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Prospective Students

Welcome to the Physics Department at The College of New Jersey! Please explore our site to read about our faculty and to learn about our programs, our facilities, and the excellent opportunities available to our students.  If after doing so you have additional questions for us, don’t hesitate to send an email to We look forward to meeting you at one of the open houses held by the College and our department each fall. You will have an opportunity to learn more bout our program and can take a tour of our teaching and research facilities.

TCNJ physics classes are typically small, and the labs, even in introductory classes, are taught by the professors who teach the lectures.  All students are assigned academic advisers within the department.  These initial relationships between students and faculty only expand through the four years as many students perform experimental, observational, theoretical and computational research projects with our faculty members.  Many of our students attend national conferences and meetings to present their research results and some are coauthors on published papers with faculty members.

The College of New Jersey has graduated between 15 and 22 physics majors each year over the past several years, placing us in the top 3-4% in that category among physics programs that offer only Bachelor of Science degrees and among the top 15% of all departments, including those that offer PhDs.  Our popularity reflects the excellent teaching and advising by the professors and the helpful attitude of the more senior physics students who run active Physics and Astronomy clubs.  Most physics majors perform research projects related to our faculty members’ interests in astrophysics, atmospheric science, biophysics, condensed matter physics, fluid dynamics, geophysics, optics, and photonics.  The rigorous training in physics our students receive means that our graduates have the knowledge and flexibility to succeed in a wide variety of careers. We offer a larger number of specializations than most undergraduate programs that allow them to deeply investigate their interests as they develop as scientists.

Some of our graduates accept jobs in industry similar to those taken by newly trained engineers and others go on to graduate school, almost always with full financial support, in physics, astronomy, geosciences, and engineering.  Those who take the Physics/Secondary Education track are certified to teach in high schools and so far every graduate of this program has obtained a teaching position immediately upon graduation and most have had multiple offers.  Other Physics majors go on to professional schools in medicine, medical physics and law. Click here to see a list of what some of our graduates have done after they left TCNJ. These links on physics employment trends are helpful as well: Who Is Hiring Physics Bachelor’s? and Latest Employment Data for Physicists.

Close Contact Classes

Small, lab-based courses give students lots of contact with both professors and high-tech instrumentation. Class size ranges from 10 to 24 students, and even our intro-level labs are taught by full-time faculty members. In well-equipped labs, students learn to use instrumentation in optics, astronomy, seismology, atomic and plasma physics, and more.

A Range of Research

Our faculty are all active teacher-scholars, with diverse research expertise: Quasars and black holes. Neuronal networks. Lasers and plasmas. Atmospheric ice crystals. Earthquakes and volcanoes. This extensive range of knowledge lets us accommodate nearly any research interest. Our students do high-quality work, presenting and publishing in respected academic and professional forums.

Not Just for Physicists

Physicists are generalists and can do anything! We would know—TCNJ ranks in the top 1% nationally among peer institutions in graduating physics majors. Many pursue graduate study in physics, geosciences, engineering, and more. Some become teachers, doctors, journalists, and lawyers. Others enter the workforce in research, technical, and development roles.