Department of


Welcome to the Physics Department!


We have a small but active department with faculty interests in plasma physics, computational physics, space and planetary science, mass spectrometry, theoretical physics, optics, and engineering. Courses in subjects ranging from classical dynamics to electronics to quantum theory prepare students for careers in physics, engineering and entry into graduate school.

The Department offers a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Minor in Physics.  Washington College’s Combined Plan Program with Columbia University allows students to obtain dual degrees in Physics and Engineering, with the opportunity to specialize in more than ten different engineering fields.  

Studying physics at a liberal arts college can offer distinct advantages over programs at larger institutions. Our students receive rigorous training in theoretical physics, laboratory physics and mathematics while developing the broad habits of analytic thought, clear oral and written communication, aesthetic insight, ethical sensitivity and civic responsibility that are intrinsic to the Washington College Liberal Education.

Our alumni have experienced high degrees of career success in both science and non-science fields.  Many obtain advanced degrees in physics or engineering, while other alumni are employed in other areas, including computer and technology fields, education, law and business.  Some of our recent alumni are pursuing careers in such diverse fields as theoretical physics, astronomy, nuclear engineering, computer engineering, computer science, material science, medical physics, chemical physics, automation engineering and fire protection engineering.

Department News

  • Justin Yerkie ’19 and physics professor George Keiser work at the laser box in the optics lab.

    Working with Assistant Professor of Physics George Keiser in his optics lab, Justin Yerkie ’19 is helping to create a system that’s able to generate terahertz frequency light. 

  • Kiran Pant ’18 has created some 3-D images of her proton beam study.
    For her senior capstone project, Kiran Pant ’18, a physics major headed to Duke University’s graduate program in medical physics, is simulating the behavior of a proton beam as it enters the body.
  • Students looking at the night sky during an astrophotography trip

    When a physics professor and a digital media master gather students at the River and Field Campus to learn the fundamentals of astrophotography, the sky is literally the limit.

Department Tour