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Professor and student in a lab classroom


The Illinois State University Physics Department offers nationally recognized degree sequences for undergraduate physics majors. We are small enough to provide individualized attention, yet big enough to deliver large university opportunities.

The department encourages strong faculty-student interactions with its 10:1 student to faculty ratio. We currently average 125 physics majors with 18 graduates per year. This places us in the top 20 out of more than 500 undergraduate-only programs in the nation.


The Physics Department aims to:

  • Provide a high quality undergraduate physics experience, offering physics, computational physics, and physics teaching degrees as well as a dual degree program in engineering and physics, with the goal of becoming the first choice school in physics for Illinois students.
  • Carry out research and scholarship that is recognized on a national and international level.
  • Maintain and expand a vigorous undergraduate research program that is second to none nationally by providing a supportive learning environment in which undergraduate students are active participants in forefront research.
  • Provide meaningful co-curricular activities, offering students significant experiences applying their skills and knowledge to a variety of out-of-class projects.
  • Maintain the preeminent undergraduate physics teacher education program in Illinois and further establish its national reputation.
  • Provide a robust computational physics program, including integration of computational methods into all physics major courses and offering a bachelor's degree in Computational Physics, unique in the nation, focusing on computer simulation of physical systems.
  • Maintain and continue to develop effective courses that support the University-wide commitment to general education.
  • Provide a strong outreach and public education program that extends to members of the campus, the wider community, and the profession, and which serves the public interest by sharing our experience and expertise through educational activities, scientific analysis and explanation, and a continuing effort to foster scientific literacy.