Prospective Student
Prospective Student

Welcome, prospective student! Here you’ll find resources and information about the Department of Physics & Astronomy, scholarships and financial aid, and about the careers your degree and skills could help you achieve.

What is Physics?

Physics is the most fundamental of all the sciences, the study of matter and energy and their interactions. It provides the underlying framework for chemistry, biology and beyond.

Physics is not just a body of knowledge — it is a set of approaches that allows people to solve all kinds of problems. Physics seeks to describe the most basic features of a system and the underlying general rules that govern them. These rules are powerful tools for understanding that system and similar ones that physicists may encounter later.

Finally, physics is ultimately an experimental science, grounded in the truth of the phenomena that are observed in the real world. Theories are tested by experiments and then repeatedly refined to give the best description of the observed data. Designing experiments to give the most accurate and useful information is itself an art form.

What Do Physicists Do?

Because the study of physics develops such strong analytical skills, physicists go into a wide variety of careers such as engineering, law, medicine, computer science and information technology, optical and laser science, and materials science.

Many physicists work in government or industrial laboratories, but some start their own businesses. Some complete master's or doctoral degrees after their bachelor's, but others start their careers right after college.

Why Should You Study Physics?

  • Physics is fun! Physicists learn how the world works with experimentation and observation.
  • Physics is challenging! Physicists don't just describe the world, they figure out the how and why that's underneath.
  • Physics makes you a better thinker! It will help you develop analytic and quantitative skills, tools that will prepare you for success in a wide range of careers, solving problems that have never been encountered before.
  • Physics leads to technology! Many innovations we take for granted in our daily lives (like our smartphones) were developed out of research in physics.
Student laboratory interior with desks, chairs, and computers at each station.
Student laboratories are fully equipped to allow students to put into action lessons from their lecture courses.

Schedule a Visit

Students interested in majoring in Physics are welcome to schedule a tour of department facilities. Undergraduate advisers guide visitors through classrooms and laboratories (note that certain facilities may not be open for viewing depending upon course and instructor schedules; graduate students may lead tours if a faculty member is not available.)

Schedule your tour today:
Phone: 402-472-2770

Take a Virtual Tour!

What it is like to research in one of our labs? Visit five labs with the Physics and Astronomy 360 Virtual Tour.

Move your phone or drag your desktop cursor to explore each space.

How to Apply

Let curiosity move you to start your story in the College of Arts and Sciences. With over 30 majors in the college alone, specialized programs of study to match any interest area, the opportunity for hands-on experience through our nationally-acclaimed undergraduate research program, and a campus located at the heart of an innovative college city community of over 250,000 people, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers the ideal Big Ten collegiate experience for students at an affordable cost.

Apply now