Program at a glance

How much does it cost? 

Learn more about how to afford a degree from the University of Nevada, Reno.

How long does it take?

This 120 credit program is designed to be completed in four years.

Who can apply? 

Open to all undergraduate students. Applicants must have a high-school diploma or GED.

What will I learn in a physics degree program?

Physics is the study of all fundamental forces and processes, from the subatomic to the astronomic. The study of physics underlies all of science, and encompasses topics such as energy, astrophysics, lasers, nanotechnology and more.

Learning outcomes

The bachelor of science in physics provides a foundation in basic science. Studying physics provides all students with an understanding of basic scientific concepts as well as the development of problem-solving skills that can be applied to problems in the sciences and beyond.

Physics majors also take advanced electives in specialized topics in the field, including computational techniques, nuclear physics, theory of relativity and more, based on your areas of interest.

State-of-the-art research labs

The Physics Department encourages students to get involved in undergraduate research. Faculty specialize in a range of research areas, including astronomy, chemical physics, gravitational physics and more. Students can work with faculty in state-of-the-art facilities, including the Zebra Pulsed Power Lab, which is home to the highest-power electrical device operated by any university in the United States.

Researchers in the Zebra Pulsed Power Lab conduct research and train students in the field of high-energy-density science, which studies how matter behaves in extreme temperatures and densities. This rapidly developing field explores the fourth state of matter, called plasma, under conditions similar to those occurring in the interiors of stars, nuclear fusion reactors, and lightning bolts.

Options in the physics degree program

  • Minor in physics

    A minor in physics introduces students in related majors to the fundamental scientific concepts underlying fields such as engineering, chemistry or astronomy. In addition to gaining a thorough introduction to physics, a physics minor is a great way to hone your problem-solving skills and gain experience in the scientific method. 

  • Minor in astronomy

    The astronomy minor is designed to attract students not only from the sciences, but also such diverse majors as anthropology, journalism and education. Most departments have a range of research projects that would benefit from these studies. A senior thesis project - in which students complete an astronomical research project of their choosing - caps off the minor.

  • Secondary education and physics

    The NevadaTeach program is a dual-degree program where you can complement your bachelor's degree in physics with a degree in secondary education. In addition to a range of scientific careers, graduates of  the NevadaTeach program are prepared for a career teaching physics and related sciences at the middle- and high-school levels. 

Careers with a degree in physics

In addition to a solid foundation in the sciences, a physics degree provides invaluable experience in creative problem solving, giving graduates of the physics major versatile skills that can be applied in a range of industries.

You can afford the University of Nevada, Reno

76% of students receive financial aid

Almost everyone is eligible to receive some kind of aid. We offer need-based and merit-based forms of financial aid to help you afford college.

54% of all students graduate with no debt

That's right. More than half of our students leave the University of Nevada, Reno with no student debt.

Life's a journey. Honors makes it meaningful.

At the University of Nevada, Reno Honors College, our students maximize their unique gifts and passions through a series of personalized experiences that deepen their capacity for transformative societal impact.

Visit the Honors College
Four honors students standing near Manzanita Lake; one is holding a soccer ball.