Greetings from McMurry University’s Department of Physics. We provide a solid foundation in physics for physics majors, other science majors and non-science majors alike. You’ll learn physics from the ground up – conducting both applied and theoretical research in the physical phenomena of nature to learn how the universe works from the subatomic scale to that of cosmic events.

Majoring in physics or engineering physics hones your critical thinking and problem-solving skills — to satisfy your natural curiosity and inspire innovation in your chosen career field. A degree in physics or engineering physics from McMurry will prepare you for graduate-level study and/or a professional career in the field Alternatively, you can add a minor in physics to most any other McMurry degree.

physics ribbon

Areas of Study

The study of physics gives you a better understanding of how the world around us works. We offer a physics major with the two different focus areas, as well as an engineering physics major and a physics minor.

Physics with a Physics Focus

Physicists conduct, experimental, theoretical, and computational studies to better understand the laws of space, time, matter and energy – and how these fundamental building blocks interact with each other to create physical phenomena. While pursuing this degree you will learn about the smallest components of matter, the ways energy can be contained and transmitted, and the mysteries of how the world as we know it came to be. You’ll also be exposed to advanced mathematics and complementary studies such as computer programming.

Advanced Degree Pathway

Students planning to continue their physics education may qualify for guaranteed admission to Texas Tech University as a master’s candidate. McMurry’s Advanced Degree Pathway offers students a means to plan their academic career while still an undergrad and provides a seamless transition to Tech’s well-respected graduate physics program.

Graduate Admission Agreement

Physics with an Electrical Pre-Engineering Focus

This degree option gives you the mathematical and theoretical preparation needed for a master’s level degree in electrical engineering discipline, or to pursue a technical role in a wide range of industries upon graduation. Pre-Engineering Program

Engineering Physics

McMurry’s Engineering Physics degree gives you a solid basis in the science of engineering. You’ll have access to immersive courses in physics and mathematics that ground your knowledge of theoretical principles to solve practical engineering tasks and other complex problems. In addition, you’ll gain hands-on computer skills, technical training and experiential learning opportunities. The degree is designed to prepare you for graduate-level study and/or a professional career in a field of engineering. McMurry will offer this STEM degree for the first time in the fall of 2022. Engineering Physics

Dual-Degrees Through the University Of North Dakota

Through a collaborative agreement with the University of North Dakota (UND), McMurry University students now have a unique opportunity to earn an engineering degree in Chemical, Civil, Electrical or Mechanical Engineering accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) while completing the majority of their classes on McMurry University campus in Abilene. In the course of the five-year program McMurry University delivers foundational courses in physics, chemistry, math and some introductory level engineering courses, while UND provides upper division engineering courses through the distance learning.

University of North Dakota
Dual Degree Information

Student Opportunities

Pre-Professional Programs

The mission of the McMurry University Pre-Professional Program is to provide the curricular advising and career guidance needed by our students as they prepare themselves for application to and successful completion of a professional school program. Pre-Professional Programs

Society of Physics Students

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association of students and faculty advisers interested in physics. SPS operates within the American Institute of Physics (AIP), an umbrella organization for professional physical science societies. Membership is open to anybody interested in physics. At McMurry, SPS members include students pursuing degrees in, chemistry, computer science, engineering physics, mathematics, and other fields. The national SPS organization has recognized the McMurry chapter for excellence annually since 2018. A designation of the Outstanding Chapter is earned by fewer than 10 percent of all SPS chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally. McMurry’s Chapter was recognized as an Outstanding Chapter three times in 2018, 2020 and 2021. Society of Physics Students

Sigma Pi Sigma

Sigma Pi Sigma is a national physics honor society that is organized within the Society of Physics Students. Members are elected based on their academic achievements.
Sigma Pi Sigma

Internship Opportunities

The American Physics Society also arranges internships for physics majors every year. Some are summer-only internships, and others take place during the regular school year. Examples of potential internships include:

Research Opportunities

Every Physics student will complete a senior research project. The subjects for these projects are chosen by the students under the guidance of a supervising faculty member. Students will also participate in multiple team research projects as part of the physics and engineering courses they take. Students are encouraged to participate in the summer research in collaboration with McMurry faculty or through summer research experience programs. The department will assist in finding summer research opportunities.

Physics Scholarships

The department offers several physics scholarships based on merit, academic excellence and geography. There are also scholarships available through the Financial Aid Department. Tuition, Financial Aid, and Scholarships

Academic Support

As a McMurry Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) student, you're supported by the STEM Student Success Center (S3C). The S3C team provides proactive academic advising and tutoring as well as assistance with career and graduate school preparation. STEM Student Resources

Lift Off

Incoming first-year students are invited to join Lift Off, a summer STEM bridge program for students pursuing science degrees, including Engineering Physics. You can earn six (6) hours of credit for a college-level precalculus course and a project-based freshman seminar. You'll build the skills necessary to succeed in your first major classes, University Physics I and Calculus I. Lift Off

Global Learning Endorsement

The Global Learning Endorsement provides an opportunity for students to highlight academic achievement in global/international studies on their transcript. This endorsement will provide helpful documentation of the student’s expertise for employment in an increasingly globalized world. Learn More

Beyond McMurry


An undergraduate education in physics or physics for engineering is an excellent foundation for a broad range of careers and advanced degrees:
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Material Scientist
  • Computational Physicist
  • Geophysicist
  • Medical Physics
  • Astrophysics
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Meteorologist
  • Metallurgist
  • Sound Engineer
  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Research Scientist (Physical Sciences)
  • Biophysics

Join the Ranks of Accomplished Alumni

A high percentage of McMurry's physics and engineering graduates pursue advanced degree programs or move directly into careers as technicians and research assistants. You’ll find that the department’s excellent reputation will be a huge help in earning these first few critical roles, as will the networking opportunities afforded by McMurry alumni around the nation and the world.

Faculty and Staff

Tikhon Bykov Division Chair of Science and Mathematics / Department Chair / Virgil Bottom Endowed Professor of Physics
Wayne Keith Professor of Physics
Timothy Renfro Associate Professor of Physics
David Upshaw Assistant Professor of Engineering