the universe works at every level from the sub-atomic scales (particle physics) to the entire universe (cosmology).

Physicists can be experimentalists, theorists or both. They are explorers with a strong desire to understand why the universe behaves the way it does. Physics is central to all the natural sciences, applied sciences and technology, and thus plays a crucial role in finding solutions to the many problems and interests of society.


What you will learn

The Physics Program at SC State is a student-centered program with faculty and students interacting from the moment a student arrives on campus. In addition to coursework that builds technical and analytical skills, the program supports a strong, hands-on, research-oriented environment for both its faculty and students. It is expected that all physics majors will be involved with some sort of research activity over their four-year progress in the discipline of physics. This can take the form of coursework projects as well as summer internships both on campus and at national laboratories or other universities.

The ability to put into practice what is learned in the classroom is essential to a student’s growth as a scientist, teacher or for any career. In the research laboratory, you will learn to ask questions, design and perform experiments to answer those questions, analyze data using computational methods, and draw appropriate conclusions. Students taking physics as majors or as courses supporting other majors will be exposed to the interface of physics  with other fields such as biology, chemistry, computer science and engineering, thus developing an understanding of how the methods of physics are central to addressing key problems in other disciplines.

Physics majors at SC State acquire the background to pursue graduate studies or a number of career options including medical physics, astrophysics, electrical engineering, computer systems engineering, materials science, and technical business management. Courses in nuclear engineering combined with a physics degree can lead to careers in fields such as environmental science, reactor engineering, and nuclear medicine.

Degree Options

  • B.S. in Physics — this standard degree option leads to a graduate school or employment in a wide range of technical fields in industry, government, education, academia, and the private sector.
  • B.S. in Physics with Medical Physics Option — this option leads to medical school, graduate school, or employment at hospitals, government laboratories and other medical facilities.
  • B.S. in Physics with Health Physics Option — this option leads to graduate school or employment at nuclear laboratories, power plants, hospitals, and similar facilities.
  • B.S. in Physics with Astronomy Option — this option leads to graduate school in astronomy or employment in science education such as a K-12 teaching position or a job at a planetarium or science museum.
  • B.S. and M.S. in Physics in Collaboration with Clemson University — this option is the first-of-its-kind program between the 2 schools that leads to a B.S. from SC state and the M.S. from Clemson in only a 5-year period of time.

Beginning Courses

Beginning physics courses are taken in either the first or second year, depending upon the student’s preparation in calculus. The language of physics is mathematics and to pursue any of the exciting physics careers like those above, it is important for students to take the full sequence of calculus.

Exploring Careers

After the first physics course, a major should seek out faculty members for assignment to a research project. In recent years, projects have included studies of pulsating stars, alternative energy sources, atmospheric ozone content, cosmology, variable star work with NASA’s Kepler Observatory and technology enhancement in the teaching of physics.


  • The program and course offerings in the area of Physics undergird the goals of the College of Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technology. The objectives of these programs and course offerings are to provide appropriate learning experiences that enable students:
  • To understand the fundamental importance of science in daily life through basic, general course offerings.
  • To develop an appreciation for the natural sciences and scientific endeavors.
  • To develop scientific attitudes and skills in evaluation and problem solving as a basis for pursuing knowledge.
  • To pursue research opportunities in the natural sciences.
  • To obtain basic, quality training necessary for entering medical and allied health careers.
  • To obtain training necessary to become professional scientists, science teachers, or to pursue advanced graduate work.


  • All students are required to earn a grade of at least C in each of their major courses.

Student Internships

SC State physics faculty members manage numerous grants. Physics majors and faculty members participate in nuclear, computational, laboratory and space-based projects. Scholarships and internships are available to SC State physics majors. SC State physics majors are also encouraged to seek summer internships outside of SC State. Examples of recent summer internships held by physics majors at SC State:

  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Kitt Peak National Observatory
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • National Radio Astronomy Observatory
  • National Solar Observatory
  • Space Telescope Science Institute

After you graduate from SC State

The Job Market

Graduates from the SC State physics program have been very successful in pursuing their career goals nationally as well as within the state. Recent placements include:

  •  Siemens Inc.
  • Holcim of Alabama
  • Springs Mills of South Carolina
  • The Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland
  • Honeywell, Inc. in Virginia
  • United States Air Force, Army and Navy
  • Savannah River National Lab
  • Space Telescope Science Institute
  • Roper Mountain Science Center
  • ITT Technical Institute in South Carolina

Graduate School Opportunities

SC State physics graduates also have advanced their learning at such graduate schools as:

  • Wake Forest
  • Clemson University
  • University of Illinois – Urbana
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Florida
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Washington
  • Hampton University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • East Carolina University
  • Fisk University
  • Idaho State University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Appalachian State University

Faculty and Staff

Dr. Donald Walter
Physics Area Program Coordinator
Office: L Davis Jr. Hall 130
Phone: 803-533-3773

Dr. Jennifer Cash
Astronomy Option Coordinator
Office: L Davis Jr. Hall 324
Phone: 803-516-4753

Dr. Godfrey Ndubuis
Office: Hodge Hall, Room 206A
Phone: 803-536-7161

Dr. Ram Yadav
Office: L Davis Jr. Hall 323
Phone: 803-536-7162

Dr. Triana Almeyda