Physics majors are problem solvers, equipped with the inventive thinking and analytical skills that are valuable to a wide range of employers.

What courses will you take?

Student works with equipment in a UMass Lowell engineering physics lab

The B.S. in Physics at UMass Lowell is designed to introduce both fundamental and applied aspects of physics. In addition to general physics foundation courses, you can select from a range of technical electives and specialty courses. 

At UMass Lowell, we offer three options, which lead to a wide range of career opportunities.

  • General Option provides a broad and solid grounding in physics. In addition to 60 credits of required physics courses, you can choose technical elective courses and non-physics electives in any of the engineering fields, computer science, mathematics, biology or chemistry. Courses for General Option
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics Option focuses on studies of celestial objects and phenomena beyond our planet earth. Specialty courses include optical system design, scientific computing, computerized data-acquisition, image processing and statistical data analysis. Courses for Astronomy and Astrophysics Option
  • Radiological Health Physics Option involves the study of the effects of radiation and radioactivity on life processes. Learn more about the Radiological Health Physics Option and courses

All physics majors complete a capstone research project before graduation, which often results in presentations at national professional meetings and/or publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Visit the Academic Catalog for a complete course listing and to learn about the Physics minor.

Visit the Academic Catalog for all degree pathways, including those from prior enrollment years.

Why study physics at UMass Lowell?

A finger points to a string vibrating in a UMass Lowell physics classroom

Fun Outside the Classroom

Put your learning into practice. Check out some of the fun ways UML students come together.

A UMass Lowell physics student works with a large piece of lab equipment

Research Opportunities

Gain research experience through employment with the department’s research faculty or internships in national labs such as Los Alamos National Laboratory or in high-tech firms such as Draper Laboratory. Cutting-edge research programs include:

  • Subatomic physics
  • Astrophysics
  • Nanoscience
  • Photonics
  • Terahertz technology
  • Radiological and medical physics
Engineering student works on a device in a UMass Lowell lab.

World-class Facilities and Equipment

Gain access to numerous on-campus facilities, including:

  • An astronomical observatory
  • 1-MW research reactor and a 5-MV particle accelerator for nuclear science and applications
  • Fabrication facilities for space-mission instrumentation
  • Optical and NMR spectroscopic and imaging equipment
  • Femtosecond pulsed lasers
  • Sophisticated terahertz imaging capabilities
Physics students work with lab equipment at UMass Lowell

Bachelor’s-to-Master's Program

Get on the fast track to an advanced degree with our combined bachelor's-to-master's program.

  • Available to juniors and seniors with a grade point average of 3.000 or better
  • Offers a continuous, coordinated sequence of courses
  • Reduced credit-hour requirements can save you time and money

What can you do with a degree in physics?

UMass Lowell physics graduates are prepared to continue to graduate school or to launch careers in educational institutions, small businesses, industrial firms, government laboratories and non-profit research centers.

Physics equipment glowing purple in a UMass Lowell laboratory

Alumni from our program have worked at:

  • Canberra Industries, Inc.
  • Draper Laboratory
  • Dupont
  • Los Alamos National Lab
  • MIT Lincoln Labs
  • MITRE Corporation
  • Oak Ridge National Lab
  • Raytheon
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • U.S. Naval Research Lab

Meet Our Faculty and Students

Rigel Cappallo env image
Rigel Cappallo ’13, ’16, ’19

Triple River Hawk Rigel Cappallo ’13, ’16, ’19 went from pianist to physicist.

I really loved the relationship that I had with the entire faculty and staff in the physics department.
Read More About Rigel Cappallo 
Paul and Cheryl Katen and their pet dogs
Cheryl and Paul Katen '66, '64
Plastics Technology; Physics

Cheryl and Paul Katen are funding a scholarship to give diverse students “a leg up.”

It’s a great feeling to give back by creating a scholarship.
Read More About Cheryl and Paul Katen 
Francesca Kamwa on a spiral staircase in the nuclear reactor at UMass Lowell
Francesca Kamwa '22
Radiological Health Physics

Francesca Kamwa ’21 nearly dropped out when her father died. Thanks to support from UML faculty, she’s now applying to medical schools.

There have been a lot of ups and downs, but UMass Lowell has given me so many opportunities.
Read More About Francesca Kamwa 
UMass Lowell student Albert Farah is seated at a desk while looking at a computer and tablet.
Albert Farah '24
Physics, Mathematics

Albert Farah found multiple paid research experiences at UMass Lowell.

The professors are really excited to talk about their research, and that infuses itself into me.
Read More About Albert Farah