Welcome

Why study physics?

Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences, underlying our understanding and knowledge of all areas of science and technology. The goal of physics is to discover comprehensive principles or laws of nature and to determine how they apply to a variety of systems, ranging from the microscopic — atoms and nuclei, to the gigantic — planets and stars.

Physicists develop problem-solving skills that are broadly applicable.

Why physics at Sweet Briar?

Sweet Briar physics students benefit from high-quality scientific training in the context of a liberal arts education. The major in physics is based on course work in mechanics, electromagnetic phenomena, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics and relativity. Small classes mean individualized attention.

Degree options are the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree in physics. A minor in physics and a teacher licensure program are also offered.

What can you do with a physics major?

Sweet Briar students prepare for traditional careers in physics research or teaching, or apply their knowledge and skills to fields such as engineering, medicine, law and business. Training in physics allows graduates to play a role in confronting the world’s many social and environmental challenges.

Our graduates have pursued graduate studies at the University of California, Harvard and Yale. Recent alumnae are studying medical physics at Duke University, environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins, and mechanical engineering at the University of Virginia. Other recent graduates are employed at the Department of Justice, the Naval Air Systems Command and CH2M Hill.


The physics program is part of the engineering and physics department. Information about engineering can be found on the following website: