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Undergraduate Degree Programs in Physics and Astronomy

A physics and astronomy degree from West Virginia University will prepare you with a solid foundation for an exciting future, whether you join the workforce after graduation, continue your training in graduate school, or specialize in another field.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is dedicated to the study of the physical world and the processes that govern it. Our faculty train students in a wide-range of fundamental areas of classical and modern physics through a structured program of courses, individual and group research activities, department activities and advanced electives.

Undergraduates choose from two degree programs, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Physics and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Physics. These two programs are structured to meet the needs of all students who are interested in a career in the broad area of the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines, on the one hand, but can be excellent preparation for non-STEM careers on the other. 

Both of our undergraduate degrees provide excellent preparation for students who are preparing to attend academic and professional graduate programs. In addition, with appropriate electives, students with a degree in physics can provide a significantly wider range of career options, including in law, journalism, teaching, health care, administration, and business.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy also offers introductory survey courses in physics and astronomy which are of interest to a broad range of students in the social sciences, fine arts, humanities, health sciences, and education. These courses use a minimum of mathematics to introduce the principles of physics and they provide many examples from the “real world” of the environment, energy, space, communications, transportation, and medicine.

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Do you have questions about the WVU Physics and Astronomy undergraduate program?

Are you unsure about which degree or areas of emphasis to choose?

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Program Details

Our mission is to prepare students for employment in physics-related areas including physics teaching certification and/or for the pursuit of advanced degrees in physics, astronomy, or related fields by educating our majors in fundamental disciplinary concepts and relevant skills including problem solving and laboratory techniques.

Group of REU students in the mounts with the Greenback telescope in the background

Major in Physics

What does the undergraduate program look like in the Department of Physics and Astronomy?

BA/BS Physics Major
Girl wearing safety glasses stands in front of a rack of equipment

Typical Plans of Study

Learn more about the Bachelor of Science, the  Bachelor of Arts, and the Areas of Emphasis. 

View Plan of Study Details
Female looking through the eyepiece of a large telescope


Choose a minor to develop analytical problem-solving skills and engage in scientific thinking.

Physic and Astronomy Minors

Resources and Opportunities

You will find many opportunities available to you as an undergraduate student in our department. Our faculty and staff encourage questions and we are all committed to your success.

Jobs and Career

Bachelor’s degree physicists have excellent job prospects in our technological society. Learn more about what you can do with your degree.

Scholarships and Awards

Due to the generosity of alumni, students majoring in our programs may apply for a variety of scholarships and awards. We also maintain a list of external scholarships for our students.

Research and Internships

Choose from a wide array of undergraduate research opportunities, including on-site state-of-the-art laboratories and off-site research experiences at national and international facilities

Student Organizations

We support several student organizations to help you make the most out of your education and to connect with your fellow students.

In the Spotlight

More than students in a class — we are Mountaineers on a mission

View Spotlight for Anna "Annie Kate" Turner

Anna "Annie Kate" Turner

“West Virginia University has cutting-edge research opportunities for students. My research has sent me around the world to share my work and meet with leading experts in my field.”

View Spotlight for Morrigan Passey

Morrigan Passey

“The research at WVU has been amazing. I truly have enjoyed every second of it.”

View Spotlight for Caden Ginter

Caden Ginter

“As long as there are new things to discover about our world, I will hunt for them.”