Physics, B.A.


The Physics BA degree provides students with the same broad, rigorous foundation in physics as the Physics BS, except that the BA program does not require any 400-level advanced physics electives. This gives Physics BA students the opportunity to customize their degree for a variety of careers and disciplines that value a solid grounding in physics and mathematical problem-solving but do not need the same advanced physics knowledge as a Physics graduate program would.

The department is small and friendly. Faculty members work closely with students on research projects in observational astronomy and image analysis, astrophysics, biophysics, computational simulation, electronics, particle physics, and science education. 


  • Professors Aarnio and Miroshnichenko run the Three College Observatory, using it for their own and student research, as well as offering public viewing nights and course field trips.
  • The department also operates the UNCG Planetarium for use in astronomy courses and to benefit the Triad-area community. Its Spitz projector displays and animates stars, planets, and our sun and moon on the interior of its 20-foot dome.
  • Accreditations and affiliations include:
    • American Institute of Physics
    • American Association of Physics Teachers
    • American Astronomical Society
    • American Association for the Advancement of Science
    • Biophysical Society
    • American Society of Adaptation Professionals 


  • Small, interactive classes.
  • Dedicated teaching faculty with research focused on astronomy, astrophysics, biophysics, nonlinear systems and chaos, particle physics, and science education.
  • Opportunities to work closely with faculty on research projects. Recent projects have included theoretical models of human heartbeats, studies of variable stars in globular clusters, studies of the sodium pump in kidney cells, and research into students’ science self-efficacy.
  • Participation in clubs and organizations including the Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society and the Society for Physics Students, which makes frequent trips to research facilities such as the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Greenbank, West Virginia., and the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory.
  • The potential to earn a BS in physics in three years and move directly into a Ph.D. program in nanoscience.


  • Provides a firm foundation for careers in medicine, law, business, technically-oriented sales, engineering, biophysics, environmental science, and physics.
  • Through the pre-engineering program, students have transferred into engineering programs at schools including N.C. State University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and N.C. Agricultural & Technical State University.
  • Graduates have also entered MS programs in mechanical, aerospace, and biomimetic engineering.
  • With teacher licensure, provides preparation for teaching in a public middle or high school.
  • Prepares for advanced degrees; graduates have gone onto graduate programs including Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California-Santa Barbara, New York University, Duke University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C. State University, UNCG’s Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, and Clemson University.
  • Graduates hold positions such as:
    • Applications Software Engineer at McDonnell Douglas
    • NASA Branch Chief
    • CEO of Landmark Communication Interests
    • Vice President of Oscom Communications
    • Telecommunications engineer at AlliedSignal
    • Operations Director at Continental Airlines
    • Physicist at Northrop Grumman

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Program Details

Degree Type: Bachelor's

College/School: College of Arts and Sciences

Program Type: Major

Class Type: In Person

Contact Us

Dr. Ian Beatty
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Physics and Astronomy