/ Physics Department

Degree Programs

With a degree in physics from Hope, you’ll create a strong foundation of skills and research-based inquiry that opens your options to a wide variety of careers and graduate classes.

No matter what degree program you choose, the physics department offers the chance to learn from a small, close-knit faculty who collaboratively conduct research together often. With us, you’ll create new knowledge in physics every time you step into a lab with your faculty supervisor. You have the prospect to choose your own electives and carve out a degree that fits what you want to learn.


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Popular Double Majors

The study of physics intersects with many disciplines, from engineering to philosophy to dance. Many students choose to pursue a degree combining physics with other interests. Popular combinations include physics with:

  • Mathematics
  • Computer science
  • Geology
  • Chemistry
  • Philosophy
  • Engineering

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Engineering and Physics

The disciplines of physics and engineering are closely related. Both tackle similar principles and concepts, but emphasize different approaches and prioritize different outcomes. Some students think they want to be engineers and end up physicists, and vice versa. Make sure to speak with the chairpersons in both departments to see which major is right for you.

Health Professions and Physics

The understanding of physics and the techniques of physics play a large role in medical fields. Most health profession graduate schools require basic physics knowledge as a requirement for admissions and some careers require even more physics knowledge, such as medical physics and health physics. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the health fields and are interested in studying physics, speak with a physics faculty member to develop a course plan that helps you reach that goal. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Hope College students completing a physics degree will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the essence of physics laws and concepts without mathematics
  • Apply broad concepts in physics to specific problems in order to come to numerical, analytical and approximate solutions
  • Be able to write a report, discuss the content and describe the conclusions to a variety of audiences
  • Identify and implement appropriate computational tools (software, coding, programming and/or scripting) to solve a variety of problems both in the context of the classroom and in research projects
  • Know how to identify relevant existing works in literature that inform or support their own scholarly work and provide accurate citations and recognition where appropriate when presenting their own work
  • Conduct effective research which will include computer use, problem solving, hypothesis testing and analysis of uncertainties