Undergraduate Program

Explore the most fundamental aspects of our universe

Studying Physics at WashU

As the most fundamental of all the sciences, physics will lead you to a deeply fulfilling and rewarding undergraduate experience. Not only will a physics major provide you with the skills to excel in a professional career, but you can also apply your studies to a surprising variety of occupations. 

Physics majors from our department have seen rewarding careers in science, medicine, law, engineering, computer science, and business, among other professions. Washington University's strong biophysics and neurophysics programs can play an important role in premedical studies, and the opportunities for double majors ensure that students can integrate other subjects into your course of study. Graduates of our department have been accepted into graduate school at every top university in the country, including our own.

The Physics Major

The Department of Physics at Washington University is strongly committed to fundamental research and excellence in teaching. We are a medium-sized department with nationally and internationally renowned research groups in the fields of astroparticle physics, condensed matter physics and materials, biophysics and medical physics, nuclear physics, and particle physics. 

The goal of the major program is to provide undergraduate students with an outstanding education in physics as preparation for successful careers in graduate school or in the workplace. The physics department offers a major and a minor in physics, a minor in astrophysics and astroparticle physics and a minor in biomedical physics. Undergraduate students have the possibility to enroll in a large number of specialized courses and to actively participate in research within the department.

About the Program

Major Requirements
Minor Requirements
Undergraduate Research Projects

Undergraduate research

Getting Started

Undergraduate students are invited to participate in research at all levels of the undergraduate career. Engaging actively in research as an undergraduate student is highly recommended for students planning to do a PhD in Physics or in another science.

Learn about undergraduate research

Research Groups

The physics department hosts strong research groups in the fields of Astrophysics, Biophysics, Condensed Matter Physics, Materials, Medical Physics, Nuclear Physics, Particle Physics, and Space Materials. All undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to participate in the cutting-edge research happening throughout the department.

Discover research opportunities

Fellowships & Prizes

The department offers research fellowships both during the summer and the academic year. A select number of prizes are awarded to students who have excelled in various ways.

Find fellowships & apply

How to Apply

We welcome students of many different backgrounds. Apply online by clicking the link below.

Apply Now!

Society of Physics Students

The Washington University in St. Louis Chapter of the Society of Physics Students hosts a range of fun physics events like observatory parties, experiment demo nights, lab tours, and panels on research and graduate admissions. They have connected students with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, such as a meet-and-greet with a Nobel Laureate and dinner with Neil deGrasse Tyson, and have led a wide range of endeavors to make our department more inclusive. 

Learn more and join the society!
Hannah McCall

"I knew when I arrived at WashU that I wanted to conduct physics research, but I didn’t realize how readily attainable that research experience would be. Everyone I contacted in the department welcomed me to visit their lab to learn more about their field and offered advice on choosing research projects. The physics department not only provided the opportunity to gain valuable research experience early in my undergraduate career, but also to present my findings at national conferences."

―Hannah McCallB.A., 2020