Welcome to the Department of Physics and Optical Science! We offer programs leading to both undergraduate and graduate degrees, and our Department’s relatively small size empowers students to interact one-on-one with faculty members to achieve success with their coursework and research endeavors. 


Students can get involved with the broader physics community by participating in the Society for Physics Students and other campus organizations. We also offer weekly seminars that enhance the formal coursework by providing students with the opportunity to interact with leading scientists from around the world. 


Our introductory courses in general physics or astronomy are available to all majors, so that students from various backgrounds may meet UNC Charlotte’s general education requirements. Advanced courses in modern physics, classical mechanics, electromagnetic theory, optics, thermal physics, and quantum mechanics lead to either a B.A. or B.S. degree with further pathways such as applied physics or secondary teacher licensure. 


At the graduate level, the department offers a Master of Science in Applied Physics with research concentrations in applied optics or biophysics. Our Optical Science and Engineering program has both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees; due to the interdisciplinary nature of this research area, many of our graduate students have backgrounds in various engineering fields, as well as physics.


Students who complete our programs later pursue careers in industry, medicine, academia, and education; check the Alumni tab to view some of our alumni's incredible accomplishments.