B.S. in Physics and Astronomy Program By Johns Hopkins University |Top Universities

B.S. in Physics and Astronomy

B.S. in Physics and Astronomy

  • Degree Other
  • Study Level Bachelors

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The physics major program at Johns Hopkins University is built around giving its students a grasp of the physical principles underlying our universe and equipping them with the tools so that they can understand physical phenomena in terms of those principles. However, learning to “think like a physicist” also means assimilating a quantitative, critical intellectual style, firmly grounded in empiricism, that can be applied to problems far outside the conventional domain of our discipline; indeed, this is one of the reasons that over time physics has spawned new scientific fields such as biophysics or operations research, and continues to provide the underlying conceptual scheme for large parts of engineering. The breadth of potential applications for “physics thinking” also explains why the physics major at JHU is not one program, but two, and we offer two degree options, a B.S. and a B.A. The former is designed for students who want to be professionals in physics or allied subjects, whether they go directly into the workforce or immediately embark on a graduate program; the latter is for those who want to learn deeply about physics, but also have the time in their undergraduate careers to study more widely in other fields, in order to prepare for careers less exclusively focused on physical sciences.Although the detailed course requirements for the two programs are somewhat different, they share the same broad objectives. All our students should graduate with a solid understanding of the basic laws of physics. More generally, we also wish for all of them to emerge trained to think critically and quantitatively. At least some serious laboratory experience is essential for students to develop a sense of what real experiments are like and to recognize the fundamental grounding of abstract physical concepts in concrete empirical data. In addition, we hope that their Hopkins physics education will have led them to develop a genuine enthusiasm for learning about the natural world. So equipped, they will be prepared for success in many potential future careers, whether as physical scientists or in a variety of other professions. Finally, we note that because science is a dynamic enterprise, the preparation most appropriate for its students gradually changes over time. This means that even our basic goals gradually evolve.