The Department of Physics offers major programs of lecture and laboratory instruction leading to the bachelor of science in physics, the bachelor of science in engineering physics, and the bachelor of science in physics with a biophysics emphasis. The department also provides an academic minor in physics and required and elective courses for students majoring in other fields.
The Physics major is an ideal choice for students who plan to pursue graduate studies, either in physics or related fields. Some students with a scientific bent also take a physics degree as a stepping stone to medical or law school.
The Engineering Physics program is administered by the Department of Physics in close cooperation with the Electrical, Computer, and Mechanical Engineering Departments. The Engineering Physics major is particularly suitable for students who plan a career in an applied science or engineering field. The program emphasizes fundamental aspects of physics essential to understanding and contributing to developments in all aspects of technology. Santa Clara is one of only 60 colleges and universities in the United States with an Engineering Physics program.
The Physics major with a biophysics emphasis (implemented in 2015–2016) provides a solid preparation for graduate studies and for nearly all of the postgraduate opportunities open to traditional physics majors. Students who complete the biophysics emphasis will have additional opportunities in medicine, the life sciences, and related industries.