Departmental Overview

Physics is the study of forces and matter, from the structure of the atom to the structure of the universe. It is also the basis for the applied sciences and engineering which have taken our world from the horse and buggy to the supersonic jet, from the candle to the laser, from the pony express to the fax, from the beads of the abacus to the chips of a computer. Physics is a field of study full of excitement where future discoveries will continue to change the world in ways beyond our wildest imagination.

Physicists work in industry and government, in laboratories and hospitals, and on university campuses. Some physicists serve in the military, teach in high schools and universities, design science museum exhibits, write books and news articles about science, give advice to federal, state, local and foreign governments, work on Wall Street, and run businesses.

Chair's Welcome

Old Dominion University offers many exciting possibilities for studying physics. The physics department has been selected by the University to achieve national prominence, taking advantage of Old Dominion's proximity (a half-hour drive) to the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF), the world's premier nuclear physics research facility, and the NASA Langley Research Center.

As a result, the Old Dominion University physics department has grown tremendously in the past 20 years, with double the number of faculty, new teaching and laboratory facilities and modernized computer-based undergraduate laboratories. With the addition of the new Physical Sciences Research Building we offer substantial additional opportunities for research to graduate and undergraduate students alike.

Why is strength in research important to you? The faculty that create new knowledge in a field are in the best position to prepare the curriculum and give guidance to students who are trying to learn what's important in that field. In addition, research outside the classroom can enrich your education enormously. In the Physics Department at Old Dominion, these resources are available, with the added advantage that you will not get lost in the crowd. Most of our upper level undergraduate students are involved in research and have established close collaboration with individual faculty members. The opportunity for intimate involvement in research with world-class faculty is here for any interested student.

Jefferson Lab Professors
Graduate Students
Full Time Staff

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Master of Science (M.S.)

Doctor of Philosophy (PH.D.)

Physics Alumni

Physics majors are prepared for almost any career. Studying physics can teach how to use critical thninking skills to analyze and solve complex problems and builds a strong quantitative background that can be applied in any technical field. A background in physics is applicable across many diverse fields and can take your career just about anywhere. To see how wide a range of fields your degree can take you, please visit our Alumni Directory.