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College of Arts & Sciences

Physics seeks to understand the fundamental workings of nature, from the constituents of matter deep within the nuclei of atoms, to the most distant galaxies of our expanding universe, to everyday phenomena of emergent complexity, self-organization and chaos.  The resulting basic physical knowledge provides a firm foundation for innovations and is often the driving force of advanced technology. Computers, global positioning systems (GPS), the internet, lasers,  magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other medical diagnostic tools and space flight, along with many others, were all made possible by key advances in physics.

Physicists have a curiosity that thrives on the challenge of solving problems. Consistent with this, the physics program at Texas A&M strives to teach analytical thinking and quantitative problem-solving skills. This enables students to work productively in physics, in areas closely related to physics, and in a wide variety of areas outside of physics proper. Physicists can be found in almost any discipline that requires complex problem-solving skills. Some engage in cutting-edge research to increase our basic knowledge of the universe. Some apply new-found knowledge to make practical advances in the fields of computer science, medical science and engineering. Still, others use their knowledge to advocate, advise, inform, instruct and administrate as lawyers, consultants, journalists/writers, teachers and managers.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers two undergraduate degree programs, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science, as well as minors in astrophysics and physics.  The Bachelor of Science degree includes tracks in astrophysics, business, computational science, materials physics, physics and mathematics teaching and physical science teaching, in addition to a no-track option.  The Department of Physics and Astronomy also offers Master of Science degrees in astronomy and physics, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in applied physics, astronomy, and physics.

The faculty members of the department carry out theoretical and experimental research in the areas of astronomy and astrophysics, atomic, molecular and optical physics, computational physics, cosmology, high-energy and elementary particle physics, condensed matter physics and materials science, nuclear physics, quantum optics and physics education.  During the course of their undergraduate experience at Texas A&M, physics majors have the opportunity to work with faculty in all of these areas.