About the Department

C.M. Hall Science Building at Berea College

The Physics department offers a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum that is designed (a) to prepare students to enter graduate schools or private industry en route to careers as professional physicists; (b) to provide a liberal arts degree to students who are interested in careers for which a background in physics is advantageous, such as engineering, medicine, computer science, and secondary science teaching; and (c) provide service courses  for majors in other sciences, including chemistry, pre-medicine, technology, and agriculture.  Our courses introduce students to the nature of scientific inquiry, grounded in problem solving that calls on both practical and quantitative reasoning skills. We are committed to the idea that students should conduct research as part of their undergraduate curriculum, both on campus and at other research institutions.

It is our mission to:

  • Promote an understanding of and appreciation for the concepts, principles and methods of physics.
  • Create a supportive academic environment in which students can develop both a fundamental knowledge of physics and the quantitative skills necessary to apply that knowledge.
  • Provide an opportunity for students to explore the natural world through experimentation and to develop skills in the observation, analysis, and interpretation of experimental data.
  • Encourage students to participate in significant research and internship experiences both on- and off-campus.
  • Help students understand the connections between physics and other disciplines and provide opportunities for students to participate in interdisciplinary study.
  • Help students develop skills in communicating the concepts and principles of physics to a wider audience.