Oct 01, 2023  
2018-2019 Catalog 
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Applied Physics

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs and Degrees


Applied physics is the interface between science and technology, between the laboratory and industrial practice. It applies the concepts and models of physics to practical technological applications. Applied physics is essentially an interdisciplinary undertaking, interacting with mathematics, computer science, engineering, the life sciences, medicine and other disciplines. Applied physicists use their understanding and skills at the new scientific and technological frontiers that are developing rapidly at the interface between more traditional disciplines, e.g. biophysics, biomedical engineering, bioinformatics, materials science, and medical imaging. They have the flexibility to adapt to changing technological requirements and the ability to make meaningful contributions to modern, interdisciplinary investigations.


Graduates from the Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics will receive an excellent preparation for securing professional employment in industry or in the public sector.

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics with an Emphasis in Technology is designed to produce graduates with strong problem-solving, technical, industrial and management skills. This will enable them to obtain professional employment on graduation in research and development in industry or in the public sector in, for example, electronics, semiconductors, medical technology and telecommunications. Through appropriate selection of electives, students can concentrate on selected areas within applied physics and pursue further study in graduate or professional schools, for example in Experimental Physics, Computer Engineering, Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering, or Medical Physics.

The Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics with an Emphasis in Physical Sciences is designed to provide students with a broad foundation in applied physics as part of a liberal education in the sciences. The program is particularly appropriate for students interested in such careers as teaching, public service, business, scientific equipment sales or science journalism. It can serve as the depth and breadth of study necessary for securing a single Subject credential in Science for teaching at the high school and middle school level.

The Applied Physics Minor provides non-majors with the background in science and technology that is needed to pursue a career or graduate study in an interdisciplinary field. Students majoring in Mathematics or Computer Science, in particular, should consider obtaining an Applied Physics minor because of the considerable overlap with these fields.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from the Applied Physics program will be able to:

  • 1. Demonstrate understanding of the general principles of physics
  • 2. Demonstrate quantitative problem solving skills
  • 3. Integrate the scientific method into problem-solving and experimentation
  • 4. Demonstrate critical thinking in the context of physics
  • 5. Demonstrate understanding of physics literature such as textbooks, laboratory manuals and publications geared toward undergraduates.


Geoff Dougherty, Ph.D.
Professor of Physics
Coordinator and Academic Advisor for the Applied Physics Program
Bell Tower East, Room 2848
Phone: (805) 437-8990; Fax: (805) 437-2765

Gregory Wood, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Physics
Bell Tower East, Room 2814
Phone: (805) 437-3293; Fax: (805) 437-2765

Simone Aloisio, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
Academic Advisor for the Chemistry Program
Aliso Hall, Room 207
(805) 437-8999

Andrzej A. J. Bieszczad, Ph.D.
Professor of Computer Science
Bell Tower West, Room 2285
(805) 437-2773

Jorge Garcia, Ph.D.
Professor of Mathematics
Bell Tower East, Room 2754
(805) 437-2769

Ivona Grzegorczyk, Ph.D.
Professor of Mathematics
Chair, Mathematics and Applied Physics Programs
Bell Tower East, Room 2756
(805) 437-8868

Contact Information




    Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs and Degrees