Physics Program

Physics is the most fundamental science. It is the foundation for our understanding of the world around us, spanning the ultimate depths within subatomic nuclei to distances beyond the known universe. Physics provides a basis for other sciences, including chemistry, biology, astronomy, and geology. Physics discoveries, which led to technologies ranging from energy sources to quantum information and nano-communication devices to state-of-the-art medical diagnostics, have revolutionized our world, and will continue to do so. The physics curriculum at Tulane provides strong analytical skills and problem-solving abilities for careers ranging from academic research, to industrial development, to large government exploration, to project management, to the financial sector, to creative writing. The curriculum is unusually flexible and has successfully led to degrees with double, and even triple majors in diverse fields. The physics program also promotes and rewards creativity, stimulates intellectual development, and engages our students in life-long learning.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Physics program is to provide outstanding opportunities for learning and research in physics and teaching of the highest quality and impact, addressing needs and challenges of the 21st century. The program is designed to assist our students in developing deep understanding via powerful problem-solving skills, preparing them for a very broad range of opportunities.

Program Objectives

The Physics program aims to educate students to become professionals with in-depth knowledge and skills in science and mathematics to understand physical systems; to research, design and solve problems in physics and related disciplines; and to provide the foundation for graduate study and lifelong learning. Our objective is to prepare graduates to be able to successfully pursue:

  • Advanced studies leading to research and/or professional careers in physical science;
  • Careers in related technical and professional fields in industry or government.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the Physics program at Tulane University will attain:

  • an ability to apply knowledge of physics, mathematics, other sciences, and engineering;
  • an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data;
  • an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams;
  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve problems;
  • an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility;
  • an ability to communicate effectively;
  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning;
  • a knowledge of contemporary issues;
  • an ability to apply advanced mathematics through multivariate calculus, differential equations, and/or numerical techniques;
  • a knowledge of contemporary analytical and experimental techniques;
  • a competence in the use of computational tools and in the use of a high-level programming language;
  • a depth of knowledge in calculus-based physics at an advanced level.

Our physics curriculum places emphasis on:

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Problem Solving
  • Science and Scientific Principles
  • Research
  • Communications
  • Multi-disciplinary Teamwork
  • Continuous Learning
  • Leadership
  • Ethics
  • Preparation for Advanced Degrees in a Broad Variety of Fields

The basic physics requirements are flexible and accommodate degrees with majors in multiple and diverse fields. Students planning to continue on to graduate school should take more than the minimum courses required.

Prospective Undergraduate Student Admission Information