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At UW-Eau Claire 

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Are you curious and imaginative? Do you get personal satisfaction from solving problems? Do you enjoy math and analyzing the physical world? Do you want to solve the mysteries of the universe? Then a degree in physics may be for you!

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Modern society is influenced by physics in countless ways. Recent development in fields such as laser optics, miniaturized electronics, nanotechnology, nuclear energy and medical instrumentation, are just some of the ways physics advances society today.

physics image

Research with Faculty

The large physics department at UW-Eau Claire offers a wide variety of possible research areas for students. This unique opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty in physics research spans the discipline. Some examples include atomic or acoustical physics, materials science, near-IR spectroscopy of planetary nebulae, X-ray spectroscopy of hot stars, computational science research, and planetary science. There are currently students using the Chandra X-ray telescope that is orbiting Earth, some are writing textbooks and some are working with local companies to improve products.

Innovative Facilities 

As a student at UW-Eau Claire you'll have access to the Materials Science Center. No other similar campus in the upper midwest has equipment and technology such as atomic force microscopes, a scanning tunneling electron microscope, an x-ray diffractometer, to name a few, concentrated in one Center. UW-Eau Claire also provides the opportunity for interdisciplinary collaborative projects, unlike other universities. In addition, students have access to a 24-inch reflecting telescope at Hobbs Observatory; no other school in this region, has such a large telescope for student research projects.

Solid Preparation

Physics majors are well prepared for graduate studies in the following areas: physics, surface science, astronomy, materials science, medical physics, medicine, teaching, engineering, architecture, and law. They are also prepared for careers within the fields of: computer companies, planetariums, government laboratories, the military, technology and materials companies and the Peace Corps.

Physics student, hyoki

astronomy student


  - liberal arts emphasis or
    applied emphasis
  - teaching
  - dual degree with
    (see separate fact sheet)

Comprehensive majors

(require no minor)
  - Physical Science:
  - Physics/Math: teaching


(see below)


  - liberal arts emphasis
  - teaching

Suggested freshman curriculum

- University Writing
  on placement exam
  For test out options, see
- Precalculus Math or
  Calculus I
- General Chemistry
- Calculus II
- University Physics
- Intro to Computer
- Social sciences or
  humanities course
More advising information

Our graduates

Our physics graduates participate in life-changing endeavors like developing methods and tools that diagnose and cure disease; managing traffic flow in large cities; predicting geological phenomena like earthquakes; creating new materials; and developing cleaner fuels for automobiles.
More career information

Places you’ll find recent graduates:

- Computer Programmer,
  Celestica, Eau Claire, WI
- Astronomer, SIRTF Science
  Center, California Institute of
  Technology in Pasadena, CA
- Quality Engineer and World
  Wide Stop Ship Coordinator,
  IBM in Rochester, MN
- Physics Teacher,
  Palm Beach County, FL
  & Cadott, WI
- National Research Council
  Research Association, NASA
  Johnson Space Center,
  Houston, TX
- Graduate schools,
  University of Minnesota,
  Purdue, University of

Department contact information

note wide


UW-Eau Claire has a strong pre-engineering program where students usually spend two years at UW-Eau Claire before transferring to an engineering school to complete their degree. We also offer a dual degree program, which allows students to earn two bachelor’s degrees in approximately five years - a physics degree from UW-Eau Claire and an engineering degree from either UW-Madison or the University of Minnesota.
Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.