May 29, 2024  
Course Catalog 2023-2024 
Course Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physics and Astronomy

Robert P. Owen, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy; chair

Mahmuda Afrin Badhan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Stephen A. FitzGerald, Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Yumi Ijiri, Francis D. Federighi Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Melinda A. Keller, Instructor of Physics and Astronomy and Laboratory Manager
John H. Scofield, Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Jillian M. Scudder, Associate Professor of Physics
Jason E. Stalnaker, Donald R. Longman Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Daniel F. Styer, John and Marianne Schiffer Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Bryan A. Terrazas, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Visit the department web page for up-to-date information on department faculty, visiting lecturers, and special events.

The word “physics” originates from the Greek word for nature. Physicists attempt to understand the basic principles that govern the behavior of the natural world in which we live. The courses in physics and astronomy are designed to serve both students interested in science as an important part of a general education and those desiring intensive training in physical science.

Physics and astronomy students at Oberlin have opportunities to work closely with faculty members on research projects during academic terms, winter terms, and summers.

See information about Research, Internships, Study Away, and Experiential Learning (RISE).

Explore Winter Term projects and opportunities.

Departmental Policies

Advanced Placement Credit

The following score(s) will correspond to credit for the following course(s), fulfilling corresponding prerequisite requirements (if applicable) and counting toward total credits needed for graduation:

  • AP Physics B, 4  →  PHYS 103  (one full course)
  • AP Physics B, 5  →  PHYS 103  and PHYS 104  (two full courses)
  • AP Physics 1, 4 or 5  →  PHYS 103  (one full course)
  • AP Physics 2, 4 or 5  →  PHYS 104  (one full course)
  • AP Physics C (Mech.), 4 or 5  →  PHYS 110  (one full course)
  • AP Physics C (Elec. and Mag.), 5  →  PHYS 111  (one full course)
  • IB HL Physics; 5, 6, or 7  → PHYS 600 (one full course)

Note: Transfer credit received for PHYS 103 , PHYS 104 , PHYS 110 , and PHYS 111  may count toward the physics major and physics minor.

Majors and Minors