Physicists are explorers of the physical universe seeking to understand the fundamental behavior of nature from elementary particles to galaxies. 

Physics, as a natural science, is a core component of a liberal education, and learning science requires the development and application of critical thinking skills to the natural and man-made world. The members of the physics department are devoted to learning and teaching about the ways in which the physical aspects of our existence can be understood and shaped by qualitative and quantitative reasoning within the framework of physics, the foundation of the natural sciences.

The physics department provides an excellent liberal education experience for GVSU students with student tailored physics courses and programs, mentored research experiences with faculty, and outreach activities. 

Check out the following links:

  • Why Study Physics?  Find out by clicking on the link: Why Physics?
  • Employment data for bachelor's degree recipients: The graphics include data on sectors and field of employment as well as starting salaries for new physics and astronomy bachelors.  
  • Who’s Hiring Physics Bachelors? - The resource contains state by state lists of some of the employers who have recently hired new physics bachelors. The lists is useful to (1) physics majors in identifying the variety of companies that hire physics bachelors and (2) to physics departments wishing to strengthen contacts with local employers.       

News Spotlights

AAPT Summer Meeting 2022 Spotlight

AAPT Summer Meeting 2022

2022 AAPT Summer Meeting will be live and in-person in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

AAPT Demo Show Spotlight

AAPT Demo Show

As part of their Summer 2022 National Conference, held in Grand Rapids, MI, the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) is bringing back its acclaimed "Physics Demonstration Show", and you are invited!

View More News Spotlights


Why should you be a physics major at GVSU?

  • Dynamic group of Faculty: Our active, enthusiastic, and caring faculty are engaged in excellent teaching, scholarly activities, and community service. Faculty actively pursue cutting-edge academic research projects with the students. Research interests of our faculty include acoustics, astronomy and astrophysics, atomic physics, condensed matter physics, physics education, gravitation and cosmology, nuclear physics, biophysics, and medical physics. 
  • Excellent Facilities:  Smaller size upper division physics classes provide personal attention to each student from our outstanding faculty. We have NSF funded state-of-the-art computing cluster for computational work.
  • Department Growth: Our department continues to grow and we expect this growth to continue. The number of physics majors also have grown in recent years. Many of our  physics graduates have found good paying jobs in both academia and industry. To learn more check out  our "Physics Alumni Profile."
  • Outreach:  Faculty  and students participate in a variety of physics outreach activities throughout the year to promote science education in Michigan and especially to create an interest in physics among middle and high school students.

We are always looking for interested and motivated students who are enthusiastic about physics and who want to pursue an undergraduate degree in physics. Explore our website for details.

If you are interested please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you. 


American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Conference in Grand Rapids, MI (2022)

As part of their Summer 2022 National Conference, held in Grand Rapids, MI, the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) is bringing back its acclaimed “Physics Demonstration Show”, and you are invited!

In partnership with AAPT, Grand Valley State University is hosting the Demo Show at the main campus in Allendale from 7:30 – 8:30 pm on Tues. July 12 at the Fieldhouse Arena.  This family-friendly show is open to the public and free of charge!  Warning:  This show may induce excitement about science!

The AAPT Demo Show is produced by the Physics Instructional Resource Association with support from AAPT and will be presented by Daniel Davis (Harvard University), Sam Sampere (Syracuse University), Dale Stille (University of Iowa), and David Sturm (University of Maine). For details click on the AAPT flyer.

AAPT Conference 2022 - Demo Show
AAPT Conference 2022 - Demos show
AAPT Conference 2022 - Demo Show

Physics Program

The Department of Physics is in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It offers a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) with a major in physics. Our robust program engages students in observation, experimentation, and theoretical study of the various phenomena of nature. The Physics Department offers:

Physics Faculty News

July 5: Prof. Ambrose on Shelley Irwin's show (on WGVU)

On Tuesday July 5, Dr. Brad Ambrose of Physics department was invited to do a spot on Shelley Irwin’s show on WGVU. Listen to Dr. Ambrose's interview here:

https://www.wgvunews.org/the-wgvu-morning-show/2022-07-05/gvsu-department-of-physics

Physics Help Corner

Need help with your physics homework?

 Visit "Physics Help Corner" for Winter 2022 schedule


Physics Alumni Profile

Dr. Paula "Paige" Kelley (2009) Spotlight

Dr. Paula "Paige" Kelley (2009)

Postdoc at University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

View More Physics Alumni Profile

Physics Faculty Spotlights

Dr. Sofia Karampagia Spotlight

Dr. Sofia Karampagia

Assistant Professor of Physics. Research interest is in Theoretical Nuclear Physics.

View More Physics Faculty Spotlights

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Page last modified June 28, 2022