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Physics student performs experiment in the lab.


Physics is the study of the fundamental laws of nature that govern phenomena on every scale from the smallest subatomic particles to the universe as a whole.

What Do Physicists Do?

A wide variety of opportunities are accessible to those with an understanding of Physics and the ability to effectively solve problems. Physicists are involved in areas such as:

  • The development and testing of advanced materials for a range of uses
  • The construction of computational or mathematical models for application in areas such as aerodynamics, the weather, the movement of the Earth’s crust, nuclear fusion in stars, or folding of proteins in cells
  • The design and use of medical, industrial, or defense imaging and laser systems
  • High-precision measurements in academic or government laboratories
  • The development and application of cancer treatments using radiation-based approaches


You will learn the basic laws that govern forces, energy, light, heat, and matter in subjects like mechanics, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics. You’ll work to expand our knowledge as you collaborate with a faculty member on your research project.

Degree Options

There are two Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees available with this major.

More about this Major


After completing their degrees, some of our recent graduates have accepted graduate assistantships in Physics at universities including Vanderbilt University, Georgia Tech, Florida State University, and Southern Miss.

Others have entered the prestigious U.S. Navy Nuclear Propulsion program, the medical physics program at Oregon State University, and law school at the University of Mississippi.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for physicists was $111,580 in May 2015.
The Society of Physics Students is the student organization for the American Physical Society, the largest professional organization of physicists in the world. Recently the Southern Miss SPS chapter has won national outstanding chapter awards.

Courses You Might Take

Physics 361/361L: Modern Physics/Laboratory

The course introduces topics originally formulated by physicists such as Einstein, Bohr, and Schrodinger. These topics are often student favorites and include the study of special relativity, quantum mechanics, and atomic and nuclear structure. The lab gives students the opportunity to conduct their own experiments in several of the areas.

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Be aware of our deadlines, $40 application fee and other items on our checklist. Admission requirements vary for freshmen, transfers, prospective Honors College students and others.

Southern Miss undergraduate degrees are available online, at the Hattiesburg campus, at the Gulf Park campus, and/or through a hybrid delivery that includes both online and on-campus courses.