Students in Physics superconducter lab at University of St. Thomas in Houston, TexasHow did the universe begin? What is a black hole?  If you want to understand the physical world around you, this field of science explains it all.  Contribute to amazing advances in physics, from space exploration to nanotechnology, by learning the foundational principles of physics and applying them through hands-on and computational research, with UST professors.

Physics is a challenging field of study. Prospective employers know that physics majors bring unique, high-level skills to the table and Physics Bachelors are in high demand.

With a Bachelor of Science: Physics degree, you’ll graduate with an edge over other job-seekers and applicants to medical, dental and graduate school.

As what St. Thomas Aquinas called the “the primary natural science,” physics underlies each of the STEM branches, especially the Engineering disciplines. The BS Physics degree trains students in the fundamental study of the natural world, from atom to cosmos. It prepares students either for a professional career directly following their undergraduate studies, or for additional graduate studies. Graduates of the BS physics curriculum will have mastered a combination of skills valued by our modern economy: technical problem solving, mathematical reasoning, computer programming and modeling, hands-on laboratory and design skills, and mastery of specialized equipment. The Physics and Engineering faculty in our department embraces the ethos, culture and spirit of the University of St. Thomas to not only graduate students who are competent in their field, but also think critically, communicate effectively, and will serve as ethical leaders.

A few years after graduation, graduates of the Physics program demonstrate:

  1. Technical competence in physics, either in teaching, research, or industry.
  2. Ability to communicate ideas in the field of Physics, as manifested in their ability to communicate thoughts and ideas through written, oral, or visual means.  
  3. Good ethical behavior and professional commitment through involvement in their scientific community.

This program’s curriculum is aligned to ABET’s quality standards including the following student outcomes:

Gain an in-depth understanding of physics principles, including classical mechanics, modern physics, electrical circuits, mathematical methods for physics and engineering, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics and more.

degree plan

Augment any major with a minor in Physics to gain skills highly prized by employers. Learn the principles of modern physics, participate in labs and complete a seminar course.

minor plan


Physics minor works with laser at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TexasMajoring in Physics will give you a big edge after graduation. With a Bachelor of Science: Physics degree, you can start a career in astronomy, energy, engineering, healthcare and research scientist, while others choose to continue to pursue graduate studies.

Bachelor of Science: Physics graduates earn one of the highest starting salaries among undergraduate degrees in the United States. 52% of Physics graduates are employed in the workforce, most being in the private sector. 48% continue graduate studies in the areas of astronomy, engineering and physics (American Institute of Physics, 2019).

Where Can Studying Physics Take Me?

Students conducting physics research in lab - University of St. Thomas - HoustonAt UST, you’ll conduct research with professors – not teaching assistants – in many exciting areas of physics and engineering:

  • Nanoscience – Research the use of nanoparticles in biomedical applications, such as eradicating cancer cells. 
  • Computer Modeling – Study the movement of atoms and molecules and learn a programming language in the process.
  • Dynamics – Discover why things move the way they move, including what keeps an object in orbit stable rather than tumbling.
  • 3D Printing and Engineering Design – Learn how cutting-edge technology and applied science can be used to tackle real-world problems.

University of St. Thomas - Houston physics minor paraglides in Germany during study abroad tripStudy in Germany in a prestigious 10-week research program funded by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). While most participants in this highly selective program come from large, world-renowned universities, UST’s partnership provides a pathway for our students to experience this unique opportunity.

Alumna Elizabeth Maccato, biology major and physics minor, conducted nanoparticle research while studying abroad through the DAAD in Germany. She enjoyed many adventures in her free time, including paragliding near Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria.

Women in Science Shine at UST
  • Over 30% of the students in UST’s physics and engineering program are women, remarkable among universities.
  • Half the UST physics and engineering faculty members are women, serving as strong role models for women in engineering careers.
  • Studying and working alongside other women helps you visualize your own success, making you more competitive as a woman in science.

50% of physics minors at the University of St. Thomas - Houston are women

Physics and engineering faculty members are women.

Nataly Rosales, Applied Mathematics Major and Physics Minor at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas

There’s no gender gap in my physics classes. I think because of this I’ve become a more confident, active student, and I work harder.

Nataly Rosales Senior Applied Mathematics Major, Physics Minor