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The Department of Physics offers students the opportunity to pursue some of nature’s deepest secrets.  Physics students discover the structures and interactions that constitute the Universe, from the smallest components inside atoms to the largest galaxies, and from living cells to new materials.

UR: A Great Physics Department

  • The American Institute of Physics has named UR's Physics Department to its list of large programs.  We have a high number of majors!
  • We teach engaging introductory classes in small workshop format, intellectially sophisticated advanced theory and laboratory courses, special topics courses, and first year seminars
  • Our faculty and students publish research in journals and present at conferences and universities throughout the country and around the world
  • Our faculty are awarded grants from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and other sources, and serve in leadership positions in their fields

The Physics Department has instituted a registration policy for PHYS 131 and 132. Students interested in either of these courses should read the updated policy on the department blog.

Physics: Great Career Preparation

No matter what you have planned for your future, a physics education can provide you with a great foundation to get there.

Undergraduate physics majors have:

  • The second highest average MCAT score. Only economics majors scored higher.
  • The second highest average LSAT score. Only mathematics majors scored higher.
  • The highest mean GMAT score.
  • One of the highest starting salaries for Bachelors degree recipients.
  • Excellent prospects for graduate study in physics, engineering, applied mathematics, astronomy, and other fields.

More Career Information

Department News

Congratulations to our 2020 Physics graduates who have been accepted to great graduate programs in physics, materials science, and engineering, and have exciting job and fellowship offers and other accomplishments!

Congratulations to UR Physics Alum Ben Crider (`06) who has received a prestigious NSF CAREER award!  While an undergrad at UR Ben did research in nuclear physics.  He is now a professor at Mississippi State University.

Feature Stories

Faculty Highlights

  • Gilfoyle Awarded Department of Energy Grant

    Jerry Gilfoyle, the Robert Edward and Lana Frazer Loving Chair of Physics, was awarded a $275K+ Department of Energy grant for nuclear physics research. Read more.

  • Singal Quoted

    Jack Singal, associate professor of physics, was quoted in “China Launches Moon Mission, Seeking to be First Country in Decades to Collect Lunar Rocks" for The Washington Post.

  • Rebello Sousa Dias Published

    Dr. Mariama Rebello Sousa Dias recently published 'Optoelectronic characterization of Zn1-xCdxO thin films as an alternative to photonic crystals in organic solar cells' in The Optical Society.

  • Aguilar Published

    Dr. Omar Agular and Dr. Mariama Rebello Sousa Dias recently published 'Optoelectronic characterization of Zn1-xCdxO thin films as an alternative to photonic crystals in organic solar cells' in The Optical Society.

  • Astrophysics Jack Singal, physics professor who worked at NASA, can discuss the legacy of the Moon Landing and all we have learned about the moon since then.
  • Rocketry Jerry Gilfoyle, a physics professor, has worked on policy touching on rocketry with regards to nuclear arms proliferation and the associated missile technology.
  • Gilfoyle Grant

    Physics professor Jerry Gilfoyle received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to support his on-going project, “Medium Energy Nuclear Physics at the University of Richmond."

  • Gilfoyle Named Loving Chair

    Physics professor Jerry Gilfoyle was appointed the Robert Edward and Lena Frazer Loving Chair of Physics.

  • Bunn Grant

    Physics professor Ted Bunn has received funding from The Royal Society for a collaborative project with a colleague at the Imperial College London. The project will focus on the development of techniques for the analysis of weak lensing surveys.

  • Singal Article

    Dr. Jack Singal and colleagues published “The Radio Synchrotron Background: Conference Summary and Report,” in Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

Contact Information

Mailing address:
Department of Physics
Gottwald Center for the Sciences
138 UR Drive
University of Richmond, VA 23173

(804) 289-8252
Fax: (804) 484-1542

Administrative coordinator: Mary Ann Stewart
Chair: Dr. Matthew Trawick