Physics at Keene State College is taught within a liberal arts framework, stressing the historical, philosophical, and conceptual frameworks from which modern-day physics arises, and at the same time providing a rigorous program with ample opportunities for undergraduate research, individual tutoring and mentoring, and preparation for careers and further study in engineering or graduate school.
With small classes and an experienced and dedicated faculty, the physics program is noted for its close faculty-student relationships. From the first day of class, professors work to establish rapport and communication with students. Faculty encourage independent and small-group research projects. The Physics Department and faculty offices are located on the third floor of the David F. Putnam Science Center, a facility filled with science and computer labs, top-of-the-line instruments and equipment, and ample room for experimentation.
This interdisciplinary program provides sufficient groundwork in both mathematics and physics for employment in industry, the commercial sector, or further study in graduate school. Students who are interested in an engineering degree may elect this program and complete major requirements over two or three years (see Engineering Transfer 2+2 and 3+2 programs)
In today's changing job market, competency in two or more basic fields of science enhances opportunity for employment and professional growth potential. This interdisciplinary major fulfills such a need and provides a grounding in two related sciences, with balance in both and is a great major for a Chemical Engineering 3+2 transfer. With a dual major in Education, Chemistry-Physics students can be certified to teach in secondary schools.
A great combination with any major, especially in the sciences, that gives students a solid foundation in physics.
Any student interested in astronomy will benefit from this minor program which covers the basics of planetary, stellar, and galactic astronomy, more advanced concepts in cosmology, and practical knowledge in physics fundamentals with a choice of courses in research or physics.
Engineering Transfer 2+2 and 3+2 programs
The first two years at any engineering school are all similar, and the first two years of our Mathematics/Physics program follow them very closely. It consists of introductory math, chemistry and physics classes as well as our Fundamentals of Engineering course, which introduces potential engineers to the various engineering disciplines and problem solving in engineering. Here at Keene State you can do the first two years of an engineering degree with small class sizes before transferring to a big engineering school.
Engineering Transfer 2+2 program. Students transfer to an engineering school after 2 years of a mathematics/physics curriculum at Keene State.
Engineering Transfer 3+2 program. Students spend three years at Keene State and two years in engineering school and receive a B.S. in Math/Physics or Chemistry/Physics from Keene State College and an appropriate B.S. in Engineering.
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Career and Other Opportunities
While some physics majors go on to become professional physicists, our students can pursue careers in fields where they can put their knowledge to more practical applications. Physics graduates can easily move into government and industrial jobs that require an ability to think logically and creatively using their skills in problem-solving, mathematical reasoning, computer programming, and organizing and interpreting scientific data.
Graduates pursue academic and career paths in:
- Industrial physics
- Quality control
…as well as in many areas of physics:
- Nuclear physics
- Chemical physics
- Computational physics
- Space physics
- Health physics
Physics graduates from Keene State College have a knowledge of the historical, philosophical, and conceptual frameworks from which modern-day physics arises, and skills in problem-solving, mathematical reasoning, and organizing and interpreting scientific data.
It's really beautiful to be able to explain things that nobody's ever heard of and explore new topics—it's the coolest thing in the world.
Micah Arends '16
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