panel-overview, Academics | Earlham College Skip to Content

Exploring the Universe, from Quarks to the Cosmos

Overview   |   Meet An Earlhamite   |   Our Faculty   |   Pre-Engineering   |   Plan of Study   |   Courses  


The study of Physics and Astronomy not only contributes to students’ understanding of the physical environment, it also develops their abilities to reason analytically and to test hypotheses.

Students are involved in on-campus research with faculty as early as their first year. Many of these projects involve mathematicians, computer scientists, biochemists and chemists working on the same projects.

Research opportunities are off-campus, too. They include the Oak Ridge Science Semester and summer REU programs at Purdue University, the University of Michigan and the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris.

Earlham also offers a 3-2 program in engineering, in which a student takes foundational science and distribution courses at Earlham for three years, then spends an additional two years earning an engineering degree at an accredited engineering school.

More from the Physics and Astronomy Department:


Built in 2015, the Center for Science and Technology is home to the Physics Department. The facility includes all new classrooms, teaching and research labs, and computational facilities supporting and reinforcing our dedication to creative and transformative teaching.

A group of our students regularly attend the Biophysical Society annual meeting with 7,000 scientists from around the world.

Each year, about two-thirds of our graduates continue to graduate school in physics or related fields. Earlham ranks 64th nationally (in the 95th percentile) in the percentage of graduates receiving Ph.D.s in physics.

A Physics major prepares students for careers in secondary education, engineering or other technical disciplines, even medical or law school, scientific consulting, etc.