Department of Physics

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The Saint Louis University Department of Physics is located in Shannon Hall.

Now is a great time to study physics at Saint Louis University. Faculty members in the Department of Physics do research in a wide range of areas — including nanotechnology, superconductivity, quantum information, relativity and biophysics — and undergraduate students are encouraged to get involved as soon as possible.

If you major in physics at SLU, you’ll work closely with professors on a senior research project over the course of three semesters.

On the graduate level, our faculty participate in the nanomaterials and condensed matter physics track for SLU’s integrated and applied sciences Ph.D. program and are willing to help students apply for National Science Foundation funding through the Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Physics Degrees at SLU

Our Mission

The Department of Physics carries out its mission of teaching, research, and service within the context of a Catholic Jesuit university. Our primary mission is to teach the students of Saint Louis University the knowledge of physics and the related intellectual skills required for their academic programs and future careers and to prepare them for citizenship in our technological society. To accomplish this mission, we offer a Bachelor of Arts that combines physics with a broad liberal arts education, a rigorous and flexible Bachelor of Science in physics, as well as a Bachelor of Science in engineering physics. In addition, we teach multiple general physics courses designed for the diverse populations we serve and courses for the core curriculum.

Our mission includes the obligation to advance science by original research, involving our students whenever possible. It is also our duty to participate in the professional life of the world physics community, sharing in the work of its organizations. It is our responsibility to participate in the governance of the University and to advance its interests through service to the University, to its students, and to the larger community.

The educational mission of the physics department includes:

  • Teaching students the methods of discovery in physics and helping them comprehend the physical universe as revealed by science.
  • Helping students acquire the laboratory, mathematical, and computational skills needed to apply their knowledge of physical principles.
  • Showing students how to learn independently so that they can pursue knowledge throughout their lives.
  • Helping students understand the role of science and technology in our culture and in relation to the important issues of our time.
  • Encouraging students to use their knowledge of science and their intellectual skills in socially responsible ways.
  • Helping students identify and develop all of their talents to maximize their future opportunities.
  • Assisting students in determining their goals and providing the advice they need in seeking those goals.
  • Encouraging significant undergraduate participation in research, student authoring of publications, and student presentations at scientific meetings.
  • Maintaining the most modern teaching laboratories permitted by available resources, and fostering the use of computers in student learning.
  • Making new contributions to scientific knowledge, keeping current in the latest in teaching methods and techniques, as well as with employment opportunities for physics graduates.