Degree Programs

Established in 1889, shortly after the 1870 founding of The Grainger College of Engineering, the Department of Physics is an integral part of Grainger Engineering. This unconventional pairing is historical, unconventional and advantageous to our Physics programs. The co-existence of the physics with engineering provides a unique perspective, positioning both the Grainger College of Engineering, and the Department of Physics, to solve fundamental problems in science, develop technological applications, address key societal issues, and provide our students with many unique opportunities.

The Department of Physics currently offers several degree programs. Our core program is ENGINEERING PHYSICS.

Engineering Physics

Bachelor of Science Degree in the Grainger College of Engineering

Engineering Physics is our core physics curriculum for students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is a rigorous program in fundamental Physics. In addition to courses in theoretical physics, this program offers advanced laboratory courses supported by the Grainger College of Engineering surcharge funds. It is also very flexible, allowing electives that can be used to create custom programs combining Physics with other disciplines and training in technical areas. Students interested in attending graduate school in Physics or other STEM fields, and/or pursuing careers in physics should apply to the Grainger College of Engineering for the Engineering Physics degree program.

We are currently in the process of creating a NEW Applied Physics curriculum that will combine fundamental physics with training in technical areas, participation in design projects, involvement in entrepreneurial activities, and opportunities for internships with participating industrial partners. We anticipate the finalized version of this program to be available for enrollment within the next few years.

We also have three cross-college programs for students with a desire to combine a background in Physics with other disciplines and interests, managed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Physics Concentration in LAS Science and Letters

Bachelor of Science Degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The physics concentration in the LAS Science and Letters curriculum provides a solid training in physics but also allows space for electives which can be selected to create a physics-based educational program in a wide variety of interdisciplinary fields.


Specialized Physics Curriculum

Bachelor of Science Degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The LAS Specialized Physics curriculum incorporates our rigorous Science and Letters curriculum, rich in fundamental physics, mathematics, and laboratory technique, with a classical liberal arts education that includes a heavy concentration of physics courses.


Physics Teaching Concentration

Bachelor of Science Degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

In addition to a firm foundation in physics, mathematics, and basic laboratory techniques, the Physics Teaching Concentration curriculum incorporates training in modern STEM-subject teaching pedagogies. If you plan to pursue a career in teaching physics, your completion of this concentration will fulfill state certification requirements to teach both physics and general science.