Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
VMI's undergraduate physics degree program offers solid training for many technical career paths or for graduate study in physics and other closely allied technical fields.
While the physics curriculum is rich in applied mathematics, it is also a well-balanced program with many opportunities to develop hands-on laboratory and computer programming skills and to probe the relationship between experiment and mathematical theory that is the hallmark of physics. The physics curriculum is a flexible curriculum that provides an excellent opportunity for the development of intellectual breadth while also building strong scientific and technical skills.
The department houses a generous complement of well-equipped classrooms, teaching laboratories and faculty research laboratories. The teaching laboratories include two general physics laboratories, an electronics and interfacing laboratory, an optics laboratory, and a modern physics laboratory. The department has a small accelerator and nuclear physics laboratory in the basement of Mallory Hall, and the VMI Observatory, a short drive from post, has a 20-inch reflecting telescope and an array of smaller telescopes that are used in our astronomy courses and for faculty and cadet research projects.
The concentration in nuclear energy is specifically designed to prepare students for work in the nuclear power industry, the Navy’s NUPOC program, or for graduate study in Nuclear Engineering. It includes 12 credit hours of free electives, 6 credit hours of humanities and social science electives, 6 credit hours of technical electives, and 6 credit hours of physics electives (at the 300 or 400 level).
A minor in astronomy is offered to cadets who desire to complement their major area of study with additional work in the field of astronomy. Courses include physics, astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology.
A minor in physics is offered to cadets who desire to complement their major area of study with additional work in the field of physics. Course options include optics, nuclear physics, electricity & magnetism, and quantum mechanics.