students working with a small apparatus.
Students use a computerized position sensor to demonstrate Newton’s laws of motion in their own experiment during a studio physics course.

Programs Offered

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers major and minor programs in physics and a minor in astronomy. General information about UA’s physics programs are available on the University’s website.

The department also offers a high school physics teacher certification program and a second-major curriculum for engineering majors.

We also offer an accelerated Masters program for gifted and highly motivated undergrads. General information can be found at the University Scholars website.

Watch to find out more about our program:


Undergraduate Director: Dr. Dawn Williams

Physics Major Tracks

There are four tracks leading to the bachelor of science (BS) degree in physics:

  • the graduate school track, for students considering graduate work in physics
  • the astrophysics track, for students interested in astronomy or space science
  • the biophysics track, for students planning a career in a health profession
  • the physics education track, for students who want to teach in grades K–12

More information on the physics major and these tracks can be found on our Major Requirements page.

High School Physics Teacher Certification

We have a new program to recruit and train students who are interested in becoming certified high school physics teachers. For more information, visit our PhysTEC website.

Double Major with Engineering

We also offer a second-major curriculum for engineering majors. For example, electrical and computer engineering majors need only 4 additional hours beyond their normal program to complete a second major in physics. This combination of fundamental and applied physics can be highly advantageous when the graduate enters the job market. More information is available at the bottom of our Major Requirements page.

Special Academic Programs

University Scholars

The University of Alabama offers an accelerated  “University Scholars” program for gifted and highly motivated undergrads. The program may lead to simultaneous completion of requirements for both master’s and bachelor’s degrees, each within its specified framework. More information is available at the University Scholars website.

Other Programs

The University of  Alabama offers undergraduate students opportunities to participate in (a) cooperative exchange programs and (b) 1-2 semester national exchange program. Details on both programs can be found at the University’s Special Academic programs website.