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There are numerous reasons for wanting to study Physics.

Perhaps you want to teach Physics to high school students? Or, with a goal of working in technology, you plan to combine Physics with a second major in another discipline such as mathematics or engineering? Either way, MSU Denver’s bachelor of arts degree in Physics is a great choice.

MSU Denver’s Physics program meets the standards for Colorado licensure for Secondary Science Education, with a core curriculum that adds a firm foundation in biology, chemistry, earth-space science, environmental science and mathematics.

As a Physics major, you’ll gain important skills such as the ability to think critically and address unforeseen problems. Plus, you’ll hone your mechanical aptitude and grow your capacity to learn new technologies quickly. Ultimately, you’ll graduate equipped with analytical, applied and advanced mathematical skills as well as experience in computer programming, modeling and simulation.

The Physics curriculum is taught jointly by the faculties of MSU Denver and the University of Colorado at Denver. MSU Denver students will receive instruction from the faculty of both institutions. The Physics Department also offers courses in astronomy, which are designed primarily as general interest courses.

Program Options

B.A. in Physics

B.S. in Physics

The department is also collaborating with the Aviation and Aerospace Science Department on a pilot bachelor of science program in Aerospace Physics through the Center for Individualized Learning.

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

Internships at the National Renewal Energy Laboratory and with its High-Altitude Observatory may be available to you as an MSU Denver Physics major.

Membership in the Society of Physics Students will give you the opportunity to present your scholarly work in professional meetings and journals.

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

four images: labs, government agencies, research firms

A variety of career positions are available to you with a Physics degree. An advanced degree is required in certain instances.

  • High school science teacher
  • Laboratory technician
  • Photo-optics technician
  • Ballistics expert
  • Photogrammetrist
  • Biophysicist
  • Cryogenic specialist
  • Seismologist
  • Geophysicist

Physicists are employed in numerous industries and businesses such as:

  • Atomic/nuclear labs
  • Secondary and higher education
  • Engineering firms
  • Government agencies
  • Professional/technical journals
  • Manufacturing/processing firms
  • Nuclear plants
  • Petroleum companies
  • Research firms

The median annual salary for high school teachers in 2016 was of $58,030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. The handbook lists $114,870 as the median annual salary in 2016 for physicists holding a Ph.D. or professional degree.


James Dove_PhysicsJames Dove

Professor James Dove’s work with the High-Altitude Observatory, a division of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, has led to internships at the observatory for his students. His research interests are solar physics and high-energy astrophysics.



Grant Denn_PhysicsGrant Denn

Professor Grant Denn spearheaded MSU Denver’s participation in a Cornell University project called ALFAFA, a 22-member consortium of colleges and universities that promotes undergraduate Physics research. His research interests include active galactic nuclei, astronomy education, asteroid detection through radar astronomy and hydrogen content in galaxies.




Learn more about MSU Denver Physics faculty.

Featured Alumnus

“Physics not only trains you to think outside of the box – it shows you how the box works.” 

Michael Roos, MSU Denver ’17, is a Ph.D. student in Physics at the University of Denver who completed an internship at NREL during his senior year. Read more about his internship.

“I found that MSU Denver’s small class size and access to advanced courses and topical seminars afforded me the opportunity to be exposed to far more than my peers attending larger schools.”

Jason Byrd, Ph.D., MSU Denver ’07, is junior staff scientist on the Quantum Theory Project at the University of Florida.


Omar Hurricane

MSU Denver ’90

Nuclear fusion researcher.

Award-winning physicist.


Learn more about Omar Hurricane.

Alumni at Work

MSU Denver Physics graduates are teaching in the Denver Public Schools and working at tech companies including Raytheon, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Northrup Grumman and Schlumberger.

Physics alumni have earned postgraduate degrees at University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, University of California ‒ Los Angeles, University of Denver, University of Indiana, University of Connecticut, University of Florida and California Institute of Technology.

Sample Classes

modern physics class with professor Kamran Sahami

Examples of Physics courses include:

Modern Physics I and II
Computational Physics
General Relativity
Solid State Physics
Vibrations, Waves and Mathematical Methods
Quantum Physics
Atomic and Molecular Structure
Continuum Physics
Physics Senior Seminar
Advanced Physics Laboratory I and II

Facilities and Resources

MSU Denver Physics Department, housed in the Science Building on the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver, has state-of-the-art laboratories and sophisticated equipment for your use.

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