physics

Our approach to physics and astronomy is experiential and hands-on. You work in small groups in labs and workshops to understand the laws and physical models describing interactions involving matter and energy.

Physics is taught at all levels and with many other disciplines, including animation, music, sports, sustainability studies, and philosophy. If you’re embarking on an academic pathway in the sciences, you can obtain a foundation in university-level physics that also include calculus and chemistry or computer science.

At the advanced level, you can learn physics and astronomy in integrated programs that include applied mathematics and advanced physical chemistry.

How to Choose Your Path

You’ll choose what you study to earn a Bachelor’s degree that’s meaningful to you. Some students decide their programs as they go, while others chart their course in advance.

Aim for both breadth and depth; explore fields that may be related or that may seem very distant. You'll be surprised at what you discover.

If you're new to college, look for programs where you can gain a foundation, build key skills, and broaden your knowledge (FR only, FR-SO, or FR-SR).

If you already have a foundation in this field, look for programs with intermediate or advanced material (SO-SR, JR-SR, or FR-SR). These programs may include community-based learning and in-depth research. Some of these programs have specific prerequisites; check the description for details.

Talk to an academic advisor to get help figuring out what coursework is best for you.

Planned offerings for 2017–18
Class Standing Quarters Offered Credits
Astronomy and Cosmology: Stars and Stories FR-SR
  • Summer
4, 8, 12
Atoms, Molecules, and Reactions SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
4, 8, 12, 16
Atoms, Molecules, and Reactions: Quantum Mechanics SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
4
Atoms, Molecules, and Reactions: Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics SO-SR
  • Winter
  • Spring
4, 8
College Physics FR-SR
  • Summer
6
Investigating the Mind-Body: Physics and Methods of Medicine FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Matter and Motion FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Pacific Northwest Weather and Climate FR-SR
  • Summer
6
Physical Principles of Sustainable Energy FR-SR
  • Summer
6
Physics: Energy FR-SR
  • Fall
4
Physics: Momentum FR-SR
  • Winter
4
Physics: Oscillations FR-SR
  • Spring
4
Plants in Motion FR-SO
  • Spring
16
Playing with Patterns FR-SR
  • Fall
16
Playing with Patterns FR-SR
  • Winter
16
Precalculus Models in Physics FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
8
Science Seminar: the Universe and You FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Undergraduate Research in Scientific Inquiry SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
0
Planned offerings for 2018–19
Class Standing Quarters Offered Credits
Matter and Motion FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Physical Systems and Applied Mathematics SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Physics I: Motion FR-SR
  • Fall
4
Physics II: Electromagnetism FR-SR
  • Winter
4
Physics III: Light FR-SR
  • Spring
4
Undergraduate Research in Scientific Inquiry SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
0