Two students working in a physics lab.

Study matter, motion, space and time

The Department of Physics engages students at all levels, from those preparing for teaching to those pursuing scientific careers. Past and current members of our department’s internationally renowned faculty have been recognized with the highest honors in the discipline, including the Nobel Prize and, most recently, the 2021 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Faculty mentor students in a wide range of innovative research, from investigating the nature of dark matter to manipulating sophisticated quantum systems in the lab.

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Undergraduate Programs

  • B.S., Physics

    Comprehensive Physics Track, Applied Physics Track, Biological Physics Track, Teaching Physics Track

Graduate Programs

A group of students participating in a UW Physics field trip wearing hardhats.


As a physics student, you’ll solve challenging theoretical constructs, analyze data, master experimental techniques, and develop skills in error analysis — preparing you for a wide range of career paths. Department of Physics alumni pursue rewarding careers in education, research and development, engineering, health care, law, information technology, business, the military and government.

Career Paths

A degree in Physics can lead to a career as a(n):

  • Physicist 
  • Educator
  • Researcher
  • Programmer
  • Biophysicist 
  • Data analyst 
  • Business analyst
  • Patent agent
  • Systems analyst
  • Web developer   
Photo of eight toroid magnets surrounding a calorimeter measuring energies of particles.

Bringing physics to the public

As part of our commitment to make physics accessible to the general public, the Department of Physics and the College of Arts & Sciences jointly present the annual Frontiers of Physics Public Lecture Series. The free series brings renowned scientists to the UW to share the latest breakthroughs and engaging scholarship in the field. Recent topics have included “How to Find an Inhabited Exoplanet,” “What Really Happened 13.8 Billion Years Ago?,” and “Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs.”  

More About Frontiers of Physics 

Find Yourself in Physics

Study the most fundamental science and understand how the universe behaves.

Department of Physics Stories

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Quantum Mechanics for a General Audience

UW Physics Professor Miguel Morales has penned a math-free tour of quantum mechanics and technology

Jared Canright with students using virtual reality goggles

Virtually Physics

Doctoral student Jared Canright is exploring the potential of virtual reality to explain physics concepts to UW undergraduates. 

Natalie Kico

A Quantum Leap

A physics student explores the possibilities of quantum computing — with help from a Microsoft Research Fellowship.